Biden’s Plan to Limit ‘Junk Fees’ Has Overwhelming, Bipartisan Support
Democrats and Republicans don’t agree on many things but paying less for concert tickets or to switch cable TV providers is one of them.
During his Feb. 7 State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass the Junk Fees Prevention Act, which would limit extra fees or surcharges across the travel and entertainment industries, including early termination fees from cable TV or internet providers and service fees often attached to tickets for concerts and sporting events.
Biden previously called out companies like Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s Ticketmaster to lower the “huge” service fees it places on many events and to be more transparent with consumers about a ticket’s full costs. The ticketing platform has been under Congressional scrutiny since November for its disastrous handling of presales for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, which renewed accusations that the company is monopolizing the live event industry.
A new Morning Consult survey shows Biden’s proposals have bipartisan support, with clear majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents saying Congress should pass laws limiting these so-called “junk fees.” Overall, about 3 in 4 Americans support the measures.
Biden’s 'Junk Fee' Proposals Enjoy Huge Bipartisan Support
Democrats slightly more likely to support “junk fee” proposals than Republicans
- The majority of U.S. adults (75%) support both of Biden’s proposals to reduce service fees for tickets purchased online for entertainment events and to eliminate fees charged by cell phone, cable TV and internet providers when consumers cancel their service.
- Democrats (80%) are most likely to support both proposals, though clear majorities of independents (70%) and Republicans (72%) do as well.
- Among generations, baby boomers are most likely to support reducing fees for concerts and sporting events (79%), as well as eliminating fees charged by cell phone, cable TV and internet providers (77%).
- Among income brackets, those who reported a household income of $100,000 or more are most likely to say they want reduced service fees (82%) and the elimination of early termination fees (80%).
- About a third of adults (34%) have a favorable opinion of Ticketmaster, compared with 30% who have an unfavorable view of the company. Meanwhile, 45% of adults said they have been surprised by service fees (beyond the baseline price of the ticket) when purchasing tickets online for events like concerts or sports games.
Onto the junk heap
Inflation concerns among Americans have spiked during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — and especially in the last year. A Morning Consult survey from July 2022 found that a third of Americans had purchased fewer entertainment experiences, while nearly a third had bought fewer entertainment subscriptions.
The White House believes that limiting junk fees would hold large corporations accountable for charging customers unfair fees, while simultaneously putting some money back in Americans’ pockets. The majority of consumers — even those who likely don’t think highly of the president — are on board with that idea, should the divided Congress act on his proposals.
The Feb. 8-10, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,204 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Saleah Blancaflor is a data reporter at Morning Consult covering the business of entertainment. @saleyley