In Fred Reichheld’s groundbreaking book The Ultimate Question he talks about good profits and bad profits.

Good profits come from fees customers will gladly pay because they see value in the transaction. A great example is the annual COSTCO membership. I happily pay a $50.00 a year for the privilege of shopping there.

Bad profits are those that are collected at the expense of a customer relationship. They not only turn off customers, they erode employee morale.

I flew from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to Orlando, Florida today. Here are the bad profits that hit my radar……..just to mention a few.

$15.00 to check a bag.
$6.00 for a glass of wine on the plane.
$3.00 for a bag of pretzels on the plane.
$5.00 to rent a headset to watch the movie on the plane.
$15.00 to SELF park my car at the JW Marriott.
$4.50 for a bottle of water in my room
$15.95 per day for wireless internet, in my room.

But the winner of the bad-profit-fee-of-the-week comes from Wachovia (yes, the failed bank that is now owned by Wells Fargo) who has begun charging a $20.00 employee reference fee!!!