As businesses start to reopen, experts warn of COVID-19 surcharges

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As businesses reopen, COVID-19 surcharges were popping up on receipts and bills across the country. (WWMT/File){ }

As states across the nation, including Michigan, started to reopen, experts warned of potential surcharges from businesses struggling financially.

"The entire country has been closed which means for some of these businesses, there's been no income," Troy Baker, manager of Better Business Bureau Communications in Grand Rapids, said. "Now that they are reopening their doors there are additional expenses like providing personal protective equipment to every employee, changes to their business to keep staff and customers safe, and all of that is an added cost."

Baker said COVID-19 surcharges were popping up at service-type businesses like restaurants, hair salons, and dental offices.

"I know from personal experience, my dentist in West Michigan charged a surcharge when I last saw him," Baker said. "However I was warned of the added costs which is something I really appreciated."

Baker said if you're a business owner thinking about adding extra fees, be honest with your customers.

"Be transparent with your customers about these charges," Baker said. "The last thing you want is for someone to look at the receipt and realize they were hit with a $5 or $10 fee without knowing. You could lose that customer."

Baker said as a consumer it's also important to ask businesses if they're adding extra fees before booking a service or making a reservation.


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