Exclusive: Rep. Brendan Boyle talks about legislation to combat junk fees

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Local Congressman introduces legislation to help eliminate junk fees
Democratic Congressman Brendan Boyle has introduced legislation aimed to help save all consumers a lot of money by eliminating junk fees.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you are sick and tired of hidden fees being tacked on to everything from concert tickets to hotel bills, we have some good news.

Relief could be on the way in the form of two new laws. Action News spoke exclusively to Congressman Brendan Boyle about his legislation aimed to help everyone from Swifties to sports fans.

"Where you have deception going on in terms of the price that is advertised, versus the price that you're actually paying at the end, what we need to do is change the law," said Representative Boyle.

Changes also need to be made for the sake of sports fans, too. Peter Meyer, of New Hope, bought two tickets for the Premier League Summer Series at Lincoln Financial Field for $125 each.

"And then when I tried to check out with my credit card, it was $306."

That's more than $50 in fees, a 20% mark-up.

"And to me, that's just totally insane," he said.

Representative Boyle is introducing new legislation in direct response to Ticketmaster complaints.

The BOSS and SWIFT Act would require mandatory all-in pricing to ensure the true ticket price, including fees and refund policies, is clearly stated up front.

"Consumers need to have fair and accurate information before making a decision," said Boyle.

And Rep. Boyle isn't limiting his efforts to the ticket industry.

"It is really so much larger than that. And it's really reached a crisis level," he said.

Consumer advocates point to fees charged by utilities, banks, car dealerships, airlines and hotels and motels.

"A family will save up, get a hotel for maybe $150 a night they go to checkout, and they're paying $250-300 a night, because a resort fee, which wasn't advertised or wasn't disclosed," said Rep. Boyle.

The Junk Fee Prevention Act would also eliminate hidden and excessive fees by requiring fees across industry be disclosed in upfront pricing and limiting the percentage of the markup.

Ticketmaster Statement:

"We agree ticketing needs reform to better protect fans and artists. We support all-in pricing, banning speculative tickets and deceptive websites and strengthening the BOTS Act. However, we believe this bill should do more to ensure artists can determine how their tickets can be resold otherwise scalpers will continue getting in the middle which is bad for fans and artists. These are all common-sense reforms supported by a wide array of artists, managers, venues and countless others involved in live entertainment, and they should be included in whatever reforms Congress considers."