Attorney General Bonta to Consumers: This Summer, Enjoy California — Without the Hidden Fees

Monday, July 1, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Good for consumers, honest businesses, and the marketplace as a whole  

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement and information for consumers following Senate Bill 478 (SB 478) going into effect on July 1, 2024. SB 478 makes it illegal for businesses to advertise or list a price for a good or service that does not include all required fees or charges other than certain government taxes and shipping costs. Also known as the “Honest Pricing Law” or “Hidden Fees Statute,” SB 478 does not change what price a business can charge or what may be included in that cost, it simply requires that the price listed include all mandatory charges consumers will pay. 

Mandatory fees charged by restaurants, bars, and other select food vendors are exempted from SB 478’s requirements so long as the fee is clearly and conspicuously displayed on the menu (see SB 1524, effective June 29, 2024).

“From the beautiful cliffs and seaside towns of Mendocino, to the bustling beaches of San Diego, I, like many Californians, will explore and enjoy all our great state has to offer this summer. Only this year, Californians won't have to worry about hidden fees at check out," said Attorney General Bonta. “SB 478 ensures clear and honest communication with consumers, so we can make the financial choices that are best for us and our families. As the hidden fee law goes into effect, I want consumers to be aware of their rights and feel confident to advocate for the transparency SB 478 provides. We all win when laws are followed. This summer, enjoy California — without the hidden fees.”

Why Hidden Fees Are a Problem

According to 2018 data from Consumer Reports, at least 85% of Americans have experienced a hidden or unexpected fee for a service, and more than two-thirds of those surveyed in 2023 said they were paying more now in surprise charges than they did five years earlier. Consumer Reports noted that hidden fees can increase the price of live event tickets by as much as 30% to 40%. SB 478 has no effect on prices; the law does not ask businesses to charge less, the law does not require businesses to charge more. The Honest Pricing Law works to empower consumers by arming them with accurate information upfront, so that they can compare prices between merchants, and creates an equitable marketplace for businesses to compete. 

Enforcement of SB 478

The requirements of SB 478 can be enforced by our office, District Attorneys, certain City Attorneys, certain County Counsels, and, subject to the Consumer Legal Remedies Act’s existing notice process, through private litigation. Our office and our local counterparts exercise discretion when considering whether to pursue an investigation or enforcement action. This includes scenarios where a business has acted in good faith and made its best efforts to comply with the law, or has taken responsibility and provided restitution to any consumers who may have been harmed by an unintentional violation of the law.

What to Do if You Notice Hidden Fees

First and foremost, we encourage consumers who observe apparent violations to have a conversation with the business and encourage them to come into compliance. We expect most businesses to act in good faith and make their best efforts to comply with the law. Consumers, employees, and competitor businesses who observe apparent violations can bring potential violations to our attention by visiting

To learn more about SB 478, please visit our web page.  


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