Sometimes It’s the Little Things That Put Me Over The Edge


I’m not really sure when it started, maybe a couple of months ago, but I have felt like everything is just costing more these days.

I’m not necessarily talking about the prices of gasoline or food but “hidden fees” that seem to be showing up everytime and everywhere I turn.

I think my radar went up when I purchased tickets from Ticketmaster to take the hooligan’s to the circus. 

Let’s face it, going to the circus has become a financial investment in itself.   However, after being charged for the seats and the umpteen other fees that Ticketmaster imposes (and I happily paid), I lost it.   

During the transaction, Ticketmaster indicated there was no guarantee I would get the tickets before the show.  Huh? 

There would be another $2.50 charge to receive the ticket confirmation by email.  What?  Come on, a computer generated email cost $2.50?

It annoyed me to no end.  I felt like Ticketmaster got the last laugh.  And they did.  After spending $250.00 on circus tickets I was not going to risk not getting them, as they warned.  I begrudgingly paid the fee, but I was peeved.  What a scam.

Now time has gone by since that incident but it still seems every day has it’s new set of hidden charges woven into every purchase.

Whether it’s paying California Redemption (5 cents on every plastic, glass bottle or soda can purchased) or paying more for gasoline because I used my credit card instead of cash.  It all keeps adding up, to infinity it seems.

Just in the past few weeks it seems more unexpected charges for things have fallen out of nowhere.

It started with the well-digging we just had done in Oregon.  We had an estimate for digging the well, which is…ahem…very costly.  In my mind, I thought that was it. The estimate was the cost.  Silly, naive me.

When we settled on the dig site we were hit with land prep charges to make the area suitable to set the drill rig down.  

A few thousand bucks more.  Okay, we have no choice, we moved forward. 

We find water.  Everything’s good! 

Now I hear this giant drill rig that dug the well is stuck in the mud on the property and cannot get out.  Oh joy.

It’s going to take a crane and a backhoe and who knows what else to get that hunk of equipment turned around and back down the hill. 

And yes, the cost is all mine.  No worries…just a few thousand bucks more.  Eeks!

I’m feeling the squeeze.

Then two days ago UPS delivered a bottle of wine I ordered from a winery located about 70 miles from here. 

I looked at the invoice to see I was charged $18 in shipping fees for one bottle of wine.

That’s robbery.

And yesterday, as I was paying the bills and got to the medical insurance, I noticed the premium had not only risen by about $100 but there was a message imprinted on the invoice. 

The lovely note basically states I am now being charged $2 more because I am not having the payment automatically withdrawn from my checking account.  What!  I didn’t even know it was an option.

Now this might sound petty of me, but for what I pay in premiums and what my giant-deductible is I think you would agree with me.  This $2 is just another mindless fee imposed by someone, somewhere behind an administrative desk looking to increase profit in an industry that is already gouging its members.

That last charge made my head explode into epic proportions.

Maybe tomorrow someone will turn me over and shake me till all the nickels fall out of my pockets.  However, I don’t think there’s any left.

And please remember, do I realize that I don’t have to go to the circus and I can have my medical insurance premiums deducted from my checking account and I don’t have to have wine shipped to my house.  Yes, I do!  But this is my rant and I’m sticking to it.

Are you feeling the squeeze lately?  In what way?

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22 Comments

  1. Like most people, I feel it when I buy gas. But you are right about fees as well—from buying tickets to the fact our bank charged us $3 to talk to a personal banker (fancy word for teller).

    California sounds like a financial bottomless pit. It is unreal how many taxes and fees you have. It’s almost like your lawmakers are constantly plotting ways to shake you down for the tiniest of reasons.

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  2. My husband is self-employed. We cannot afford health insurance. Our house and auto insurance does add an extra few bucks for me to pay monthly, but I put up with it because I don’t like the automatic withdrawal from my checking and I haven’t managed to pay six months at once yet.

    Oh yeah, we also have an appointment with the tax assessor at 9 a.m. tomorrow. We’re appealing the supposed $38,000 increase in value for our house in a year when the market is in a slump. They’ve oonched it up for the last two years for no apparent reason and we should have fought it then, but this is a pretty danged big increase for a house that is not even finished yet. We haven’t added on or built any new structures. The only possible reason is that they want more money. Have I mentioned that I live on a dirt road? And that they mow the trees along the road? Just what do those property taxes get spent on?

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  3. I think the guy that stuck the rig needs to pay for the other equipment.. or the contractor that he works for… It is not your fault!
    That is just ridiculous and worth fighting for… What we found when we moved up from CA is that a lot of Oregon businesses thing Californian’s are just rich punks so they will charge you when they can.. I actually caught a plumber change his invoice to a higher price because he saw I lived in a beautiful home (it came with the place, what can I say)! Very very ugly practice… Fight it… otherwise more nickels will be falling….

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  4. grace 4

    i hear you loud and clear! and it’s not like we can just refuse to pay these things…i, for one, could not survive on jail food. :)

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  5. Jeff 5

    Ticketmaster has gotten way out of hand. I was going to buy tickets to see a comedian. Tickets started at 37 dollars ok pricy but I rarely go out so not bad to splurge every now and then. However, by the time it would have been said and done the fees would have been about the price of the tickets.

    I think Pearl Jam had the right idea all along.

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  6. krysta 6

    Let’s not get started on health insurance or gas or the price of milk.But I’m with Andi on the rig being stuck in the mud, not your fault! He or she needed to make sure that should not have happened. Please. please fight them on this. They want the rig back so either they will do it for free or at a reduced charge, talk to the owner of the company who did the drilling, if you haven’t already. Ticketmaster sucks!

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  7. Isn’t the price of everything insane anymore? It never ceases to amaze me where and what we are begin gouged for.

    I feel with you on the circus tickets. Last December we took our daughter and her best friend to see the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert. The tickets cost us a tidy bundle, not to mention the surcharge for each ticket. Then of course there were all the souvenirs your kid has to have. Luckily our daughter brought her own money but the concert t-shirt she bought was $50! And she’s only worn it once! Absolutely unreal.

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  8. Alisa 8

    This is mayhap my most famous rant. I think my family is sick and tired of hearing it! I’m sorry you’re also feeling the pinch, but I’m glad it’s not just me being a whiny butt and this stuff is really happening. E-bay is another one. I quit shopping there and forget trying to take my daughter to the Hannah Montana concert! We settled for the movie! Crazy times. I’m really wondering what’s going to come of all this. The greed is insane.
    I really don’t see how the rig being stuck is your responsibility? Were you driving it? Or did you try to hot wire it again? Silly girl!

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  9. Msmvnj 9

    I feel it in gas, groceries, shipping costs, fees for spending money, fees for SAVING money, property tax increases (I’m in NJ – highest property taxes in nation). My head wants to explode every day. Play tickets – once a couple of times a year luxury – now, it takes an inordinate amount of budget forecasting to go once. UGH…..

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  10. I especially feel it at the grocery store. I’m not doing a lot of extraneous purchasing these days, but cripes, even the necessaries are getting more and more expensive!

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  11. I read your post early this morning and was thinking about it as I was writing mine. I thought “I’ll come back later and respond when I have a little more time”.
    I agree with Andy that the contractor needs to take financial responsibility for getting the drill out. Unless your contract spells out that you are ultimately accountable for weather conditions/mud I think you have a case.

    As far as fees… I am sick to death of the Ticketmaster thing and the fees attached to cable and cell phones. It’s a little here, a little there, but when it ultimately adds $10 to $15 per month to your bill, holy crud!
    And taxes in general… we bought our house three years ago and this year, we paid. How, in three years can a brand new house (we bought new construction) fail to garner enough interest and tax to net you a return on your taxes. I could see if we were big time wage earners, but we’re not. And the thought of increasing my withholding and allowing the gov to borrow my money for free just so I can prevent having to pay…. Grrr.
    I’m done. If I keep going about medical costs ($175 to see my lung dude) or my premiums going up, my brain will explode.
    sigh.

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  12. Ruth 12

    i’m sure there’s countless examples of this that I’ve experienced, but the one that springs to mind recently is shipping costs.
    I have a friend who’s mad about anything cow-shaped and i found a website selling really cool soft toy cows and i really wanted to get her one for her birthday.
    the website listed costs for transport around the USA but said it couldn’t estimate international costs (in in the UK)
    anyway, i did some research and found out that the shipping costs were actually going to be more than the cost of the toy!

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  13. I hope you read the fine print on the Turning You Upside-Down And Shaking You Contract. There’s an added fee if you’re wearing a skirt, and an additional charge if you’re wearing pants. You can’t afford the penalty if you’re naked when they try this, so plan accordingly.

    Oh, and if any of the nickels actually hit the ground (or floor – hardwood or carpet), there’s a fee for them to be picked up.

    But, they will take credit cards instead…for an extra fee.

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  14. oooh, you’re not going to like my comment– we’ve been following the prediction of the rise in food costs. We were informed that a dramatic rise would happen within 2 weeks– and it did. We are dying over here by how quickly and sharply ALL food has risen. So if you’re not seeing it there yet, you will. And rising food means rising everything. Yikes. I may lose that extra weight after all (and usps and ups are crooks, I tell ya).

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  15. Liz C. 15

    First of all, Ticketmaster is not an easily navigable site. I almost got screwed when I bought tickets for “Wicked” for our LA trip. So, I called them in (fake) tears, explaining that I’d screwed up (forget that it was their stupid site’s fault). They were more than happy to change it all for me. (as long as it wasn’t a refund) And since when did the freaking circus cost so much? Good Gawd! I guess it’s been too long for me.

    Second, I learned back when we bought our second home that there is a gargantuan difference between estimate and bid. Uh-huh. I’m just saying…

    The overcharging on shipping is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. It has become a way of life on fleaBay. I’m *getting into* the sites that offer free shipping now, lol. Like Zappos.

    Thirdly, why is it that banks always expect us to read all the spam they add in our statements every month just so we can read the itty bitty little paragraph they added about a policy change that involves money? Hmmmmm… could it be they like charging those ridiculous little amounts because it adds up? Makes them rich? Me thinks the answer would be *skirting fraud*, for now anyway. Believe me, they counted on you not seeing that fine print, my friend. Another sleazy marketing ploy, in my honest opinion.

    So, go sink some teeth into them, girl!

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  16. marye 16

    Everything…everything. We have had a hard year. My husband became disabled last July..lost his job because of it..but since it was a small company we could not pursue it..The VA (he is a vet)has him on 10% disability, even tho he is in a wheelchair..and now a tenant is using the system to live without paying rent in our investment home. Those are the highlights.
    It cost $80 to fill up my gas tank tonight….Groceries are outrageous, I am so thankful for our chickens and vegetable garden..and dairy goats..is that enough comiserating? :)

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  17. you ae right,they try to get you in the pockbook every where you turn.

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  18. eliza 18

    constantly! if it’s not the gas, it’s the flour price. i will survive only on canned beans, apparently…
    that’s why i hate buying tickets for anything, loathe ticketmaster. don’t do anything that costs us money anymore. maybe if you move here and open your winery, we could get free wine? LOL!

    Reply
  19. Mike 19

    You have every right to complain and I agree with you. Its this death by a thousand cuts where everybody thinks they can tack on some B.S. charge as if you won’t notice it just to squeeze a little more out. For instance, recently, my credit card company lost my info so they killed my card and told me sorry, don’t use that number any more. Well, a bunch of my bills auto-charge that number every month, so they were going to try and use it the next day. I hastily called them to give a different number rather than miss my bill, and they happily obliged…with paid-by-phone fees and rush-fees. I wonder if just being late would have been cheaper… 😮

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  20. Tipper 20

    Yes I can jump on your band wagon with: Gas, Milk, Eggs, and Property Taxes! And a school lunch room where even if you qualify for reduced lunch prices but only want one item they have to charge you full price. But if you get all the available items and throw everything away except the slice of pizza then you can get your reduced/free price. Makes so much wasteful sense uh? Oh and the drill rig should pay for its on towing bulldozer or crane! No one I know would expect you to pay their charges for being stuck.

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  21. Vonda 21

    Boy do I hear you!!!!

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  22. yep – feelin’ the squeeze – like I’m wrapped up in the strangle hold of an octopus… gas, groceries, baseball ticket fees, milk delivery fuel surcharge… gas… gas…

    Reply

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