First it was the accounting firms. Now it is companies providing meeting minute services. Both seek to justify fee increases by implementing a travel fee that is distasteful and unwarranted.
Accounting and meeting minute companies, and their employees, became accustomed to hybrid meetings where they don’t appear at a condo building in person during the pandemic. They could have reduced their service fees to reflect their savings in time and money but chose note to do so.
They now seek to make this “pandemic benefit” permanent by imposing a travel fee when appearing at a meeting. Should this be acceptable to condo boards, it is an agreement to pay more or accept less.
The “travel fee” is a cash grab or unjustified fee increase that these vendors feel condo boards are unlikely to oppose. Notice of this fee is likely presented to the board in writing via a condominium manager recommending that the board pay the fee or invest in technology allowing for hybrid meetings.
Condominium corporations should oppose what is nothing more than a way to increase vendor profit margins. They can inform the vendor they find this fee unreasonable and present another option. Demand the fee be eliminated or the corporation will seek an alternate service. Even if a new provider imposes a similar fee, your current vendor will have lost a good client. For meeting minutes, condo boards can choose to eliminate use of an external service.
Service providers will be more aware of the importance of their physical presence at meetings. Those unprepared to be physically present will maintain the fee and lose those clients who deem a physical presence important. Service providers that want your business will eliminate the fee and be more careful about implementing such fees in the future.
This is how a market economy works.