How You May Be Getting Ripped Off Everyday

spare change, loose change, ripoff

Feeling ripped off, so I started counting change! :)

If your wallet is feeling a little light these days, it may be because you’re getting ripped off on products or services you’re purchasing. Ripoffs are everywhere these days, some can be avowed; other you simple can’t. The kicker to groin area is that these ripoffs are perfectly legal, yet they add up, leaving you fleeced, angry and light in the wallet.

You know you’re overpaying for all sorts of things in your daily or weekly purchases. Just check some of your grocery receipts and gas bills, and you’ll see some of the extra charges are tacked onto every purchase. So, I wanted to shine a light on the overpriced stuff and ripoffs that are depleting our wallets with everyday purchases.

Car Parts at the Dealership

This is where they really stick it to you, and they know you’ll buy the car part at the end of the day. I recently went through this with BMW due to my compressor crapping out. Long story short, the compressor was $1,500 at BMW, yet due to some connections and a good friendship, I manged to score the same part for $650. The only difference between the two was that the compressor from BMW came in a fancy BMW box, while the other came in a standard generic box. And the real kicker was that both were produced by the same company in Germany.

According to my source at BMW, on average BMW parts are marked up 200%, while some are marked up even more.The thinking behind this is simple:

  • Your car is out of service
  • You need your car to get to work and do daily things
  • You’re desperate and want to fix your problem
  • Your lack of knowledge on car parts and the problem as a whole

Paying to Order

This one boggles my mind, yet most travelers are accepting that it’s okay to pay for fees for booking tickets online. As a regular business traveler, and someone who books tickets online, why should it be fair to pay an additional fee to book my flight online? I’m already giving you my business by deciding to do business with a given airline, and now you’re going to stick it to me further? It’s unfair!

What about those fees for checking your bags and reserving seats? Air Canada charges up to $22 for reserving a seat. Most airlines are now charging $25 for the first checked bag and up to $50 for the second one. This is why I rarely fly Air Canada and opt for other airlines.

Wireless Reconnection Fees

Telecom companies are notorious for charging additional fees. Here are few, just in case you forgot – 75 cents for “911 fee”, “$6.95 network connection” fee and the famous $25 reconnection fee for your new cellphone or data phone. Most cell phone providers will charge you $25 to reconnect your wireless phone.For example if you lose your phone or drop it in the water, you’ll need a new wireless phone, and if purchasing your new phone wasn’t enough, you’ll also get hit with a $25 reconnection fee.

Land Transfer Tax

As if paying property taxes wasn’t enough, we also have to pay a land-transfer tax bashed on the sale price of the property. All provinces with the exception of Nova Scotia participate in this surcharge tax. Here in Toronto, the city charges you in addition to the provincial tax, a municipal levy. In British Columbia, the tax rate charged is one percent on the first $200,000 of the sale price, plus two percent on anything over that. So, if you were to buy a $300,000 home, you’d get dinged with $4,000 in extra taxes.

Utility Hidden Charges

Utility companies such as gas companies charge for the delivery of the gas to your household. Enbridge Gas charges roughly 0.7 cents per cubic meter for the delivery charge of the gas to your home. Furthermore, they also charge for transporting natural gas through pipelines from Western Canada and the United States to Ontario – the cost of transpiration is directly passed onto the consumer.

Click on the link and find out what it costs to purchase gas from Enbridge!

Paying to Pay

This one hurts a lot – you’re paying to pay something. City of Toronto charges $1.50 per online payment for your parking ticket. So, for example your parking ticket is $30, you have 15 days to pay, and on the 15th day you decide to pay the charge online and in a timely manner. Guess what though, your total cost is now $31.50, because you’re being charged for being a faithful on-time citizen that just want’s to pay your parking ticket.

Statement Charge

Most service providers are charging their clients an additional fee for statements that are printed and mailed out. The only way to avoid these charges is have it e-mailed or for you to view your statement online. For example, I have my wireless service with Telus, and if I want my statement mailed every month, that would be an additional $2.00 per month or $24 per year.

My parents have their long distance plan with Primus Canada, who charges them 50 cents for every statement they mail out to them. That’s an additional $6 they’ve paying every year.

That being said I’ll rationalize, and I realize the benefit of e-statements – less trees are vut down and therefore less waste is produced. However, as a loyal customer you hate to see additional surcharges on your monthly statement. As for my parents, who are approaching their 60s, they do things the old school way, and prefer to see the statements in person rather than scouring for them online.

Final Thoughts

When extra fees are excluded from prices, you feel surprised, shocked and abused. Your trust in sellers is gone. The integrity of the shopping experience is in tatters. Yet majority of the sellers refrain from talking about their additional surcharges that will illustriously appear on your monthly statements.

Readers, how do you feel about hidden charges? Do you feel ripped off? Could you add any other surprsing fees and/or charges that you’re getting ripped off with?

Thanks for reading!



  1. I hate some of these things. Some are just for Canada, but we gt ripped off too in the US. Drives me crazy. Making me pay so that I can pay you??!! Ridiculous!
    Tb at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..Blue Collar Roundup — Alternative Modes of Transportation EditionMy Profile

  2. I hate hidden fees, especially when a company won’t be upfront about it or tries to pass it off as no big deal. I could not agree more at not buying parts from a dealer. A dealer makes a nice fat profit when you buy from them and often they’ll just pitch more junk at you. I am thankful we have a trustworthy mechanic who’ll shoot straight with us and give us fair prices.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..More Blogging Tips From a BeginnerMy Profile

  3. very nice tips, eddie…

    i have noticed the statement charge concept starting to make its way through the various financial institutions of the world.. at one time, they were just offering a small bonus to those that switched to paperless.. at this point, it is switch or pay a fee!
    jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted..Should You Refinance Your Home Loan… Again?My Profile

  4. I’ve resigned to the fact that for the rest of my life there are charges where they are going to squeeze me dry and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it, for the most part. On the other hand if I can negotiate I will and it’s worked at least with the communication company for some dumb charges that they can’t even explain to me. Ya, I feel ripped off and I know that it’s never going to end. Silly really how people will do anything just to make a buck even if they have to stick it to the people.

  5. Some fees I’ve had recently:

    To sign my kid up for soccer online, they use a service called It charges and extra $4 for using the service. You can mail in in and avoid the fee.

    Our rental property used to have water and sewer on the same bill but the sanitation district got mad at the city and now has a seperate bill that they insist must be in the owner’s name. Previously, the tenant could have it in their name. Our renter’s lease states that he pays all utilitites, so for and extra $1 a month ,they will send him a bill also, but not exclusively. I have to get it also.

    $45 fee for my previous accountant to sign a paper stating I am self employed.

    Fees are increasing, but I don’t know what you can do about it in many situations.