Hidden Fees


Transparency in pricing is one of the key elements of a successful consumer transaction. The seller puts a clear price on the good or service, the consumer accepts the price and decides whether or not the cost is worth it to him or her. That’s why hidden fees are among the most concerning of the unfair business practices we see in Chicago.

As a consumer, you have the right to know what you can expect to pay. At Markoff Leinberger, we are experienced at using consumer fraud laws to pursue justice and compensation for those cheated by hidden fees.

If you want to speak to us about hidden fees or any other unfair business practices, please call Markoff Leinberger at 312-726-4162 for a free consultation.

Defining Unfair Business Practices

The law recognizes that there are occasions where the cost of a good or service can rise from an initial estimate. Anyone who has ever undertaken a home construction project or taken their care to a mechanic for service and maintenance is familiar with this dynamic. It’s annoying, and often cause for a negative review, but it’s not usually enough for legal action.

Put simply, hidden fees are additional costs that are either left undisclosed or are actively hidden at the time of purchase. Products that often include hidden fees include:

  • Credit cards
  • Cars or other major vehicle purchases
  • Television service
  • Telephone service
  • Major electronics
  • Mortgages and mortgage refinance services

Common types of hidden fees include:

  • Warranties or service guarantees
  • Document processing fees
  • Balloon payments or interest rates

In and of themselves, many of these fees are not illegal. A warranty or a service guarantee, for example, is a valuable service, and it’s legitimate for a company to charge for it.

However, these costs become problematic when they are hidden. A company that charges you a base $50 a month for a service, then asks if you want to add $10 a month for a warranty is doing nothing wrong. However, some companies don’t ask and just put the additional $10 on your bill.

This is an unfair business practice, and Markoff Leinberger is committed to stopping it.

If you have been victimized by an unfair business practice, please contact Markoff Leinberger today for a free consultation using the form on this page or by calling 312-726-4162 today.


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