Local News


CONTACT 13: Beware of surprise charges

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-30 10:03:21-04
Americans love services like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. But unlike hotels and cabs, knowing what you're really going to pay in the end, can sometimes be tricky.
Services that allow us to jump into a driver's car, or stay in their home as a house guest, are big business.
But there's a downside according to a new report in the Washington Post. These services sometimes make it hard to determine your final price. And that can lead to big surprises. Like one woman's $120 ride home, during peak travel time.
"They let you know it's surge pricing, but they don't tell you how much extra you will have to pay," says one frustrated passenger.
Uber and Lyft offer price ranges up front. But not exact prices. And extra fees can make an Airbnb listing, as pricey as a 4 star hotel.
The Post found listings with extra $45 service fees, and $25 cleaning fees. Charges that weren't disclosed, until already in the booking process. But most hotels, don't add cleaning fees to your bill.
So my advice? If you're staying somewhere, be sure to ask about extra fees. If it's a ride, assume you'll have to pay the higher end of any estimate you get. That way you aren't surprised, and you Don't Waste Your Money.