Fees for appreciation

Okay, I’m floored. This morning I read an article about some recent Airport Authority business. The article included a bulleted list of agenda items covered at the last meeting–pretty benign stuff until I read this:

A change in the airport’s rates and charges regulations would benefit the airport’s four auto leasing dealerships. A customer appreciation charge of $1.50 per day will be added to rental contracts, with the monies going to make facility improvements to the auto rental business area[.] (Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette)

The business theory is simple enough to understand: make users pony up a smidge of extra cash on each transaction, and use that money to keep the place looking nice–hopefully even improve it some. It works like a toll road, where only the users are assessed the maintenance fee. Fair enough.

My problem comes with the wording of this surcharge motion. Customer appreciation charge–really? This seems like an oxymoron to me; I certainly hope that term doesn’t appear on my next itemized rental receipt. Okay, so maybe the Airport Authority is referring to its appreciation of its rental company customers, but the logic of charging your customers’ customers in order to demonstrate so-called appreciation fails me. For some reason, the words DO matter to me in this case. A lot.

I understand surcharges, and I understand for the occasional need to creatively finance projects. The Airport Authority has every right to do this; I’m not disputing that. Call it a facility surcharge, a rental lot assessment, or even a rainy day fund, just don’t call it a customer appreciation charge. It doesn’t make me feel very appreciated.

4 thoughts on “Fees for appreciation

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  1. How about “user origination sub-surcharge withholding holding” fee??
    Come on Tammy you know like the rest of the world they’re looking for terminology that makes the customer FORGET they’re paying this minute charge in the first place.
    How about “place holding fee?”

  2. I still think “customer appreciation” fee goes too far. It almost seems as if they are laughing in my face about this charge. “I appreciate you so much that I’m going to make you pay for that appreciation.” They don’t have to make me forget that I’m paying something, but they don’t have to laugh in my face about it.

  3. I can only imagine my customers’ reactions if we included a Customer Appreciation Fee on our invoices. Would they be able to ignore the fee if they didn’t appreciate my company?

  4. I had the same ‘huh?’ reaction Tammy. How dumb do they think we are? (Wait – don’t answer that). Next thing you know, we’ll all be paying ‘SickCare’ (accurate) ‘Help’ (enable) the Incompetent greedsters (continues) Political (yes) Leaders (NOT) negotiation (NOT) improvement (how?) contributions (nothing voluntary or constructive about the direction we’re headed). Wait, we don’t have a direction – that implies intent, thought, cooperation. Wow, we are already paying for all this, aren’t we? Either directly for those who pay taxes, and/or indirectly for those unfairly affected by this mess thorugh no fault of their own. They call it ‘recession/confusion/melee/paralysis’. I call it unecessary and largely avoidable, were real leadership to eerge. I’m not directing this solely at our president..we’ve got about 600 elected officials if I am at all accurately remember how many Representatives & Senators there are (questionable), and whole lot more equally spineless, clueless appointees, none of whom will tell the public the truth and lead us, collectively and confidently, to the take action that must be taken.

    Apologies for being so negative, but this is how this taxpayer/voter sees it. TAMMY for CONGRESS – heck, why not PRESIDENT? Really! What we need is a WARRIOR!

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