How do you make small print large enough for consumers to see?
That's the challenge facing those of us who take sick pleasure in reading through the fine print, then warning off friends about companies' devious ways with tiny type. It's a big challenge. The really important stuff (how much things actually cost) is often buried under a mountain of verbiage or hidden at the very edge of the margins. And often, consumers have only a few seconds to glance at a burdensome contract with a sneaky fee bomb hidden inside, set to go off in a month or two. In these situations, where buyers are trapped in what I call a "captive" situation, it seems there is little hope of spotting the small print.
Unless you know where to look. This video will show you where.
Today, we're experimenting with a new way to help you find hidden fees -- something we're calling "The Gotcha Room." With the help of three-dimensional graphics, we're taking a 22-page cell phone bill and pulling out exactly the line you need to look for to find the latest cell phone "Gotcha."
Earlier this year, we reported on cell phone upgrade fees and tapped into a seething mass of frustration. Close to 1,100 of you wrote in to complain. Then, we offered a series of strategies aimed at getting you your money back from cell phone companies if you feel you've been charged unfairly.
Still, telling you about sneaky fees is one thing: Showing you is another. So today we'll show you where we found a cell phone upgrade fee on Washington D.C. resident Julie-Ann Klein's cell phone bill. After watching the video, it is hoped you'll know where to look. Click here to watch it.
The graphics wizardry comes courtesy of NBC producer Andy Gross, editor Von Brunson and graphic artist Corey Hall.
If you like The Gotcha Room, feel free to suggest other small print we can magnify for you.