What's with the surcharge?

Back in 2012, gas prices in northern Virginia (where I live) pushed to $4 a gallon and higher. As a result of the higher gas prices, my garbage collection service added a “fuel surcharge” to my bill ($2/month), with an explanation of why they were adding the surcharge, in the first bill with the surcharge. Fair enough.

Now in 2016, gasoline prices have dropped to below $2/gallon. And what about that fuel surcharge on my bill? Yep, still there. Why would the company remove it? It’s “free” money now. Except that it’s irritating enough to me to consider changing companies.

Has your organization ever put in place a special surcharge on its member dues or other products? (I’ve had clients add a surcharge to membership dues to pay for new technology systems!)

If you’ve added a surcharge, make sure you REMOVE the surcharge once you’ve covered the costs of what the surcharge was designated for. Otherwise you’re just nickel-and-diming your members, and no one likes that.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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