Why Do Companies Charge Rush Fees?
By Michael – ETMG Chief Marketeer
As a Marketeer, I understand that stuff happens, schedules shift, and people change their mind at the last minute. This is the environment we all play in. But for some reason, some service companies think you ask for rush service all too often and for the wrong reasons–they want to take advantage of the situation and eke out a few more dollars, AKA rush charges.
Whether it’s a marketing agency or a plumber, the reasons are the same: they don’t trust you, and/or they feel extortion is an acceptable business practice. Sounds harsh, but it’s reality.
Some service providers, like marketing agencies, designers, etc., think you’re telling them the project is a rush because you just want it right away; that you do not have any real sound business need; that perhaps you are a poor planner; or that you are simply lying about the urgency. It is their position that your project is not really a rush project and as a result, they actually resent you making them do what they think is needless extra work, to get the project completed on time. Of course if you are willing to pay more for it, then it must be a real rush project and they will find a way to fit it in. I think this is a poor way of conducting business. If you need it in a hurry and I can do it in a hurry, then let’s do it and make everyone successful. There’s no need to charge you more for this level of service.
Second, extortion: just because you need something in a hurry doesn’t mean it’s okay to charge you more for the exact same service they would have provided had you not mentioned it was critical to your success. This is a common practice with printed deliverables. Some companies are charging you more because you have more riding on the outcome.
I’ve been providing marketing services for two decades and I can tell you it takes little effort to move projects around, and most of the time, there is a project that can easily slide to tomorrow without anyone getting bent out of shape. If I can’t do it, charging you more is not going to change that. If something is critical to your success, then it’s critical to my success.
Moral of the story: most of the time, rush fees are arbitrary. Ask to have the fee waived, and if the vendor says that can’t happen, perhaps selecting a different vendor next time should be considered.