Dear Miss Snark,
How do you feel about an agent who doesn't charge a reading fee, but charges a "small consultation fee" of $65 if the writer would prefer a personal response to their query rather than a form letter?
About the same way I feel when someone says "Oh gee, I forgot my wallet" when the bill for dinner comes.
If you pay an agent it is a reading fee. Even if they only charge it to those people who pay it. Even if they call it something else.
It's the signal an agent will take advantage of people.
It's not someone I respect as a colleague.
Query letters are part of our job. Suck it up. If you don't like it, go work for Madame DeFarge's On Line Fortune Telling Services where they charge about the same rate for "non form letter" readings.