As someone who spent her formative childhood years growing up in Orlando in Mickey Mouse’s shadow, I simply ADORE Disney World. I love every cheesy, magical and aggravating thing about the place and try to visit at least once a year. My parents and I just went with our 3-year-old daughter, Katherine.

When we checked into our offsite resort, the front-desk receptionist notified us that the complex now levies a $10-per-day fee for “resort amenities.”  Mom – who doesn’t like surprises, especially about money – demanded a full accounting of said amenities. The receptionist obviously heard the request before because she promptly whipped out a card listing details.

At the top of the list was “complimentary self-parking.”

That’s right – we were paying to park our car for free.

The list went downhill from there – maid service, cable TV, clean towels, free local phone calls. The same amenities any self-respecting Hampton Inn in the United States provides gratis.

My mom grumbled about the $10 daily amenities fee for the rest of the trip. Now, had the resort just charged $10 more per night without labeling it an “amenities fee” and boasting about free parking and clean towels, she wouldn’t have cared one whit. But because the resort positioned the fee as buying us something special – that really wasn’t special – she felt ripped off.

Companies, give your customers credit for being intelligent and discerning beings who are capable of knowing that paying to park one’s car for free isn’t an amenity.