A couple of years past, can't remember exact year, I purchased a Festival Passport at the ticket booth at the Festival of the Arts and they charged me an extra $3.50 and called it a service charge. I almost declined but went and bought the passport anyway. And I stopped buying the passport since then. Until this year.
On the web I found the site for the Festival Passports, http://lagunabeachpassport.com/, and on that site it states that if you purchase a passport from the visitor center you need to pay in cash or check. Good no service charge listed. So I go there to purchase the passport and the first thing I'm told is credit cards only, no cash. I ask if there is a service charge? No. I bought one passport.
Also no receipt. Their printer put out many pages but none of them was a receipt. I found out why when I got home.
Only when I got back to the house and got online did I find an email message from from PayPal and it shows that I was charged $26.49 not $22.99. There it was again an extra charge for 'Shipping and Handling.'
There was no shipping and the only handling was when the young woman at the visitor center handed me the passport.
This extra charge is an importer payment. I would be like going to a Target store and you're charged an extra $3.50 for shipping and handling. Stupid right?
It has to stop.
Update: Visited city hall and got the big brush off. I then went over to the Visitor's Center. Turns out the $3.50 is being applied by PayPal.
Also the Visitor's Center does not accept cash but their web site claims otherwise. I suggest you go to one of the sites listed on the Laguna Passport web site and try to pay cash there. Though it wouldn't surprise me if they tell you they accept only credit cards for this transaction.
Will I buy another Festival Passport? Not in my lifetime.
Consider this: A $3.50 surcharge by PayPal on a $23 purchase is 15%.