Tag Archives: services

On the COVID fee and the airlinerization of your bill


If you are concerned about the cost of things, then you should know about this: The COVID fee, or why many services could cost you more as Toronto reopens for business | CBC News.

I get the COVID fee. It makes sense for businesses dealing with the cost of the pandemic. But it got me thinking about how we might start seeing the airlinerization of bills.

I thought of that concept when I started to get food from Uber Eats. On top of the cost of the meals is 3 or 4 fees, not including tips. Now with the COVID fee we may start seeing other service companies stacking additional costs onto the initial cost.

This reminds me of the airline industry. To compete, the fares for flights are stripped of costs. Then after you are about to pay, you find out the true cost of things. Again, I get it. It makes sense. It makes me wary of using a service that does this.

It may seem good for businesses to charge several additional fees. The listed cost seems low and attracts customers. It’s only when you get the bill do you see what you are truly paying. In my case yesterday I didn’t even see the COVID fee until I got home. The tip is added as a percentage on top of all the fees as well. My expected costs and my actual costs were wildly out of sync. This did not leave me with a good feeling for the place I just visited. I feel they need to be more transparent with this. (It is not listed on their website or on the Square terminal when I paid).

If the cost is not a concern for you, then feel free to ignore it. But for many people buying goods and services in the pandemic, caveat emptor.

(Photo by CardMapr on Unsplash)

So Network Solutions has domains for 50 cents. Should you get one?

In searching for a new domain name service provider for a test domain, I came across this promotion for Network Solutions that offered hosting for $0.50. Sounds great, especially since most providers are charging $9.99. 

So, what’s the catch?  Well, in the fine print, you see this:

“This offer is valid for initial (new) purchase only and only on domains to be registered with Network Solutions. This offer is not valid on domain renewals and is only valid for generally available domain names, and not Premium Names of any kind. After the applicable free promotional period, then-current renewal rates shall apply. For reference, the current renewal price for a one (1) year .com domain name registration is $37.99, subject to change at the sole discretion of Network Solutions. Only one free domain is available per order and Network Solutions cannot assure domain name availability.”

$37.99 for a .com domain when most places are charging you $9.99. 

I am guessing that they autobill people after a year and alot of customers just pay that relatively higher price. I say “guess” because I don’t know and I generally avoid companies that do that.

For the record, I use netfirms.ca and namecheap.com and I am happy with them. What you use is up to you?