Sen. Nelson Votes to Ban Deceptive Junk Fees and Ensure Price Transparency for Minnesotans

Senator Carla Nelson
2 min readMay 4, 2024

Minnesota State Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) has affirmed her commitment to protecting Minnesota consumers by voting in favor of a bill aimed at eliminating deceptive trade practices and junk fees in consumer transactions. House File 3438, which passed with bipartisan support, is designed to strengthen transparency and fairness in pricing, guaranteeing that consumers are fully aware of the total cost of their purchase.

“This bill is about consumer transparency,” said Senator Nelson. “Many Minnesotans have experienced the frustration of expecting to pay one price for an item, only to see the final price skyrocket because of hidden ‘junk fees.’ Minnesotans deserve to know the true cost of what they are buying without being surprised by hidden fees at the point of sale. It’s that simple.”

Senator Nelson initially had reservations about early drafts of the bill, citing concerns over strong and broad opposition from industry stakeholders and the lack of clarity about conflicts with other laws. “The original bill was so deeply flawed that I could not support it,” Nelson explained. “But through extensive negotiations and compromise, the final version of the bill addressed those significant issues. This shows what we can accomplish if we listen to each other’s concerns and work across the aisle.”

The bill requires businesses to include all mandatory fees in their advertised prices, except for government-imposed taxes or fees related to an automobile purchase or lease. Mandatory fees include fees required to complete a purchase, fees not reasonably avoidable by the consumer, or fees that a reasonable consumer would expect to be included in the advertised price.

Junk fees refer to unnecessary or excessive charges that companies add to bills for services or products. These fees are often hidden or not clearly explained, leading to consumer confusion and surprising or inflated costs. Examples include processing fees for concert tickets, resort fees at hotels, or mysterious charges on phone bills. Junk fees can significantly increase the final price consumers pay, undermining trust and making budgeting difficult.

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