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Consumers Battling Hidden Fees And Surcharges

After years of being squeezed by hidden fees and surcharges that drive up the cost of everything from phone service to concert tickets, customers are fighting back. Just calling to complain satisfies many people. Others use Internet sites such as, Planet, and to help settle disputes.

If those channels fail, they turn to the courts. Class-action lawsuits, with numerous plaintiffs, are the preferred choice because individual cases over small amounts of money aren't worth the legal costs and aren't profitable enough for lawyers to pursue. A federal law that limited securities class actions by shareholders also has caused more lawyers to gravitate toward consumer cases.

Corporate America defends the charges as a valid way to cover the cost of providing services and of meeting regulatory requirements, among other things. But problems arise when customers don't know what triggers the fees.



Read the whole story at The Miami Herald »

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