It's getting more expensive to be a vanity-plate consumer in Texas.
Myplates.com, which has the state contract to sell the most popular vanity designs, has been raising prices much to the dismay of customers who say the company has pretty much a monopoly on the service.
Josh Kryzak, who tells Hiar Balls MyPlates "is essentially a state-sponsored monopoly," says he's seen prices jump from $40 a year when the state sold the plates to $95 a year when MyPlates first took over the service to a new price hike to $155 a year.
Other specialty plates will jump from $85 annually to $195 annually, according to a letter from MyPlates on the new pricing.
Almost $200 a year: That's some serious vanity platin' going on there.
Customers have been voicing their complaints on the company's Facebook page.
Says Nathan Miller:
My Plates deletes bad publicity from their wall so you can be just as surprised as their other customers when they raise the price 200-300% in a year. If the facts are painful then treat your customers more fairly! Let them know you are going to raise prices. Don't just say it was an introductory price when they get thw next bill.
(Update: Miller later added a message: "Some weren't showing up earlier, it must have been a glitch on either Facbook's end or my internet connection. My apologies.")
MyPlate's Kim Niller Drummond tells Hair Balls the lower prices were introductory low-price offers.
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"You see the facebook posts of a few customers who disagree with that increase and have indicated they do not want to renew," she says. "To give you some context, 2441 bought the one-year luxury white plate at the custom category price. Roughly five to six people have expressed their disappointment about the white plate pricing on our facebook page."
She says the texas DMV still offers 100 vanity choices, and says her company tries to provide a range of pricing options.
"We are always sorry to disappoint or even lose a customer, and, when it's a discretionary budget issue, we try to explain lower-cost options," she says.
Of course, you can always just drive your car with a regular old license plate on it. It is possible to do that and still somehow survive, you know.