Meet Nickel and Demon, the Small Business Monster that Really Adds Up

No items found.

And How to Spot Hidden Fees

Nickel & Demon is the oldest of all the small business monsters, rising up when the first shopkeepers tacked on extra fees to sell their wares. Today, this ghoul seems to pop up everywhere. 

Nickel & Demon shows himself in a variety of ways. Some of the most common:

  • The unfair fee buried in the expected fee. This one is typically found in long-winded contracts and invoices so dull you were lulled to sleep before realizing it was there.
  • The fine print fee. Forget your magnifying glass?  This fee is what results when Bigfoot*Note and Nickel & Demon team up.

  • The rules-have-changed fee. After the most recent invoice, do you feel like Charlie when Lucy says to kick the football? That’s Nickel & Demon.

  • The baffling fee. These appear when Nickel & Demon is feeling particularly devilish and confident. One of his favorites: applying inconvenience and convenience the same invoice.

Nickel & Demon thrives in the hazy area between when a price has been shared and what winds up actually being charged to small business owners. When an entire industry’s compensation model (traditional health insurance) is based on codes entered by providers and payers, well, you can bet there is some hidden Nickel & Demon work there. Traditional HR and benefits companies have this monster on speed dial. 

What can small business owners do?

How to Fend Off Nickel & Demon

To stop Nickel & Demon in its tracks, you must be vigilant with your invoices and contracts and not be afraid to ask questions. It could be a mistake (for which you’ll be due a refund) or it could be a new fee that will change your decision about continuing the service. Ignoring Nickel & Demon could cost you...a lot.

Ah, but staying on top of it can also cost you time. And small businesses don’t have much of it. 

Fending off Nickel & Demon and other Small Business Monsters is Decent’s specialty. We can recognize Nickel & Demon’s conniving ways to add on fees and more fees when it comes to payroll, health insurance, HR and more. There is another way. As a professional employer organization (PEO), Decent specializes in the back-office work that goes into running a business. And we’re very transparent about our prices. (Nickel & Demon hates simplicity and clarity!)

See how much you can save. Try our rapid quote or contact us at

Welcome to Decent: a new kind of health plan.

Join our monthly newsletter to stay in the know!