Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My three biggest rip offs: As seen in The Globe and Mail

Nothing bugs me more than paying extra for something that should be free. After I've taken the time to research what I'm buying, budgeting what I can afford -  I don't like to be surprised with extra costs that I did not anticipate and should have been disclosed up front. Here are three of the biggest rip-offs out there in my opinion.

Paying to pre-select your airline seat: Many airlines charge customers to get their choice of seating. For example, two Canadian carriers charge up to $20 or up to $30 for a one-way flight lasting more than two and a half hours. By arriving at the airport 30 minutes before the recommended time, you duck the unnecessary charge. Airlines prey on people’s insecurities that they will be unable to sit together or have to sit near the washroom during a long-haul flight.

Annual furnace maintenance plans: Most heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies offer customers a version of the plan, which costs around $120. It gives customers a once-a-year maintenance and inspection. But 90 per cent of what the “experts” do, you can yourself. Some examples: replacing the air filter every three months, cleaning the blower compartment every year, checking that your outdoor vent is clear of obstructions and is not clogged with garden material or animal nests. A furnace bought today should not require professional maintenance for at least 10 years.

Getting a manicure at the salon: Often, your hairdresser will try to up-sell you a manicure while you’re getting your hair cut. These manicures are usually $30, which is twice the price of getting the same service at a nail bar that usually charges $15. Your hairdresser might tell you the manicure service is more sterile or they practise better hygiene than the nail bar – it’s a scare tactic. At a nail bar they have one job and they do it well.

Read the entire Globe and Mail article here: Feeling gouged? The nine biggest rip-offs out there.


  1. Does anyone pre-select their seat?? I always laugh when that option pops up when I'm booking. Ridiculous fee!

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