November 4, 2009

On The Go With Joe Hutter

joeSeniors And Law
Enforcement Together (SALT)

By Joe Hutter

One of the items the Iowa Attorney General’s Office advised consumers about was to be on the watch for hidden fees connected to credit cards and also to be aware of “add on” items such as credit card protection plans and insurance on buyers clubs. On February 22, 2010, the Credit Card Act of 2009 will take effect, which will give consumers more protection. I’ll have more on that at a later date.

Locally a couple of people in Davenport advised me that they were being charged extra for items bought at the Super Dollar Store at 2720 W. Locust Street in Davenport, where on the side of the building is a sign stating “Nothing Over $1.00.”

On October 9, 2009 at 4:30 p.m., I went to the Super Dollar Store and bought $5.00 worth of merchandise. The receipt was $5.00 plus $.36 tax plus $.20 for a total of $5.56. I asked the clerk about the $.20 extra and she said it was a surcharge and showed me a sign after pulling away some items in front of the sign. She said this was company policy and she was just doing her job.
Now I know the company could just add the 4% on to store items and let the consumer know the $1.00 item really costs $1.04. It could still be a “dollar store” and all they would have to do is take down the “Nothing Over $1.00” sign.

A few weeks ago at 5:30 p.m. a national news network had a short item on hidden fees. There are many out there. Look at your bills and see how many you can find. Do you know of any other store that charges a “surcharge?” Most people just pay what the register rings up without any questions. Remember to ALWAYS look at your receipt!

Seniors And Law enforcement Together (SALT) meets the 4th Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at CASI in Davenport. For any information, call Pam at the Scott County Sheriff’s Office at 326-8217.

Take care!