In one of my first blog entries, I wrote about the general lie when companies tell you they are reducing some service “for your convenience”. So-called internet “convenience fees” are some of the worst examples. Companies charge you for the privilege of typing information on a website, displaying a PDF, and allowing you to print the receipt on your own printer. In other words, you pay and the vendor saves on paper, postage, and labor. Even if you consider the fixed costs of developing the website, the vendor would eventually profit from the more efficient website. But adding a “convenience fee” to use the website is galling.
Fie on companies like ticket brokers who charge extra for printing tickets on your own computer. At least the California Department of Motor Vehicles got it right — there is no surcharge for paying your vehicle registration online.