Beware the surcharge
Goods and services improve life — fast food delivery, groceries pick-up. But those services come at a cost. Pay attention to the costs associated with the good life. They add up.
Working from home means a variety of options at lunchtime. But more times than not, nothing in the fridge sounds good. Or that looming deadline leaves you with only one option, lunch that’s deliverable. Thanks to a multitude of food delivery apps available on your smartphone, you don’t have to lift a finger for food; all you need to do is tap it.

Right before you check out, however, you’ll notice something alarming: Your $12 sandwich has turned into a $20 sandwich. How did that happen?

Most likely, a surcharge — an additional fee added to your bill that you may not have initially known about. Industries crippled by COVID began instituting surcharges two years ago to help keep their businesses afloat. Even though the pandemic has started to subside, many companies have kept — or even increased — surcharges due to inflation and the rising cost of goods.

   Discover more details here     If you’re not careful, they can add up and make a huge impact on your finances, especially if food/grocery delivery services and ride-share apps are a part of your everyday life. Uber and Lyft, for example, recently began tacking on temporary fuel surcharges, and delivery behemoth Amazon announced in April it will start adding a 5% fuel and inflation surcharge to U.S. sellers — which, in turn, could translate into higher prices for goods on its website.

A smart way to identify surcharges is to closely examine the costs associated with your purchase.

“Take a look at the bill and compare the cost of items in the app with what those menu items cost on a restaurant's website or at the grocery store,” the New York Times recommended in a story in May. “The true cost of using a delivery app might compel you to use the phone to order takeout and pick up dinner yourself, or you might decide the delivery cost is worth it. Either way, you'll be better informed.”

— Malcolm Mayhew