Arizona state Rep. Analise Ortiz introduces bill to ban deceptive junk fees

Dec 22, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 6:09 am

deceptive junk fees under fire from Arizona democrat...

The new bill is designed to ban deceptive junk fees. (Rep. Annalise Ortiz Photo/via X, formerly known as Twitter)

(Rep. Annalise Ortiz Photo/via X, formerly known as Twitter)

PHOENIX — One Arizona lawmaker is taking on deceptive “junk fees” that trick customers into spending more than they thought they would on goods and services.

Rep. Analise Ortiz announced a new bill designed to take on misleading and deceptive charges that hurt Arizona’s consumers and businesses on Wednesday.

“Feels like Christmas at the Capitol — unwrapping fresh, new bill language and ready to drop them in the hopper soon!” Ortiz wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Her new bill will target “junk fees,” which an announcement from Arizona House Democrats describes as misleading charges with labels like “convenience” or “processing” fees.

These deceptive price gouging techniques are everywhere, from food delivery services and rental housing to live event ticketing checkout screens, the announcement said.

They cost consumers billions of dollars each year — and some research shows they can spike a product’s total cost by 20%, according to Arizona House Democrats. Not only that, but they can also hurt small businesses.

“Junk fees also unfairly disadvantage local business owners who want to deal honestly with customers and whose products appear artificially more expensive by comparison,” the announcement said.

How do Arizona Democrats want to ban deceptive junk fees?

Ortiz has represented District 24, which covers parts of Maryvale and Glendale, since November 2022.

She will introduce her measure in early January. The 2024 legislative session is slated to kick off Jan. 8, 2024.

“Large corporations unfairly charge Arizona consumers loads of bogus junk fees, nickel and diming those who can least afford it,” Ortiz said in a statement.

Her bill would require businesses to list a product’s full price upfront — including all mandatory fees. This way Arizona shoppers could compare actual prices from the beginning of each transaction.

“Under my bill, the price you see is the price you pay — period,” Ortiz said. “Businesses should compete on providing the best service at the lowest price, not on coming up with new ways to trick and frustrate consumers with deceptive fees.”

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Arizona state Rep. Analise Ortiz introduces bill to ban deceptive junk fees