By Ori @FeeX
Fees: fact of life, or annoying-but-negotiable? At FeeX we’re trying to make investment fees the latter — the more information we can give you, the easier it’ll be to reduce the fees clogging your 401(k), IRA or brokerage account. But there are plenty of other fees in the sea, and Mike, who runs the ‘financial entertainment’ magazine The Quarter Roll, managed to experience an annoying fee that he eventually made disappear. Here’s his story.
Hey Mike! What’s your Worst Fee Ever?
The worst fee I have ever been asked to pay was a $25 application fee to the college I wanted to attend here in Pittsburgh years ago. The kind and polite admissions counselor handed me a rate sheet that outlined all the expenses that I should expect to incur as a student for the next 4 years. Tuition, books, and other expenses were going to be about $40,000, but the one fee that really stood out on that list was the application fee. I said to the admissions counselor “It seems like you want to charge me $25 in order to pay you $40,000. I am not comfortable with that. Would another college or business ask me to pay them for the privilege of handing over $40,000? Would you please do something about that?” The nice admissions counselor waived the application fee, understanding that in order to make a $40,000 sale it made sense to waive the $25 fee, and 18 year old me learned a valuable life lesson: it pays to ask to have your fee waived.
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