I saw warnings like this online before, but I didn't experience it for myself until this weekend.

Once a month I print out photos on Shutterfly from my phone, just so I have a hard copy of them and I can distribute them to my family. Shutterfly offers free 4x6 prints on their app, you just pay shipping so it's easy enough to do, but there was a surprise charge when I placed my order this weekend.

I was just finishing the checkout process and as I was about to tap "PLACE ORDER" I saw an extra line on the page. It said "COVID Fee $0.99".

Excuse me?

There was a little arrow next to it and I tapped it. The information gave to me said:

Temporary fee to help cover increased manufacturing & seasonal shipping costs.

Uhhh ok? The seasonal shipping costs thing is every year, and the only time I have ever paid extra is if I needed it sooner than the economy shipping date. I don't know much about Shutterfly's busy seasons throughout the year, but my guess is that this is and always has been their peak season. So why the new surprise charge now?

I still paid for it. There was no option to opt-out. 99 cents for an extra fee on free prints isn't the end of the world, but it is something to keep an eye out for as you finish up your online holiday shopping.

Abbey Minke Screenshot from Shutterfly app
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