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Shoppers Are Still Facing Card Surcharges

March 2, 2018, 8:00 AM
  • Shops are no longer allowed to charge you extra for paying on card instead of cash
  • 14% are still facing automatic card charges
  • Companies charging for using cards includes Just Eat
  • What can you do if you’re being charged?
Companies are not allowed to charge you a fee for card payments, but many still are. Image: Getty

Shoppers are still being charged an extra fee for paying via debit or credit cards, despite this being banned over a month ago.

Companies used to be able to charge up to 20% extra for purchases made on a card to cover the cost to them by this, but this was changed under new rules that came into effect on 13th January this year.

But research consultancy Consumer Intelligence, found that 14% of shoppers have been charged an additional fee to pay with a credit or debit card online or in stores since then.

As well as this, shoppers are being chargeed a range of fees under different names, such as “booking fees”, “transaction fees”, and “administration charges”.

21% of shoppers said that they had been charged a “booking fee” when paying by card, 13% have had to pay a “transaction fee”, and 13% have been asked to pay an “administration charge”.

One company caught out charging extra is Just Eat.

A Reddit user spotted Just Eat had replaced its’ Card Fee with a Service Charge, that is applicable even when paying by cash.

When questioned about this on Twitter, Just Eat responded by saying, “From January 8th, a 50p service charge has been implemented, whether payment is made by cash or card.

“This means that, along with our restaurant partners, we can continue to deliver the best possible takeaway experience, and applying the charge equally across the customer base ensures fairness for all.”

The 50p charge is the same amount that it used to charge for card payments, so it is just this charge under a different name.

Consumer group Which? also said it was hearing stories of people still paying fees, facing minimum spend limits, or being refused the option of using their card altogether.

The ban took effect amid concerns that consumers could see the cost of goods and services creep up, or additional fees added by retailers, as a result of the changes.

At the time, Stephen Barclay, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said, “Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain, and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end.

“This is about fairness and transparency, so there will be no nasty surprises for people at the check-out for just using a card.

“These small charges can really add up, and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.”

The government is hoping that this will encourage spending, after shops suffered from poor sales over Christmas.

What can you do if you’re still being charged?

If you are still facing a surcharge that is explicitly for paying with a card, you do not have to pay this.

However, it is expected that some companies will disguise the current surcharge by raising prices slightly, or by calling it a different name, like Just Eat has done, and you’ll have to pay these.

However, you can avoid the charge from Just Eat by calling the restaurant directly to order, instead of using the website.

Have you noticed extra charges for paying by card? Let us know in the comments!

martinrosenover a year ago

A local theatre group charged me 50p for paying by card. I queried this with them, and was told it was an 'admin charge'. I should have asked (but didn't think of it at the time), would I still pay it if I came in and paid cash?

tinybabybambyover a year ago

I believe that majority of companies are using the admin charge as a get out of clause & are also charging cash payers to make it equal rights rubbish.

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