FTC’s new proposed rule against junk fees supported by PA, 18 other AGs

08 February 2024- Attorney General Michelle Henry is co-leading a coalition of 19 state Attorneys General in support of the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees — the most recent action in her ongoing efforts to protect consumers from “junk fees.” 

The Attorneys’ General comment letter was filed Wednesday in response to an FTC notice of proposed rulemaking, which allowed for comments on the proposed rule’s provisions, including:

  • Prohibiting ‘bait and switch’ advertising by requiring businesses, from the outset, to clearly and conspicuously disclose the total price, inclusive of any mandatory fees;
  • Requiring businesses to more prominently display the total price when pricing information is advertised;
  • Prohibiting businesses from misrepresenting the nature and purpose of any fee, and;
  • Requiring businesses to clearly and conspicuously disclose the nature and purpose of certain fees (such as shipping charges and optional fees) before the consumer consents to pay.

“Junk fees hurt consumers by concealing the real prices of goods and services, as well as honest businesses that lose out to competitors that use the deceptive practice to appear the better bargain,” Attorney General Henry said. “Our work to combat junk fees goes back many years, and we would not be as effective and impactful without collaboration with our state and federal partners committed to helping consumers and businesses in their communities.”

In their letter, the Attorneys General support the FTC’s proposed rule and highlight their enforcement efforts in protecting consumers from deceptive fee practices. 

Joining Pennsylvania and the co-lead state, North Carolina, in the letter are the Attorneys General from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter can be found here.