It seems as though everything has a fee associated with it nowadays. Airlines have numerous fees. Cell phones have crazy fees. Credit cards have fees. Hotels are increasing fees. It wouldn’t surprise me if the grocery store starting charging fees if you don’t put your cart away when you are finished with your shopping.
These fees are numerous, they are annoying and most importantly, they cost you money. I can’t be the only one that gets frustrated by them all.
This post is all about how to save money on fees. Regardless where you encounter the fee, using these tips, you can get some fees waived or reduced, saving you money.
So how do you go about saving money on fees? It’s simply really.
Simple Steps To Save Money On Fees
#1. Just Ask
The key to saving money or put another way, to avoiding these fees is to simply ask to have them removed. That is all there is to it.
I know you were expecting some huge secret, but there really isn’t. No matter the fee or the situation, you just have to ask for it to be waived. In the case where it is already applied, then you simply ask for it to be removed.
It’s the same idea behind asking for a discount. You just ask. Many times they will honor your request or find some offer to help reduce or offset the fees.
For example, a hotel might offset a fee by giving you a free voucher for eating at the hotel restaurant. You will still pay the fee, but get something else for free, offsetting the fee.
Of course, before you agree to any deal like this, you have to make sure it is a fair trade. If you have zero interest in eating at the hotel restaurant, then this deal isn’t worth anything to you.
#2. Be Nice
The nicer you are to the associate you are dealing with, the better. No one wants to help an angry customer. Trust me. I’ve worked in retail.
The people that I would give breaks to the most were the ones that were pleasant to deal with. When you scream and yell at me, you are just making me more upset as well. Plus most times, the reasons you are giving aren’t the truth. You just make up a story to make it sound plausible.
Instead, stay calm, be nice, and explain the situation. When I worked in retail there were many times that I shouldn’t have taken a return on an item but I did because the customer was honest with me and treated me with respect.
#3. Understand The Fee
It’s important to remember that the person you are talking to about the fee is not the one that charged the fee, the store policy is why the fee was charged. Therefore, when asking for the fee to be removed, don’t make it about the associate you are dealing with.
When you approach the fee like this, “I realize that your company charges ABC fee, but I was wondering if there was any way I could get it waived”, you increase the chances of it being removed.
When you tell the associate you are upset that he or she charged the fee, you aren’t going to get very far.
#4. Be Persistent, But Understand
Sometimes the associate will tell you there is nothing they can do. Many times this is true. Not all associates have the authority to waive or credit fees. When I first started out in retail, I didn’t have this ability. I would have to seek out my supervisor. As time went on, I was given the privilege of waiving and crediting fees.
Don’t get upset when the associate tells you they can’t help. Many times they don’t have the authority to do so. They aren’t saying it cannot be waived, they are simply saying they cannot waive it. But don’t give up.
Ask if someone else can help you. If you are on the phone, ask to be transferred to a manager. If that doesn’t work, thank them, hang up and call back. Chances are you will get someone else who can help you.
I’ve had many times on the phone where one associate couldn’t do anything for me and I call back and the next person does everything I asked and more. Be persistent.
#5. Know When No Means No
In some cases, a fee cannot be waived by the associate or even the manager. In these cases, you just have to deal with it. Treat it as a lesson learned and move on.
A great example of this is with management fees on mutual funds and exchange traded funds. These fees are the costs of the running the fund and cannot be waived. You pay it for as long as you are invested.
If on the off chance you didn’t realize you pay a fee when investing, I encourage you get a free Personal Capital account. There you will see the investment fees you are paying and will be able to change over to a fund with lower fees.
Having fees and other charges waived from your bill can be done. It just takes a little bit of effort on your part. If you can remember to be nice, be understanding and be persistent but not pushy, chances are you will get the fee removed nine times out of ten.
Don’t just blindly accept the fees that are charged to you. Question them and work to get them removed and save money on fees.
Then when you save that money, make sure you truly save it and not just let it sit in your checking account to be spent elsewhere. The more you save, the better off you will be financially.
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Penny Thots. I blog about many personal finance topics, but my specialties lie in investing, paying off debt, and achieving your financial goals. You can learn more about me on the Author Page.