Oak View Group’s Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle reversed its application of an undisclosed fee charged to consumers after the practice was exposed by reporters. The cashless venue was caught charging a 3% fee added on transactions at the cashless venue, only disclosed on receipts, which are only available when specifically asked for after concessions purchases.

Jesse Jones, consumer investigations reporter from KIRO 7 News, produced the report, which showed that no notifications or signs near the point-of-sale machines involved in the transactions indicated the upcharge fee before purchases. He was tipped off to the practice by an anonymous venue employee. Jones attended a Storm game and the Duran, Duran concert to check the source’s story. He confirmed that he didn’t see any signs about the 3% fee. Only when we asked for a receipt, did we see a ‘transaction fee’ listed, he writes.

“Our whistleblower told us receipts are only printed when it’s requested, ‘So, yeah, that’s how they’re getting away with it’,” he adds.

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Kevin Brasler, with the non-Profit Puget Sound Consumer’s Checkbook, says “if everyone must pay the extra 3% for whatever they buy, in effect is part of your price. And should be indicated on the menus.”

When Jones reached out Oak View Group, the owner of Climate Pledge Arena, about the hidden fee, he was told the fees began this spring for, “…certain general admission and club area food and beverage concessions during concerts and other non-Kraken events.” Furthermore, the arena averts Visa’s rules on charging fees to debit cards by calling the 3% fee ‘operational’ and not a ‘transaction fee’.

A few days later, he found out the fee was removed at the arena just before receiving an email from the arena management they decided to eliminate this fee altogether after conducting an internal investigation into the issue.

Climate Pledge Arena began its life as the Washington State Pavilion in 1962 during the World’s Fair held in the city. It operated as the Seattle Center Coliseum from 1964-1994 and then as Key Arena at Seattle Center from 1995 through 2018, when it closed for the redevelopment.

See the original complete story here.