Distributors Pass On the Fees As They Please

In a world where airlines charge for pillows and aisle seats, I suppose this is inevitable: Distributors are passing on more fees to their channel partners. Tech Data has become the latest, heralding on its Web site a new $2 "freight policy" fee on orders.

It goes into effect Oct. 1, and will no doubt be copied by every competitor, another odious "fuel surcharge" being passed through the economy by all types of service providers from FedEx to my pet sitter. (Will these fees miraculously disappear if oil drops below $100 a barrel? Don't count on it.) Tech Data assures the "adjustment" is going to ensure "outstanding" service and support, but I have the same reaction I did when the local Chinese restaurant slapped a surcharge on the crispy noodles and hot tea -- guys, can't you just raise the price of the entire meal, keep the extras and quit the annoying nickle-and-diming already?

I know, I am being too tough on Tech Data which is only, after all, trying to return investment to those demanding stockholders which during the Bush Administration became the focal point of existence in America. And competitors like Ingram Micro and D&H have also added various fees and surcharges for shipping. Plus,Tech Data's transportation fee is just for smaller orders anyhow and can be skirted (sort of the same way airline frequent fliers dodge the new checked-bag fees.) However, if companies don't stop adding these fees, we will all be spending our days carrying around endless,updated crib sheets that list services, fees and dodging strategies. Isn't it confusing enough trying to buy something just figuring out the taxes?   

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