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Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Submits Testimony Supporting Legislation to Curb Junk Fees

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today submitted testimony in support of legislation to curb hidden “junk” fees. The testimony supports Senate Bill No. 15, An Act Requiring Fee Disclosures, which was proposed by Governor Ned Lamont and will be the subject of a hearing today in the General Law Committee.

Junk fees are charges that are not included in the advertised price of a product or service but are ultimately imposed on consumers, other than taxes required by a government entity. Sellers and lodging operators use junk fees to misrepresent the actual total price by advertising an artificially low price and then adding on hidden fees and costs. It is a classic bait-and-switch.

Calling the legislation a “major win for Connecticut consumers,” Attorney General Tong shared his own experience with hidden junk fees while trying to find hotel deals for a recent family trip.

This proposal would require that those selling event tickets, food, beverages, or lodging, directly or through a third-party digital platform, list the total price, including all mandatory fees and charges other than taxes imposed by a government entity when advertising, displaying, or offering prices for their goods and services. It would also make clear that the failure to do so violates the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). This section does not burden businesses because it only makes plain what is already expected: honestly tell consumers what their product or service costs up front. It also levels the playing field among competitors across the named industries.

“Consumers deserve to know the full cost up-front, not be shocked or surprised at the time of payment that the actual price is far higher than originally disclosed. Too often, however, consumers find themselves paying higher prices for goods and services than they were led to believe up front, rendering useless their time and effort comparison shopping to find fair prices,” Attorney General Tong states in his testimony.

The bill builds on legislation successfully proposed by Attorney General Tong last year to require all-in ticket pricing for live events. In addition to Governor Lamont’s bill, Attorney General Tong this year has proposed an expanded junk fee bill, which will be the subject of a later hearing. The bill compliments efforts at the federal level led by President Biden to ban unfair and deceptive fees. Earlier this month, Attorney General Tong joined a coalition of 19 state attorneys general supporting a proposed rule issued by the Federal Trade Commission.

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