MONEY

Most-hated-fee contest: Round 4

If you’re sick of getting nickel-and-dimed, now’s your chance to express your aggravation. In preparation for a story about 15 irritating fees — and how to avoid them — MONEY asked readers for the most frustrating fees they’ve been charged by banks, airlines and other businesses. We received 2,000 responses.

Now we’re crowning the biggest loser: The Most-Hated Fee of All. This week, we’re asking you to narrow down the field of 15 outrageous fees by picking your least-favorite surcharge among the two or three we’ll be spotlighting at a time. Come back daily to vote — and return for the semi-final and final rounds — so we can choose the worst fee there is.

Here’s Group 4:

  • Handing over big bucks to check baggage: Most airlines are charging between $15 and $45 for your first checked bag on domestic flights, and at least $25 for your second. It can cost even more if you don’t prepay online. (For more about this fee, and how to fight it, click here.)
  • Paying up to drop your cellphone carrier: Your wireless phone company may be super nice when you sign up, giving you a free or discounted phone. But if you want out of your contract early, things turn ugly: You’ll get hit with a fee ranging from $200 to $350. (For more about this fee, and how to fight it, click here.)
  • Paying the price when a fund balance dips: Most mutual fund companies will charge you $10 to $20 if your balance in any single account falls below the company minimum. The fee might be levied even if you haven’t withdrawn any money, but just have suffered a falling share price. Talk about kicking you while you’re down. (For more about this fee, and how to fight it, click here.)

Now you know today’s contenders, it’s time to vote for your least-favorite fee! Please add your comments as well.

Follow the More Money blog on Twitter (and be notified of more hated-fee voting) at http://twitter.com/moremoneyblog.

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