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A which?

super complaint 2011

rip-off card

SUrchargeS:
coNSUMerS SpeaK oUT

coNTeNTS
Well done Which? on tackling one of the dodgiest practices currently afflicting a growing number of British families and businesses. I felt hoodwinked and slightly cheated so will be reluctant to use the companies again. If Im asked to pay a charge for using my card I just dont buy!

hen we announced our intention to submit a supercomplaint to the Office of Fair Trading, we received over 1000 messages from Which? members and the public, voicing their support and to share their experiences of unfair surcharges. This dossier presents a selection of the many comments we received. Over a third of the people getting in touch with us referred to airlines in some way, some telling us the amount they have been charged per booking up to 33% of the ticket price in one instance! Many other examples were shared about holiday operators, buying tickets for the cinema, theatre, music and sports events and paying car tax. We were also told about charges cropping up in more unexpected places; such as the dentists, shops and even, from one respondent, burial services.

In much of the feedback, people understand that there is a genuine processing charge associated with using cards, particularly credit cards. However, people want the charges to be fair and proportionate to the cost incurred by the company, not hugely inflated as they so often are. Many people objected to charges being levied per ticket, and for travel tickets, per leg of the journey. Around one hundred people also told us that they objected to being told too late in the transaction about these charges. Perhaps most tellingly, consumers told us that they object to these charges so strongly that they have stopped using particular companies as a result. All the comments in this document have been reproduced verbatim.

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A which? super complaint 2011


RIP-OFF P

airLiNeS

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airLiNeS

I am a regular flier with Ryanair who charge 6 each way for using a credit card. This is a 12 charge for using your card once. This includes their own credit card.
John

as retailers claim that they are charged excessively: I often get quoted 4 or 5% to use that card.
alan

Booking Aer Arann flights from London to the Isle of Man, there is now a surcharge of 5 for debit cards. This has been introduced since the New Year.
Bernard

We use easyJet and weve come to accept the high charge for a credit card transaction comes with the reasonable flight cost. We use the credit card because of the insurance aspect and you could argue thats the premium to be paid - not that we appreciate that because there doesnt seem any justification for the percentage rate used. Im a regular flier with Virgin Atlantic. I also have a Virgin credit card issued through Amex. The irony is when I want to use my Virgin credit card to pay for my Virgin flight I have to pay a fee of around 13 as a service charge!! I find this absolutely ridiculous.
ChiCkoo

The credit card charge is an absolute rip-off. There is no justification for charging every traveller for every leg when only one transaction takes place. It is virtually impossible to avoid the charge. You need plastic to buy a ticket and they charge you for it. The fare should include the fee. I dont care if it raises the base fare. It would be a more honest, open and correct way to do business. I travel quite often for family reasons. In January, with Virgin Atlantic, one transaction fee for paying with a credit card was 17.60. This is exorbitant; although the cost is only made known at the end of the transaction the credit card payment is so convenient that one is forced into paying the amount - but with great grudge!
Bernard

I book most weeks with easyJet for business and the credit card charges are simply a means for them to take what appears to be a cheap fare and add to their profit. I wont fly with Ryanair for that reason. I am an American Express user and often have the card refused

We have just booked an easyJet flight to Paris costing just over 60 and they wanted to charge us over 10 for paying by Visa. This was a whopping 17% of the cost of the flight. We paid by debit card but that was still over 5, an extortionate cost considering that it costs them so little to process the payment. Especially as the only way to pay is by card.

I believe that credit card charges are an operational cost of doing business and should be absorbed by the provider. Such charging will become particularly anomalous in the future when there is no cheque payment option.
randolph

When I wanted to fly to Aberdeen the only airline offering the flight did not have the facility to pay by debit card and charged for the use of a credit card. I was furious!
MiChael

A number of airlines can only be accessed online therefore you are obliged to pay by credit

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airLiNeS
or debit card. There was a get out clause in that if you paid by debit card or Electron card there is no fee. However most banks have now deleted the Electron cards and the airlines are no longer having a no fee option. Even if you pay by debit cards (i.e. guaranteed payment within 24 hours), you are still being charged an exorbitant fee. You can not get around it if you want to carry on business with the cheaper airlines.

there is the possibility that the credit card company will provide reimbursement. Using a debit card provides no such protection.

I recently bought two separate tickets with Ryanair, each charged at 10 per transaction, working out at 13.5% and 15.6% of the fares price.
Salvatore

Just a general comment with regard charges. I believe companies like easyJet and Ryanair take the biscuit with the price they charge which is far more than it costs them. If supermarkets can take any cards and not charge anything then it shows you the price is too high particularly as the net margins of the supermarkets are quite low. Another issue with credit cards is the charges Amex make which puts a lot of retailers off of accepting them at all.
alan

Recently flew to India with BA. I tried to book the tickets with them & when I realised that they wanted extra payments for the use of credit card I tried other providers & found that I could book BA flights with Expedia without paying the surcharge. BA lost out as they must have paid commission to Expedia.
SureSh

Yesterday I booked 2 flights to London with easyJet. When paying with my credit card I was charged 10. If I had paid by my Visa debit card I would have also been charged 10. I use my credit card when booking flights, hotels etc in case anything goes wrong and I have the extra cover.
liSa

Have had extra charge for payment by credit card from easyJet, Thompson and Monarch in the last 6 months. I now refuse to fly Ryanair unless absolutely forced to because of their lack of transparency over extra charges (despite what they say). But they are all as bad as each other.
rod

transaction. If you buy online, how else can you pay except by debit or credit card? Is there any other way?
roSie

Booking flights online almost always results in a surcharge when paying by credit card, far in excess of the cost to the airline. This is a way of making their flights seem cheap but not offering any option of avoiding this charge because you cant avoid using it.
John

I am always confronted with a surcharge for using a credit card when I book a flight on an aircraft. This is not reasonable as using a credit card gives the added protection that in the event of some sort of failure as happens occasionally,

My concern is that BMI then cancelled my flight and so I got nothing for the credit card charge I had paid. Assuming they paid the credit card company a 2% fee, this still left them with around 2.78 for providing me with nothing. The amount is small but is better off in my pocket than theirs, particularly since they provided no service. If it is right, then it leaves consumers very vulnerable. These charges should be shown next to the product/service cost at the beginning of the

Just booked a flight with Monarch from Manchester to Mahon. Got charged a 19.60 booking fee after adding credit card details which suggests that this may be a synonym for credit card fee. Thought this was a bit rich; if they are going to charge a booking fee should be included in the quote up front.
anita

easyJet charged me 5.50 for using a Visa debit card for a 150 return ticket to Venice in August. Using a credit card would have incurred a charge of over 10. Given that the transaction charge for a debit card is 20p, and that for a credit card, the cost is 2% (in this case this would have worked out at 3), there is no excuse. And the
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airLiNeS
I paid a 4.50 surcharge when booking a flight with BMI. They then cancelled the flight and refunded the cost of the flight, but not the surcharge. My queries and challenges to BMI have met with no success. I am shocked that the surcharge is not refunded when they cancel the flight.
charges only appear at the final stage of the booking process. It should be outlawed and exposed as disreputable business practice.

transaction only. Therefore I do not understand why they are able to charge numerous times for what is effectively one transaction.

I booked flights with Ryanair for December past and I was charged 10 to pay with my visa debit card. Every card had the same charge which is ridiculous as a visa debit is like paying with cash.
Joe

I purchased 2 tickets on a British Airways flight and paid for them using a BA Amex card which credits me miles. However, paying by even this BA card cost me 9 just like any other card.
henry

Obviously, the airlines use these payments fees to produce profits. They tempt you in with low fares, and then hope that by the time you get to the pay now button you will just soldier on. The whole thing is just cynical. I think as a minimum as soon as you select a flight you should be alerted to the payment costs. I know, the airlines will say they cannot do this until you select a payment method, but they could certainly show the cheapest and dearest option. A single leg short flight on easyJet two days ago for 30 charged over 10 for using a credit card. That represents a 33% increase in the cost.
ChriS

I have just booked with Flybe for a flight from Newcastle to Gatwick. This not-so-cheap budget airline charged 301 for two return tickets. I booked online so had to pay with a card. They said the cost to use the card would be 2. I was therefore alarmed to see when the final figure appeared that they had charged 321. On checking this out, I found they had also charged a, 18 transaction fee. I have no idea what this is for, and have scoured their website to find out, but there is no explanation. A total 20 charge to use a credit card on tickets costing 300 looks like sheer profiteering.
euniCe

Ryanair keeps talking about avoidable fees. Paying by Visa Electron used to be without costs, but the fee free option has now moved to pre-paid MasterCard. Probably when too many customers start using that, it will become something else again. Note also easyJets explanation that profits were down, because not enough people were checking in luggage any more. When too many customers use the affordable option, the airlines will think of something else. We will for ever be in a game of hide-and-seek. My main complaints are about two airlines Ryanair and easyJet. The former has the biggest charges. Neither tells you before you start the purchase the cost of using a credit card. Ryanairs
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I think the point is with the likes of Ryanair they charge per person, per flight. As far as I am aware, any charge they may incur would be per

airLiNeS
charges well outweigh the typical 2% or 3% add-on that other companies charge for using a credit card. A lot of the travel I do is on business and we are encouraged to use the cheapest airline but I then book using the credit card and the company picks up the extra charges.
andrew Brown

surcharge, ahem, booking fee. I detest Ryanair, but sometimes dont have any choice but to use them. They charge 10 per leg which is quite outrageous, with no realistic non-chargeable option.
Caroline

cheap seats then hit you with so called admin fees on top.
roBert

I am delighted to hear that Which? is launching a super complaint into unfair charges. I was particularly concerned by Flybe who charged me 18 for booking a flight with their only charge-free option my Co-operative Visa Electron card. This was particularly irksome as I only have this card to avoid such charges.
adrian

I hate buying tickets for air travel from Ryanair or easyJet because of the disgraceful debit card charges. You only find out at the last moment and on the journeys we want to make they are the only local carriers. I would not object to paying the cost to them of a card transaction but they charge what amounts to theft. I am originally from Ireland and since moving to the UK last year I have spent 100s on excess credit and debit card charges when using airlines to travel home. Ryanair particularly charge me over 10 each return trip more if there is more than one passenger. They provide a cheap service but it would make me much happier if the advertised prices were slightly higher and our credit card charges reasonable.
Julie

If a customer cannot avoid the charge, it should be included in the headline rate for the goods or services.
aliSon

There is no doubt that flying is cheap particularly if booking ahead. But it seems strange that one has to pay 5 credit card fee each way unless paying with a Visa electron card.
BoB

Its not so much the fees charged as the underhand method of applying them. All costs should be stated BEFORE even considering making a booking. After all if you are buying, say, a sofa, you want to know what will be the total cost before deciding to buy it. I have just booked a flight with Flybe from Aberdeen to Birmingham for April who tells you that you have saved 12 by booking on line. And then they rip you of for 4.50 each way for using your debit card.
harry

Clearly the extra charges for using a card credit or debit - is actually part of the total air fare. Just wish it was all added in at the outset.
tony

I fairly regularly buy flights to Ireland. I have the choice (sometimes depending on flight times) of using Ryanair or Aer Lingus. I dont think either of them tells you until the point of payment about the

Flying with Ryanair I used to use credit card then changed to Halifax Electron card to avoid admin charges. Then with minimal warning they dropped this card and had to use my credit card to cover a flight Perugia last year, this incurred admin charge of 20 for two us. It appears to me that Ryanair encourages the use of one form of payment and then changes the conditions to suit themselves and to extract additional cash from its customers/mugs. Given that have to book online and cannot pay by cash or cheque, I think its sharp practice to offer

Being told to pay not only a Credit Card Surcharge but also a Debit Card Surcharge with no real alternative, made me walk away from a booking with Ryanair. Their petty penny-pinching lost them my business. I accept that there ought to be an admin fee to cover their costs of processing a card payment but not at the usury rates they impose. Hiding behind a front-loaded in-house card for free is a disgrace. There is a card fee for that card and by front-loading it you are also out of pocket sooner.
roger

Once at Luton Airport, I was offered an easyJet credit card, which I understood would enable me to purchase easyJet tickets without extra charges.
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airLiNeS
However, that did not turn out to be the case and I was charged the same as for other cards.
neil

The worst culprit has to be Ryanair. First, we acquired a Solo card to avoid the charges, then Ryanair changed the only surcharge free card to a prepaid MasterCard, so we acquired one of those anything but let them win! They only do it so that they dont have to include the charge in the advertised fare. If they dont accept the major cards without surcharge, they should be forced to include the charge in the advertised price.
paul

bmibaby & Flybe both charge extra for using credit cards and debit cards, but offer no free alternative, so it must be a built part of the cost. Both also refuse to accept my Amex card. I have looked for alternative flights, but on the routes I use Ive had no alternative. Im not sure how much the fees were, but I think it was 5 per flight.
Craig

I booked flights for four of us to Prague and back with BMI Baby. I used a debit card as the charge for this was going to be 3.00, what I would consider to be the normal rip-off level. The charge turned out to be 24 as it was 3 per leg per person. As this was a single transaction to purchase four tickets, I felt this was a Super rip-off.
igor

Booking two return flights with BMI incurred a debit card (not credit card) surcharge of 20 per flight each way. A total of 80. The charge only became apparent on finalising the on-line booking. There is no alternative service provider on this route. There is no alternative to booking on-line. The only way to avoid the surcharge payment is if the purchaser is able to use a Visa Electron card.
John

I recently bought 2 return air tickets from Heathrow to Belfast City in the BMI sale. The total cost of the tickets was 150. There was an indication that there would be a charge for use of credit card, but not the amount of the charge. This charge turned out to be 9 6% of the full price. As the cost was over 100 I did not want to use my debit card.
Sue

My family have just booked peak time flights from Heathrow to Barcelona with Iberia airlines, and were delighted not to be charged a fee on the checkout page for using our Amex card. We were begrudgingly prepared to pay a surcharge so we had additional cover provided by payment through a credit card and will now look to fly with this carrier again. Its all about competition, so if everyone votes with feet, airlines will ultimately have to become more honest and open.
SiMon

The headline prices offered bear no relationship at all to the true costs of the flight ticket. We are all familiar with the ploy of advertising a flight at XX which you that have to add on the taxes etc. To then add insult to the process there is the little bit of wording that says By the way, if you wish to purchase the ticket online then there is another surcharge. Given that there is no other way of paying for tickets on line other than using a credit card or debit card then if this surcharge is legitimate it should have already been included in the headline price.
david
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A which? super complaint 2011


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hoLidaYS

A holiday home company I use charges 2.5% on top of the amount Im paying which has been a charge of 37.50.
kay

Ive experienced a more unusual difficulty with Saga cards because Saga Holidays give a reduced fee if you pay by Saga card. BUT Ive found Saga cards give too low a credit limit to allow payment by a Saga card!
Brett

Two UK holidays: from Farm & Cottage Holidays in 2010 (charge for card = 8.46) and Welcome Cottages in 2011 (charge = 4.20). No mention of charge for credit card (or obligatory booking fee and insurance) despite this being normal method of payment. Felt hood-winked and slightly cheated so will be reluctant to use the companies again. However, they all seem to be at it to some degree.
BruCe

Recently booked a holiday with Voyages of Discovery and found that credit card use is 3%. As a single traveller the cost of a cruise is quite expensive and 3% seems an excessive amount on my holiday cost of 2,700 plus excursion fees. I am left with a choice of using a debit card thus forfeiting credit card rights.
Mary

hassle of starting all over again. Charge for using the card for a holiday costing approx 5,500 was in the region of 80.00.
Steve

Paying for a holiday at a branch of Co op Travel we were only told at the end of the transaction that a penalty would apply if I used my Amex (which would have given me some rewards). We paid by Debit card, then rushed home to transfer the funds to our current a/c (thank goodness for telephone banking). They were looking for 2% on a Holiday at 2,000).
david

I paid with my credit card last year to Richardson holidays and it was only when I queried my credit card statement I found out that they had charged extra for using it. Debit cards are free.
Margaret

The main culprits, as you are probably aware, are holiday companies. Not only the international ones, like Thomson, but companies which operate holidays in Britain. I recently booked a holiday cottage in the Lake District through an agent (part of Hoseasons) and had to pay a surcharge. The same applies when booking caravan holidays on sites such as Parkdean. They also impose a credit card surcharge which can add considerably for a family booking a holiday caravan during the summer school holidays.
Stuart

Booked holiday through First Choice online. Prior to booking I had tried to compare prices for the same holiday with different providers. First Choice did not appear to be making any charge for using a credit card. It was only when I had nearly completed the booking procedure that this became obvious and by then I could not put up with the

Booked two holidays with the same company Sunrise Holidays had to pay each holiday separate and each time incurred a charge. Does not seem fair or right.
Sandra

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hoLidaYS

I recently bought a villa holiday with Thomas Cook. If I paid by credit card there would be a 2.5% charge, so I used a debit card instead. It is wrong to be deterred from gaining the benefits of paying by credit card by the surcharge demanded. This appears to be a way of exploiting consumers.
ronald

When I pay the balance I will once again be charged a premium for using my credit card. The travel companies make a sufficient margin to absorb any small costs of card usage.
John

We cruise once or twice a year and for a long time both the cruise lines or the travel companies which sell the cruises impose extra charges of final payments (not usually the deposit). We found with Celebrity that debit cards too attracted an extra charge; this is usually 2%. But if Amex, it may go up to 33%. As we are paying thousands of pounds for these holidays it amounts to a sizeable amount so we pay by cheque, thereby reducing the length of time we have to save up. Some ordinary holiday companies such as Saga impose these charges too but at a reduced rate if paying with a Saga card. For long haul flights we book with Trailfinders who do not charge for credit cards, even Amex.
Margaret

In 2009 I booked a cruise with Thomas Cook and wanted to pay by credit card to get maximum protection. The agent told me if I used my own credit card Thomas Cook would charge me an extra 2.5%, which I think added up to about an extra 50, which I thought was extortionate. However, they said if I took out their own Thomas Cook credit card I wouldnt have to pay the percentage fee. They also said that I would earn travel pounds not only on the holiday but also on any currency I bought with the credit card. So I was particularly annoyed to find when I bought the currency a couple of weeks later that the travel pounds offer had expired. I really felt conned over it and I had a lot of trouble getting any sort of refund for my missing travel pounds.
liz

I paid 5,363 for flights, hotel and transfers to lowcostholidays by telephone. When the time came to pay they said there was a 24 charge for using my Visa debit card. I have never paid a charge for using my debit card before. I wanted to scrap the deal and go else where but it was for our grandchildren and they were with us so against my better judgement I booked it and paid the charge.
edward

I booked my summer holiday with Thomson Travel for my wife and myself and had a significant charge added to the cost of the deposit, for using my MasterCard. I complained to the travel agent but told that if I wished to use a credit card to pay, I would have to accept the charge. If I paid by cheque I would forfeit the protection offered by the credit card company.

All Travelodges now make a charge when using a credit card. It is difficult to make a booking any other way. Booked accommodation with Premier Inn in Birmingham and was charged 2 to use credit card. Could not book any other way as cheques not accepted. Booking Travelodge rooms on line now has a 2 charge for credit card payments. Yes, I have been put off making a purchase. Club Med is charging 5% of any amount paid by credit card this is obscene. They make no charge for

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hoLidaYS
BACS payments or payment with debit cards. I recently part-purchased a holiday at Thomas Cook by credit card. They charged a 2.5% fee. Subsequently they cancelled the holiday due to insufficient numbers and refunded all but the credit card fee, which they absolutely refused to do; they suggested I recover it from the card company. I spoke to the card company who said as the refund was made to the card the fee would have been refunded to Thomas Cook and they should have, in turn, refunded it to me. Ive complained to Thomas Cook HQ (no response) and Trading Standards We have saved for a holiday in Florida and wanted to pay by credit card to ensure protection of our purchase in case there was any last minute disruption we were charged 8% by Virgin Atlantic holidays this equated to over 100 just for the privilege of paying the bill.
SaMantha

was wrong. The assistant said that I should take into account the amount I has saved as that should more than compensate for the charge. I think this is wrong: the assistant was made fully aware of my budget prior to looking for me
viCki

Only today I booked a flight with lastminute.com. The airfare was 808 and the credit card charge was 15 which is almost 2% of the cost. This charge was not mentioned until the final page after I had put in my credit card details. I cannot believe the card costs the company anything like 15. This is the highest credit card charge I have ever paid.
John

If I pay for a SAGA holiday with my SAGA credit card, they will charge me 1% of the cost, which for the full amount will amount to approx 23.00. If I did not have a SAGA cc then the charge would be 2.5% or, if I paid by cheque, there would be a 3.00 administration charge.
peter

Went to Thomas Cook to book a holiday. Told the assistant that I had a 2,000 budget. After in-depth searching found a holiday for 2,175.00 which was 175.00 over my budge but with careful juggling decided that I could manage this. I paid 1,000.00 cash and handed the assistant my credit card. It was at this stage that I was told that I would be charged 29.00 cost for using my card to pay the balance. I asked if I could be the difference by cheque but was told no as I had purchased a holiday on a special deal which was due to expire at 4pm that day. Basically if I wanted the holiday I had no choice but to pay the charge. I told the assistant and manager that I felt that I had been hood winked into paying this charge and that it

We have just booked our family holiday to Turkey and decided better to pay by debit card as they usually sting you for credit card surcharges. I was shocked that lowcostholidays still charged us 10.15 when paying the initial deposit and a further 32 when paying the balance. Thats over 42 in surcharges! However on my invoice it states Credit card charge. I am disgusted and have never been charged a fee for using my debit card before. A big rip off! I am being charged 2.95% in fees by On The beach to pay for my holiday with my Visa debit card. I am very angry about this but it seems there is nothing I can do but pay it. I have used this firm many times before and this has not happened before.
ChriStine

Almost all holiday companies charge when using a credit card - I have yet to find one who does not. The average charge is 2% although some have charged more and this can add on quite a lot to what is already an expensive holiday. Also, Jet2 puts on a surcharge per person when using a credit card even if they are all part of the same booking. I am not sure how much as I have stopped using them because of their ridiculous charges. I recently booked a holiday for 6 people with Co-op Travel. I expected to pay a few hundred pounds deposit which I would have done using a cheque or debit card. However as it was a tailor-made trip I was required to pay for flights up front so the deposit was 3,649 which was more than I had in my current account. I paid by credit card to give me time to transfer money from various savings accounts. I was informed and agreed to the credit card surcharge, I think that the amount of 3% far exceeds the administrative costs.
geoffrey
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hoLidaYS
I booked a holiday in Florida for three people. The cost was in excess of 3,000. Thompson travel agents accepted the 10% deposit by credit card with no surcharge but when I went to pay the final payment I was told there would be a 2% or 3% charge for paying by credit card. I refused to pay the surcharge and instead drew out the money from my bank and paid in cash.
deniS

In two cases when buying package holidays I was permitted to use my credit card without surcharge for the deposit, but would have been charged 3.5% for the final settlement of the bill. In each case I paid the major part with a debit cad to avoid this excessive charge.
Joan

The travel company Real Africa demands a 4% surcharge for using a credit card to purchase a travel holiday. We are buying a holiday from them but will have to use an internet transfer as they even demand a 2% surcharge for a debit card. They claim that the credit card companies demand an additional insurance fee from them because of the high number of fraudulent holiday purchases.
CharleS

Saga holidays impose a significant additional charge when paying by credit card. For example on a recent booking for an Italian holiday, after we had paid the 240 deposit by debit card without surcharge, the balance due was 1,5700 for payment by debit card, whereas by credit card the cost was 1609.25,a surcharge of 2.5%. Needless to say we paid by debit card. Thomson holidays wanted to impose a charge for using my credit card to pay my holiday balance. This charge would have been 2.5% of the balance outstanding. I therefore paid by debit card at no additional cost to myself. With Thomsons huge volume of high value transactions I doubt whether they are charged more than 1%.
John

We had booked a holiday to Australia. Having completed the booking and paid by credit card for the said amount, we were then told by the travel agent that we had to pay over 70 for the pleasure of using our card. The travel agents did not tell us before we booked but insisted that we paid nearly the full amount for our holiday, which meant that the only way we could pay was by credit card.

I recently booked a cruise through Thomas Cook. At the point of payment it became clear that the charge for using a credit card would be 50. I paid by debit card without the protection offered by using a credit card. I was buying a holiday from Virgin Holidays and I was going to pay with my Virgin credit card until I was told at the point of sale that I would be charged an extra charge for paying with a credit card. I found this particularly galling as it was their own credit card. The credit card charges were high so I thought that I would pay with my debit card which you are not usually charged for doing and I was told that there was a charge for using this card - albeit less. I regard it as sharp practice as I had no other way of paying since this was all being done on the phone and by choosing another form of payment I was also forfeiting my protection using a credit card. I will avoid anywhere that charges me what I regard as a superfluous fee on top. It is the cost of a business doing business and should be absorbed into the overall price structure. By charging an extra fee at the end of a transaction it makes it hard to compare prices for value for money.
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hoLidaYS
I regularly book holidays with Noble Caledonia. They charge for payments made by credit card, 1% or 2% of cost of the holiday. So to keep this charge to a minimum, while retaining the benefits of paying by credit card, I pay the deposit with my card and the balance by cheque. Irritating and unnecessary I feel as the holidays are quite expensive enough. Annually we have a cruise holiday which we generally purchase from Thomsons. As we pay by credit card we have to pay a surcharge. On the final bill we end up paying the maximum charge: last time it was 65. The only good thing is it does give you some insurance in case you holiday company fails but that is really not going to happen with P&O Cruises. It is a little off putting but as we want the holiday we reluctantly pay it.
harry

credit card, but at a cost of 44.90, which equates to 2.5%. Paying by debit card would cost nothing. In order to give me extra protection, I have paid a low cost deposit of 150.00, but with a charge of 3.75, on my credit card, but will pay the balance when due on a debit card.
grahaM

I have just booked a holiday with First Choice on the internet, total cost 1795.95, for a half board hotel in Corfu in June, for 2 people. I was offered the privilege of paying the whole amount on my

I pay for my annual holidays at Thomas Cook travel agents by credit card and get charged a fee of 2% on top of the cost of my holiday. I use my credit card so that I m also covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If I had paid by cheque or cash I would not have paid a fee at all. As the firm would get charged by its bank for paying in either cash or cheques I feel that the travel agents should either not charge or charge the difference between paying by cash/cheques and paying by credit card.
John

We have travelled with the same travel operator since 2004 (Carrier). Last year they introduced a 2 per cent credit card surcharge. I wasnt happy as I had booked prioe to the introduction of the fee received a reduction in the holiday price to compensate. However, this year we will have to pay it. I know that I could save the 2% by paying by debit card but I like the extra protection provided when paying by credit card. This year they will charge us about 200 for the privilege of paying by credit card. Booking with Travelodge it was not until the payment page that charges were made known. If I use debit card to avoid the charge theres then no protection from the card company. Premier Inn charged 2 for paying by credit card. Only told me when booking in. Whenever you book a holiday with travel agents they always charge a percentage when paying by credit card. Have just booked a holiday with Shearings and they charge 2 per person when paying deposit and will do same again when paying final bill.
hedley

Just booked a holiday with lowcostholidays at approx 1,000. I paid by debit card and was charged approx 15. Why am I charged a percentage of my spend when the company is charged a fixed fee per transaction by the bank?
gary

It has happened too many times for me to remember, but I will now make a record. Many holiday companies now charge on all cards unless paying by debit card. SAGA for example clearly state that for a cheque, debit card or Maestro there is no additional charge. For the SAGA credit card: due to charges imposed on us, we have to add a 1% transaction fee to the balance. For any other credit card: due to charges imposed on us, we have to add 2.5% transaction fee to the balance.
david

Holiday companies invariable charging for use of credit cards, which deters users from taking advantage of the protection offered by credit card sales.
Martin

It is holiday companies that are the main culprits here. Especially when booking holidays online or on the telephone as they charge an extra 2 to 3% for the privilege. I personally think I am owed hundreds of pounds for booking these
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hoLidaYS
holidays online or by phone over the years. Its another instance of being ripped of by companies that are not properly regulated for these abuses.
John

On our recent holiday with Kuoni, I paid the deposit by debit card and the balance by credit card and was charged the sum of 95 for the privilege. What a rip off. Unfair card surcharges are not just found with airlines. I was going to book a holiday with alpharooms and only at the end did they tell me theyd charge 33.16 for paying with a Mastercard and 21.79 for Visa - the sooner this is stopped the better.

I booked a holiday to Israel in April 2010 and paid a deposit of 250. This incurred a 7.50 (3%) charge for using a credit card. I wouldnt normally it was just convenient, as I booked it over the phone. I was supposed to pay the balance of about 4,000 on 15 August (even though the flight didnt leave until October). I phoned to find out who to make the cheque payable to and where to send it. They told me that it had been paid. In fact, they had taken the payment from my credit card (which Id used to pay the 250 deposit) and added a 3% charge for using the card (about 120). I sent them a cheque and asked them to refund the card charge (which they did). The booking form did say that the payment was due on 15 August and that there was 3% for using a credit card. It did not say that payment would be taken without asking. In December I purchased 500 worth of Euros from

my local branch of Thomsons, because they offered the best local rate of exchange at the time. I paid using a debit card, assuming that it was the equivalent of a cash transaction and that I would not be charged for using, for example, a credit card. When the bank statement came through the following month, I noticed an extra charge of 4.50 had been levied by the bank. When I queried this, RBS said that they always charged this if foreign currency was purchased from the Post Office, or from Thomsons. They said that I could have obtained the money charge free from themselves. When I pointed out that they were offering an inferior rate of exchange and that I felt that what they were doing was at least sharp practice and possibly illegal, in that they were being discriminatory in how I spent my money, they said that they had no plans to change their practices, despite some complaints which they had received.
riChard

Recently booked a 2011 holiday through Preferred Travel Services. They state on their booking form that they will add 8.00 per person for credit card payments. I query (a) the excessive charge of 8 and (b) why this is per person and not per booking.
frank

Really annoying when youve agreed a price and then they add a credit card surcharge. This applies to holiday companies as well as airlines. Highest charge was 11 per booking with Ryanair, as compared with 4.50 each transaction with Cantabria holidays. If you booked ski hire separate from main holiday, it was charged per transaction. Also really annoying to be charged by Flybe, EasyJet and Ryanair for using a debit card, quite unjustified.
CharleS

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Cinema tickets from Odeon. Charge only came up at the end. Thomas cook wanted a handling charge for booking with a Credit card (not debit), holiday was over 7,000 so the deposit was almost 800 - still wanted to charge 2%.
grahaM

Its mostly London theatre and Odeon cinema tickets which tend to charge a few pounds per booking. I buy very little on line but sometimes there is a charge for credit cards but not debit cards -this means you are not entitled to any protection if anything goes wrong-I lost 75 when a wedding present company went bust.
MauriCe

I bought tickets for the cinema online for a film at the odeon union st bristol. they cost 50.00 and I was asked to pay 4.50 handling charge. I thought that was an excessive markup
ann

Booking a cinema seat, a 70p convenience charge, parking a car in Westminster where telephone is only option, a 10-20p convenience, charge and Ryanair a 5 card fee for processing
laurie

We were about to purchase 2 tickets on line for the local independent Little Theatre Cinema in Bath and for 2 pensioners tickets @ 3.90 each total cost 11.80 a booking fee of 1.60 was added to the basic cost so we declined to proceed. This fee is over 13% and in our opinion unreasonable. This is excessive even allowing for the credit card company fees of 2% or so to commercial outlets. The fee is included at the point of sale but it would be possible to proceed and inadvertently pay it as there is no big flag saying there is a fee. So we think more could be done to highlight the payment, and better still to reduce it. When purchasing tickets online for the local Vue Cinema there is a 70p per ticket card handling fee. The surcharge is always 70p, no matter what type of ticket one buys. For a family of four ticket for regular seats (21.60) the fee is just under 3.25% of the ticket price but for a bean bag (5.40) the fee is just under 13% of the ticket price.
graeMe

Booking six tickets with Vue Cinema, Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Each ticket cost 5.50p when I saw that there was a card handling fee of 4.20p (70p per ticket) I terminated the transaction. In their favour what I believe are excessive and unfair charges were clearly stated prior to making the purchase.

Handling charge on cinema tickets from Vue and Odeon booked on-line, which add 1.50 to a pair of 7 tickets! Then on arriving at the cinema to find that the automatic ticket dispensing machine isnt working and having to queue anyway to collect tickets. Needless to say, no refund of the booking fee offered. I was also surcharged for paying utility bills and subscriptions in cash rather than by direct debit (EDF Energy and the CSMA)
roBert

I think its a racket, particularly when the charge is added per ticket in one credit card traansaction (cf Odeon cinama tickets) The amount of the charge should be shown clearly before you request tickets, otherwise you are are psychologically forced to complete the purchase (cf Odeon cinema) Free tickets, but a 1.40 CC charge for each

WHICH? RIP-OFF CARD SURCHARGES 17

eVeNTS
Odeon Cinemas impose a card fee of 2.25 per transaction to pick up cinema tickets ordered on line. As a percentage of the cost of even 2 tickets, this is extremely high.

My dentist charges 2.5% for credit cards, nothing for debit. The Grand Hotel Brighton 2.5% for credit cards NCP Car parks 2.5% for credit cards And as for Ryanair...
paul

Every time I book to see my football club play football (Queens Park Rangers) I am charged a booking fee of 3.50, This in spite of the fact that I pay 30 a year to be a club member to get a 2 discount for every match I see. On top of this I do not get issued with a ticket, my entrance is electronically made possible by using the membership card that I get with my membership pack (alternatively I could print off a ticket at my own expense if I do not want to use my membership card).
paul

Buying from the website Getmein - over 15 handling on a 89 ticket, Order Total, subtotal: 88.19, Processing fees (inc 20.0% Vat): 15.96
wendy

Cineworld charge 70p per person on any cinema booking made on line. It makes me cross every time I do it!! So do Eastbourne Theatres, in fact, I believe many of the Theatre booking lines do.
andrea

The Theater Royal Bath charges an extra 3 for booking seats by phone. We were told this after we had chosen our seats and were about to give card details. The worst offenders otherwise are travel agents who add a percentage which can amount to a substantial sum.
ian

Cineworld charges 70p per ticket [up to a maximum of 4.20 per transaction]. Why do they charge 70p for EACH ticket when there is only one transaction? Most recently at the Odean cinema I think they wanted 1.50 per ticket. We refused and bought them at the cinema that same evening instead.
freny

Why do you pay and additional charge of 1.50 per seat when booking a cinema ticket Ticket 8.50 cost using Debit card 10.00 each. Not a credit card just a Debit card so transaction is instant funds, booking assured and days before viewing.
JiM

I was interested in the Neil Diamond concerts at the O2. I found that the cost of tickets was quite high at 65 and 75. However this was shown in light writing. In bold the total cost was shown with 8.25 and 9.25 added as fees. However badly I wanted to go to the show I was not prepared to pay this unjustified premium. When buying tickets from Tottenham Hotspurs, I hold 5 season tickets, and therefore have all my details registered with the club, but when buying extra tickets for Cup Matches, I still have to pay a handling fee, and card charge for every ticket, even though they are all requested using one format/ action. Costs are normally 6.00 per ticket, or 30.00 in total. All for one transaction, that does not involve any human action. Its a disgrace.
John

Just today I was charged 3 for buying tickets online from Odean Cinemas. I have also been charged for the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.
ChriS

Buying cinema tickets from the Odeon online. They charge 75p for each ticket even though its only one CC transaction. Although they advise of the charge, its not at the start of the transaction, and there is no alternative cheaper way of paying.
Brian

My grievance is with theatre tickets when on top of a credit card charge, there is a booking fee, normally per ticket and then postage on top!!!

I recently bought tickets from the Leicester Square Theatre, and the booking fee for both credit and debit cards was 7.50 for 12 tickets - what a joke!
Miranda

WHICH? RIP-OFF CARD SURCHARGES 18

eVeNTS
Just bought a ticket to the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain for 10.90 with a debit card from their own website, only to find I paid an unexpected extra 1.50 transaction charge. Thats an extra 14%. Surely its cheaper for them if I buy online, saving their labour costs at the box office.
adrian

The worst fee I have seen is the 26 surcharge from UEFA for the Champions League final - its a joke! Buying tickets for gigs and for football matches both incur charges. For football matches at Southampton FC whether ordered on-line or over the phone the charge is 3, against a ticket of face value 20. There is a statement warning of this charge but it is rather cursory. As I have wanted to attend events it hasnt put me off but it is very irritating. I have contacted Southampton FC but have not had a satisfactory reply as to why the charge is being levied. The charge is against debit and credit cards although some organisations only charge against a credit card.
Mike

Every time you book tickets for theatres etc with websites such as Ticketweb, there is a hefty service charge well above face value - if you query this, you will be told that this is largely because of servicing the credit card payment.
Bernard

Using ents24.com I went on line to book ticket for Crosby and Nash at the Bridgewater Hall; the tickets were priced at 55 and on one of the early screens it said there would be a transaction fee of 2.75, which did not seem too bad, however when I had chosen the seats and got to the payment stage there was another booking fee of 6.60 per ticket!!
grahaM

If you try and book tickets for any event that is at the NEC or NIA + other venues, if you order on line there is a booking and transaction fee. You are informed of the fees at the time of commencing the booking process but not how much. It is only when you have placed the order for tickets at a specific price do you find out how much will be added to the total
derek

I was purchasing theatre tickets for the Kings Theatre in Glasgow. I tried to buy them by phone and online but was going to have to pay almost 10 extra to pay by card. I refused to do so, on principle, and had to travel into Glasgow to purchase the tickets at the theatre. When buying gig tickets for my daughter through ticket master we are always charged a fee on top of the ticket price. if we opt to pay for theatre, cinema or other events by credit as opposed to debit card, there is always an extra charge. paying for various services by credit card nearly always adds to the bill

The Palladium in London wanted to charge 6.00 per ticket admin charge when purchasing tickets for the Wizard of OZ. It was cheaper for me to take the train to London and buy the tickets directly saving myslef 30 on seven tickets.

WHICH? RIP-OFF CARD SURCHARGES 19

A which? super complaint 2011


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Buying rail travel tickets online. This is a new development as I seem to remember many inducements to go online. I now terminate the connection if a card charge appears & phone a travel agent & get ticket sent to my email address without extra charges.
paula

Rail tickets from TheTrainLine costing 42. I think the charge was 1.50 and I was not informed until right at the end. So had to go back to the beginning of paying by debit card. There was no warning at the beginning of paying for the fares.
kenneth

I often buy from KLM and Eurostar, and find it annoying to be charged for paying with a credit card. Of course, customers are given the choice of paying with a debit card and not be charged, but as a consumer I know I am better protected by my credit card in case something goes wrong, so there really is no choice, and Im afraid the company knows it.
gaBriela

a hefty fee (20-80), which must be way in excess of the cost to the operator. I refuse to pay credit card fees so I either use debit card or seek another company that does not charge a fee.
lyn

Great Rail Journeys charge an automatic 2% when you pay by credit card. This can add a large amount to the holiday cost. This now seems to be common practice among travel companies especially.
penny

The trainline want 3.50 for Mastercard usage on 8.80 of tickets.


gray

Purchase of two 1st class tickets. Total cost 269. Cost of using master card payment 3.50. No charge levied if debit card used.
JereMy

I was charged 190 by Great Rail Journeys for a 9.5k holiday (for four). That was 2% which might be normal but is substantial. Id paid 22 on the deposit but was shocked that there was going to be nearly another 170 charge when it came to paying the remainder.
trevor

On TheTrainLine you only find out about it very late in the process. Aware of it I use the operating companies, e.g. Arriva, Pennine. I can afford not to use the credit card so avoid them where possible if I am to be charged.
tiMothy

Trainline charges 3.50 for using a credit card. Virgin cruises were going to charge 2.5% for cc use.
Mike

I used to buy rail tickets via TheTrainLine website until they started charging for credit card transactions. None of the train operators charge so I use the East Coast website now. The Virgin website has lost my business for good. I no longer pay off holiday balances with credit card now as tour operators tend to charge 2%, which on a 1,000 - ,4000 payment is

I use TheTrainLine a lot and it can charge you 3.50 for using a card plus a booking fee. It does make you aware when you book BUT when you collect your tickets at the station and get a receipt it doesnt include the fee. Net result my expenses didnt include the fees for years. Until 2011 in fact. You book a ticket X weeks ago, you are not going to remember what its costs.
gary
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oTher TraNSporT

We cannot now travel without paying to pay. Legislation has ensured that travel costs now include all taxes; they should also include any payment transaction costs. As far as I am aware this only applies to the UK.
alBinSon

when booking on their web site. If travelling one-way this could be more than 7% of the fare. The web site clearly states the charge. Generally, if any company makes a charge for the use of a credit card I will use a debit card or cash.
anthony

This January I bought 7 multi-trip crossings from Norfolk Lines Ferries as I have done for the past three years. These bookings have to be purchased over the phone. This last purchase there was an extra charge of 1 for using my debit card. Is there any other way of paying over the phone?
williaM

Booking channel ferry crossing, very economic fare of 48 but then charged 4.50 for using credit card. There was even a charge for using a debit card!
gordon

Always try to avoid charges by using a debit card. Brittany Ferries charge 5 per booking, even if the fare (on one of their special offers) is as little as 45. No charge for debit card. But Norfolkline Ferries charge 1 per booking, even for a debit card. This charge is clearly stated at the end of the booking process but is unavoidable. Booked a ferry and campsite vouchers total bill 1,100 PLUS 2% credit card fee i.e. 22. Will not be doing that again.
Steve

P&O ferry charges Hull/Zeebrugge where they give a percentage charge if using a credit card and a 1 surcharge if using direct debit. Used direct debit as least cost thereby waving any benefits from using credit card. Brittany Ferries charge 5 when you use a card (6.5% on a single foot passenger fare). I would suggest that a very large number of bookings are done on line, and you have no option, therefore, but to used your credit card.
nigel

reached the paying screen. Realising that I had insufficient money in my current account and did not want to loose the booking I decided to pay by credit card. I knew this would cost more but did not realize that it was a percentage of the total until it was too late. This cost me around 17.50. I was extremely angry with myself and had I known this I would have exited their web site and gone to my bank account and transferred some money electronically, butr of course I would have had to start all the booking procedure again. It is a pity that you cannot save your booking details while you sort out any problems. I realize that the fault was mine but I dont usually get caught out like that and I felt duped. I will not book with DFDS again.
Margaret

It always seems to be payments that involve travel, train, coach and holiday companies. Its usually 2%, so I pay with a debit card which for some reason does not attract an extra charge. P&O charge 4.00 for an online channel crossing with a credit card.
MiChael

Brittany Ferries wanted 5 to pay by credit card; last year it was 3, an extra 66% increase in 12mths I paid by Debit Card.
John

I bought a return ferry crossing from Britain to France with Brittany Ferries and was charged 5 for paying by credit card which I was not told about in advance.
Martyn

Travelling from Holyhead to Dublin via Irish ferries incurs a 5 charge for the use of credit or debit cards

I was booking a return sea trip, with cabins, from Newcastle to Amsterdam plus two nights accommodation in a hotel, from DFDS Seaways. I had spent more than an hour choosing dates, comparing cabin prices and then choosing hotels from a number of choices. Having decided all this I

Just booked a car for the weekend with EasyCar. Not bad at 38. But the unavoidable 3.99 or 4.99 card charge adds more than 10% to the cost. When I hired a van from Brisco Swansea and went to pay with a credit card I was told there was a charge of 2. I used my debit card which didnt have a charge.
grahaM

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A which? super complaint 2011


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MoToriNg

Advised from the start of the transaction that there is a 2:50 charge for Credit card by DVLA for buying road tax. Needless to say I did not use my credit card.
dJ

I have to pay 2.50 extra to pay my 125 vehicle license fee (car tax) with a credit card, but paying my 145.50 television license doesnt cost any different no matter how I pay it. How does this make sense? One of the worst offenders I have come across is the DVLA who make this extra charge easy to miss on their website.
hal

Renewing ones car tax disc online is an excellent facility. However, the government make an extra charge if a credit card is used [2.50]. If the government can make a charge is it any wonder the rest of service providers are getting in on the act
CharleS

equally! Imposing a charge on a credit card in this way may mean some people will not be able to drive at all until they raise the cash, or will be penalised to by Vehicle Tax on a Credit Card which they then have to pay interest on also. So the surcharge is indirectly, but effectively, putting people more into more debt using this payment method.
dean

Purchasing a motorcycle in 2009 I had to pay by debit card to avoid a surcharge of 2% on 4,000 total price.
Barry

The most common charge is made by DVLA. We are encouraged to purchase car tax discs on line and get charged 2.50 for the privilege.
keith

I was taxing the car online - a Government department! The additional charge for using a credit card was not mentioned till the end.
angela

The DVLA impose a Credit Card surcharge on Vehicle Tax renewal. Although they state at the beginning that it will cost 1.5% extra using a Credit Card, the fact is that using a Debit Card (cash) does not incur a charge. All cards should be treated

Perhaps the worst is actually the annual car tax disc via the government site. This is very convenient, but why do we have to pay a fee to use a credit card? After all we are helping to reduce government costs by not sending by mail to the office or to a local car tax office. When I bought my last car, from a reputable dealer, I paid the deposit by credit card but it was not volunteered to me that I would not be able to pay the balance by crdit card even though I have a large enough limit, impeccable credit history and clear my credit card balance monthly. Paying by credit card was required by me for convenience. When I wished to pay by credit card I was told that this was not allowed as the charges by the bank are much too high and are set against the business amount not per transaction. I was not allowed to pay by cheque and a bankers draft would not be issued on the spot by my bank. Apparently the bank issued bankers drafts centrally and sent by post, meaning yet more delay. I finally had to pay by direct bank transfer into the car business account and pick up the car the following day. I do not blame the car business but I do question why businesses are charge a percentage of the cost of the item rather than a fixed or stepped fee by the credit card supplier.
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MoToriNg

Why stop at companies? I have to pay an additional charge to the DVLA if I use my VISA card to renew my road fund licence. It is not safe to use debit cards online, as you dont get the same protection against fraud, so there is no real option but to pay an additional charge - or queue at the post office.
dainiS

I renewed my car tax yesterday using the internet 155. The fee for credit card payment was 2.50, for debit card zero. This is a small amount in comparison with some airlines but nevertheless annoying!.
MarJorie

We need to start with Government agencies! The DVLA place a surcharge if you us a credit card to pay for vehicle licence renewal; although they do not charge for debit card.
david

Aberdeen airport short stay car park, payment by credit card is subject to an additional 50p processing fee on displayed tariffs up to & including 1 hour & 1.50 processing fee on all displayed tariffs thereafter. So for a simple pick-up from airport by a family member - unless it can be planned to the minute, cost me 4.40 (this made up from 3.90 +50p extra to pay by credit card). This is assuming my lift was at the airport over 30 minutes but less than 1 hour before flight arrived, which is not unreasonable given the time to disembark & for luggage to be offloaded & available to collect before returning to the car park. As a business traveller, my employer requires me to pay (as much as possible) by corporate credit card - as such I consider this a major rip-off as those picking someone up from the airport have little choice.
george

I saw on the website for Road Fund Licence that there was a surcharge for credit cards so used my Visa debit card, it refused to recognise the card as a debit card and still charged me the surcharge. If there is a surcharge then I look at whether I have the cash to hand to use a debit card or whether the cost will outweigh the credit card surcharge.
ian

Purchased a car from Skoda, paid by credit card and they added on a charge for doing this.
Cynthia

We have an energy efficient hybrid car [Honda Insight]. The Road Tax for such vehicles is 10 per annum. Renewal of our Road Tax last week via the DVLA website was 10 PLUS 2.50 charge for using a credit card. The road tax office are charging 25% for customers using a credit card!
JiM

When seeking to renew my Car tax earlier this week, I was told that using a credit card would cost an additional 2.50 but there would be no charge for using a debit card. I cannot see that a tax disc costing 180 justifies a charge of 2.50?

DVLA charges 2.50 to renew your tax disc online by credit card. Government agencies are equally culpable. DVLA Vehicle licensing online is the only provider in my experience where a charge of 2.50 is made if a credit card is used to pay for a licence. I always use a debit card. Even the DVLA charge for using a credit card. Amazon would be out of business if they did!
Martin

WHICH? RIP-OFF CARD SURCHARGES 25

MoToriNg

Wanting to pay the Congestion Charge in advance at my local corner shop Pay Point a couple of years ago, I proffered my credit card and was told that I would be surcharged two and a half percent extra for using it. Naturally I paid cash!
Brian

I was picking up some family members from Luton. I researched the charges before I left home and decided on the short term car park which was 3 for 15 mins. Because there was no room near the entrance, I had to run to and from the terminal to collect my brother in law and his wife, and then hurry back to the car park (it is almost impossible to get there and back in the 15 mins parking time). I got to the exit after 14 mins but I could see nowhere to deposit money, only a slot for a credit card. I therefore had to use the card and then found that I had been charged 4.50 - 3 for parking plus a 1.50 credit card fee - an extra 50%! I had tried to book in advance but the website would not let me do so for such a short period.
John

I settled a finance deal early from Toyota finance on a car purchase, the debt was settled using a debit card and I was charged an additional fee. I was told that a charge was levied on all card transactions, debit or credit. I complained to Toyota and the finance ombudsman, but had had no redress. I just didnt understand why the debit card, as good as cash, carried a fee, but a cheque didnt. I was unable to wait for cheque clearing process, during subsequent car purchase.
alan

Last July I part exchanged my car for a 3-year-old Toyota. The balance to pay after part exchange was 5,000. I decided to pay by credit card and was charged 75 extra for using it and told that this is what the bank would charge.
terry

I went to buy a 1300cc Suzuki motorcycle for 9,000. With trade-in for other bike it left me with 7000 to pay. I wanted to pay with my credit card and the company wanted to charge me 2.5% for doing so. I politley told them to get lost. They told me that the bank charges them for the transaction.
Barry

NCP parking now adds 2.5% to fees if a credit card is used. This is a deterrent to use of their service, and adds risk by requiring customers to carry cash. In October 2010 I decided to replace the exhaust. When I emailed for a quote, I was told this will cost 344.99. This is fully inclusive of fuel discount (25), VAT & fitting. There was no mention of a credit card surcharge. I drove the 135 miles to have the exhaust fitted. After the work was done, I read the notice on the wall about what payment methods they accepted - no mention of a surcharge. I was then told that they had added 2.5% surcharge for paying by a credit card. I

Manchester airport car park: why do they need to charge 1.50 credit card charge on 39.99? 2% would be 80p. East Midlands airport charges 1.50 for the use of credit cards for parking whatever the fee but not for debit cards. This could double the charge.
adrian

protested that I had not been warned of this and it was unfair. They said it was in their quote - it wasnt. I pointed out there was nothing on their payment method sign. The employee said it was on a sign on the front of the counter. He then came round and lifted up an A4 piece of paper advertising a deal on an MOT that was taped along the top edge and there it was - hidden underneath. I laughed and told him he must be joking as that did not constitute a legal notice. He pleaded that he had to pass the cost on to the customer. If I had not driven so far I would have told them to remove the new exhaust and put my old one back on! Ieventually paid 50% of the charge and told them I was most disappointed in their practice.
david

Recently tried to buy a used car and was told that to use a credit card which gives me more protection than a debit card, would cost me 2% of the purchase price.

WHICH? RIP-OFF CARD SURCHARGES 26

MoToriNg

I recently bought a new car. I said that I would be paying by debit card but would have to delay collection for another week until I had another 7k in my current account to cover the cost. The salesman said not to worry as I could pay this additional amount by credit card. It was not until I went to collect the car that I was told there would be a 70 charge for using a credit card. This amount was reduced to 50 after I complained but I did not expect any additional charges after paying 17k in part exchange.
John

by which we can pay, why does there need to be a handling charge? Is there a discount or facility for paying by cash or cheque which would circumnavigate the need for a handling charge? Even the DVLA charge when you want to pay your car tax on line. I also object to variable charge rates or refusal to accept certain cards such as American Express. Where ever possible I go out of my way not to give business to those who refuse to take my American Express card.
peter

I wanted to buy a car with my credit card and I would have the cash ready to pay it off when due. But the dealers said that I could only pay 500 off with the credit card and the rest had to be cash or debit card. Is there any point of trying to make large purchases with a credit card?
Steven

We recently traded in our car to buy a newer one. Part of the balance was paid by credit card. We were told the day before we had to pay that there would be a 1% transaction fee: i.e. 30 added to our 3,000 bill! A Honda garage in Reading charge 1% extra to buy a car, spares or servicing on a credit card rather than a debit card. Yes it does put me off buying from this firm.
Mark

The government do it when you pay your car road tax by E-mail. In fact they actively encourage it. I dont like using my debit card over the Internet so when I renewed my road tax I had to pay over 2 more.
norMan

Clover Leaf Honda in Reading charge 1% extra to buy a car, spares or servicing on a credit card rather than a debit card. Yes it does put me off buying from this firm.
Mark

For me it was the shock of booking the car park at Manchester Airport. After getting to the final page I am told that the fee of 27.99 would once Id put my card number in make Total Price: 29.49 Including a 1.50 handling charge. I was staggered (maybe a little naively). Following an email drawing their attention to inadequate notice or information in FAQs I received the reply: Please be advised the handling charges applies to all bookings whether paid by debit or credit card. My response was that as these are the only methods

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I was charged 3 extra by Saga for paying by cheque for car insurance
ken

handler to ring back, while I transferred money between accounts so I could use a debit card, which has a free cost.
lee

I only use my credit card if there are no charges imposed, but I recently came up against a strange demand for payment by either credit or debit cards. When re insuring my historic vehicles which I own the firm I had changed to said, payment by credit or debit cards would involve a 2% charge, so I said, can I pay by cheque in the post? Yes they said no charges to pay by CHEQUE, Hurrah! for cheques once more. Recently renewed Home Emergency response insurance with Automobile Association Insurance services. Charged a fee for payment by credit card. The methods of payment clearly state a fee of up to 2% of your payment is charged if a credit card is used. alan My house and contents insurance provider, 50plus Insurance Services, charges 5 for the using a credit card in addition to their 5 administration fee. There is no such charge for using a debit card. Their renewal information however does clearly state the options. I would never pay a surcharge for using a credit card.
david

I was asked to pay a charge for using a credit card by an insurance company, but not if I used a debit card. So I paid by debit card. I phoned to buy travel insurance from ETA and was told the price was 50 for my age group (68). Fine. Then she said I must pay by direct debit or a credit card would have a 10 fee! I asked why, and she said that was what it cost the company. and I remarked that it did not - but she said the card supplier plus their admin was 10. The direct debit would be renewed each year. This survey is timely because I was going to report this to you anyway.
Janet

I recently had quote for a car insurance quotation. The quote was for 693.00. The car insurance company is Admiral. When I was requested payment, I wanted to pay by Visa credit card, and was told it would cost me 5.99 I had to ask the call

House and contents Insurance from Saga - told at end of quote wanted 9.7% (22.9% APR) to pay monthly by Direct Debit this was on top of them hiking their prices 24.8% . Result was we moved to AXA at a better price and no charge for monthly DD. DDs cost the company virtually nothing to process in the 21st century.
Martyn

I was going to pay for my car insurance over the telephone from Swinton recently. I had a choice of debit or credit card. However, the credit card would have attracted a huge 2.5% surcharge, so I opted for the debit card method, which for this supplier had no surcharge. I also booked a room at Travelodge by internet. Use of a credit card would have attracted a 2% fee, but fortunately I was able alan to use a debit card free from surcharge. In the past Saga would charge for credit cards but not for their own credit card. Then they started charging for their own card as well. Now they even charge if you pay by cheque.
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fiNaNce

Ive just reinsured my Volvo & on line I have to pay a 2.50 surcharge for using a credit card. Why?
niCk

Recently took out a new car insurance policy with Marks and Spencer with two payment options - pay monthly with the usual added interest, or pay the whole premium by card. Opted for the latter and discovered at the very last minute that there is a 5 charge for paying by card. So in fact the premium you have agreed to pay for the policy is not the actual cost at all! When paying for my car insurance with Swinton they wanted 2.5% extra if I paid with a credit card, but not if I paid with a debit card

Withdrawing cash from Nationwide Bank within Europe! For Hungary it charges you 1.00 GBP AND 2% of your withdrawal amount!!! As a student I withdraw money to pay rent and it costs me 2% more rent now!!! My withdrawal limit is about 210.00 GBP so it costs me 5.20/month extra! Thats 65.00/year JUST for rent! It puts me off, but I have no other choice! As ALL UK banks charge for withdrawing money abroad! Last May I bought foreign currency from the Post Office using my LloydsTSB DEBIT card. The Post Office did not make a charge but LloydsTSB charged me 4.50. After complaining LloydsTSB pointed out their small print showing there would be a charge.
peter

Swinton insurance wanted to charge 36.00 to pay by credit card on a 550.00 car insurance.
roBert

John

Most recent - searching for car insurance. Paying in full, on card, to avoid increased premium charges for paying monthly. Then noticed that Id have to pay a fee for paying on a card. Chose another company!
franCeS

The most recent charge I had to pay was withdrawing 40.00 {or any amount} from a Lloyds cash machine using a Lloyds credit card; although I had already discussed this withdrawal with them they did not warn me about this charge. No wonder they have just made a profit AND get about 1800 complaints a day.
eriC

On 30 April 2010 I used an online currency dealer (ICE) - NOT MY BANK - to buy Euros and travellers cheques amounting to 2532.66 including the dealers charges. I used my Debit card issued by my bank Alliance & Leicester (now Santander) and they charged me 50.66 simply to pay the dealer. The bank was not providing anything other than to pay the money just the same as paying any other retailer with a debit card. Indeed, I have paid for a new car (around 26,000) using a debit card without incurring a charge. This appears to be a cartel type of arrangement between financial organisations. Note that putting a statement in the banks terms and conditions stating that such a charge would be made does not make it a reasonable charge, but is the evidence needed that such an unjustified charge exists.
terenCe

I was buying Euros from the post office and paying by debit card. The cost of the Euros (in s) was given to me and I inserted the debit card. The payment slip confirmed the exchange rate and the amount I had been told. When looking at my on line bank statement some days later. I noticed a charge of 3.50, directly after the euro cost, marked cash cost (or charge). I went back to the post office, told the story and said I never authorised that charge on my debit card! The lady said this is a standard charge when cards are used! To which I replied firstly you never told me, and secondly, if I had know there would be a charge I would have used you as a bank to withdraw money and then paid for the Euros with that! The lady made no comment.
Brian

Buying Euros from Travelex at Gatwick 679.36 was charged to my Barclaycard, the handling charge was 16.36 this is the most I have paid in charges.
John

For years I have used my Maestro card to buy foreign currency and had no surcharge. Nat West have now replaced my debit card with a Visa one. They make a charge for buying foreign currency but not other items. So if I buy a shirt from
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fiNaNce
M&S I pay the price on the label but if I buy Euros I get an extra charge!! There is no charge if I buy the currency from Nat West but the exchange rate is poorer!! Hmmm
roBert

I object to paying an extra charge to the bank to buy foreign currency with a debit card when If I go and get the cash and use that to pay there is no extra charge. How does that work?
franCeS

NatWest changed debit cards from Maestro to Visa-Debit about 15 months ago. Last summer when I bought Euros for a foreign trip, I found (too late) that I had to pay extra because Visa chooses to treat this as a cash advance (or something like that) just as though it were a credit card purchase. I am still looking for a way to order foreign currency online without paying this Visa commission. Paying for foreign currency cash in sterling with a debit card should not carry a 2.5% levy. How is it different from any other sterling transaction.
paul

When I first took out cards, retailers were not allowed to charge. If one was reported they could be struck off. Now even to use a debit card there is a charge at M&S travel money. But if I go to next till and get Cashback I can use that. Travel agents charged for holiday but I used card for protection. It is well known that, if you use your credit card (CC) to draw cash abroad you are loaded with charges. What never seems to get publicity is that,

if you order currency on the internet from (say) The Post Office or Travelex, you are charged by your CC as if your CC provider has supplied the cash. All they are doing is settling a CC debt - the same as if I had bought a TV online. On two occasions in the last two years (Lloyds and Nationwide) I have bought currency this way. I have been charged interest at 27% from the date of the transaction plus a Cash Advance Handling Charge even though they have not advanced me cash. Their argument is that it is the equivalent of drawing cash or a loan. This is true of all CC transactions until settled and they are looking at what you are buying to justify the fee and not their transaction with the customer. Each time I challenged this and, after threatening to take it all the way to court, they immediately refund the charges. The last conversation I had with someone from head office at Nationwide, was quite illuminating. When I asked how he justified charging 27.9% for a cash advance they had not made, he admitted he could not justify the rate and admitted they had not advanced me any cash. My last reply to Lloyds, when they refunded me the charges, was that I regretted the fact they had as this needs to be tested in the courts. Lloyds actually suggested settling the Travelex bill was the same as settling a gambling debt !! The banks always give in quickly on this because they know, legally, they have no case. They then state that, if I try to do the same again, they will charge me again. When I wrote to Nationwide, they phoned me rather than reply in writing because they dont want any response or admission of fault in writing. You cant use a debit card to settle a currency transaction online

because of the 200 limit so the good rates online are effectively blocked by the cartel unless you pay all the unjustified charges. My first experience was actually buying currency to pick up at a future date from the airport so it was not even drawing cash from a third party immediately. In their attempt to charge me for a service they had not provided, Lloyds was charging me on guesswork of what the transaction represented. This must be stopped as I am sure it is illegal in law to charge for a cash advance you have not made
ken

I attempted to purchase some Euros at Thomas Cook and presented my Lloyds Visa debit to make payment. I was told that Lloyds would charge me for this transaction using my debit card to pay for currency from my own (Lloyds) current account. You suggest that the true cost to the card issuer of processesing a card transaction would be 2% of the value of the goods. Surely the processing cost are the same no matter what the value of the goods?
tony

To get Travel Insurance with my credit card I obviously have to use it to pay the Balance of a holiday. The Charge is usually 2% which on 3 holidays per year, say 8,000 is 160.
peter

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I entered into an 18month contract with AOL for Phone and broadband. After about 12 months they unilaterally imposed a 1.99/month charge (albeit after notice) for payment by credit card which I had been doing by direct charge since I took the contract out. I complained that I did not think it reasonable to add this charge midway through a contract they referred me to their terms and conditions which do allow them to change payment method but unclear whether a charge is actually valid though.
howard

I object strongly to being charged 4.50 extra by British Telecom because I wish to pay my quarterly accounts by cheque rather than setting up a direct debit.
penelope

BT encourage you to use an online service to view you bill an become paperless but then charge you 4.50 + vat to pay your bill
tony

I was charged an extra 4 for using a debit card by energy supplier First Utility on a bill of 77. I wasnt told about the charge beforehand.
Brian

I rang around for quotes for central heating oil. The lowest quote was from Cranfield Oil Company so rang them back to place the order but when I asked to pay by credit card they said there would be a 1.5% surcharge! They were no longer the lowest quote so I placed the order elsewhere. Ive bought oil from this company before with no surcharge so was a bit surprised by their omitting to tell me when they originally quoted of the surcharge.
keith

Southern Electric and many others. Not told about charge early on. I think it was 2.5%. Charges have put me off making a purchase many times. What do we do when there are no cheques around!!!???
eSMond

Suffolk Coastal charged an additional 4.26 on 213 Council Tax when I paid on line by Mastercard in error. Bearing in mind this payment is made in advance I feel its excessive. I phoned straight away but was told I couldnt change to Switch payment.
John

I think you should also go for BT who charge for not paying by direct debit
fred

BT charges me 18 per year because I wont sign up to pay by direct debit.


Carl

I was purchasing Central Heating Oil from Sivey Ltd. At the checkout stage I was notified that there would be a 3% charge for using my credit card on a purchase of over 1000. I have also experienced a similar problem when paying for holidays with Newmarket Ltd. When faced with this charge I tend to pay by debit card which I dislike doing as it does not provide me with the same level of security. When my broadband was with Tiscali the slight penalty for paying monthly by credit card was that
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UTiLiTieS
I paid a few days earlier than if I had paid by bank debit card. Now Talk Talk has taken over Tiscali they have introduced a monthly charge of 1.99 for using credit card. My monthly bill is about 30, so I am paying about 6.6%. I shall probably switch to a debit card for which they do not charge.
keith

Southern Electric charge me an extra 1.5% of my bill to pay by Master Card on line. Have been with Tiscali for Broadband for 6 years, paying by credit card monthly with no charge. Talk Talk recently took them over and have introduced a monthly charge of 1.99 for paying by debit or credit card. No reason for the new charge has been given.
Mike

Dear Sir This is not a specific example of the problem but I hope my comments might help. I remember in the early 1980s that when the price of petrol started to increase and more people started to pay using credit cards the petrol stations started to charge extra to use a credit card to pay for fuel. This caused an uproar and I remember that a law was introduced to stop petrol stations charging extra for the use of a credit card. My observation is does this law still exist and if so does it cover other transactions other than the purchase of fuel? Kind regards
John

BT hold my card details & debit the required amount for my quarterly phone bill, but charge me about 5 for this, I even get charged VAT on it apparently!
Jayn

Heating oil for c/htg chandlers oil & gas charged 5.00 for using credit card approx cost of oil was 630.00 NO charge for a debit card which dont have.
Mr roBert

During the December freeze the unregulated heating oil companies cashed in on demand by increasing their prices for 1000 litres of heating oil from 450 (November) to over 700 in December (yes there are some of us in rural areas who dont have gas mains or a choice). Some people were forced to choose between heating their homes and eating. When I phoned a heating oil company in January to order some oil as prices were slowly recovering, they slapped on a 9 credit card surcharge. This has never happened before.
alan

Talktalk have now introduced a 1.99 monthly charge for paying your bill by Credit/Debit Card. I dont like Direct Debit, so what choice do I have?
neSta

I buy heating oil for a dozen or so houses locally and we individually get charged 2% if we pay by credit card but nothing by debit card. I signed up for an AOL Phone/Broadband package and they started charging 2 per month to pay by credit card.
Stuart

Another industry who rip people off for the convenience of using a credit card to pay a bill are the utility companies, the company I have just left, Southern Elec/Gas, charge 1.5% to pay online by card - 1.5% TAX to pay a bill Scandalous!
Barry

BT raises a charge of 4.50 if you pay by card, BT IS TRYING TO FORCE customers to have direct debit or use the bt credit card to pay bills.
keith

TalkTalk have just started to charge a whopping 1.99 a month for payments made by credit card. This was the normal way to pay when a customer of Tiscali. Within the last few days I have received a bill from Talk Talk which is imposing a 2 annual fee for using a credit card to pay the monthly rental for broadband. As a customer of Tiscali originally, I do not recall such a charge ever being made. Consequently, it must be an easy way of raising extra revenue.

grahaM
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UTiLiTieS
Solar PV installation by EVO Energy deposit of 3,875 paid by Credit card incurred a 3% surcharge of 116.25.
david

My partner and I received our Electricity Bill for the balance of 701.35 from Southern Electric a few days ago and I wanted to pay the whole amount with my credit card and was informed there would be an additional charge of 10.50. I asked why this charge was applied and was informed he wasnt sure but thought it was because it was considered a cash transfer!!! I then asked who was applying the charge i.e. Southern Electric or Mastercard, he said he didnt know. My parter and I decided to pay with our debit card instead. We were only told about the charge after completing all the details with their customer services person and had to start over again with all our details, etc. I use my creadit card to pay for everything (loyalty points being the reason for this practice) and pay the entire balance avoiding any charges. However, I begrudge using my credit card if it means I have to pay a surcharge for anything other than bookings holidays or hotels rooms. The most recent are as follows:1. Laterooms.com 2.50 transaction fee was charged against my credit card and the website did inform me that this charge would apply. 2. Page & Moy holidays, a 4.10 has been applied against our depost of 209.10. Their telesales person informed me that this charge applied only when it came to actually paying the deposit over the phone, however, on receipt of the invoice it does state in small print a 2.1/2% handling fee will be included on any balance payments made by an American Express credit card and a 2% handling fee will be included on any balance payments made by any other credit card. The norm for me is to pay with my debit card if it means I would incurr an additional charge for using my credit card.

However, with holiday bookings I only pay the deposit with my credit card, because I am able to make any claim through my credit card company (being a third party) should anything go wrong with the tour company. I would not, therefore, consider paying a 2% charge on the balance. The most I recall ever making for using a credit card is 2.1/2% but cannot produce an evidence of this now.
JaCky

I am personally far more concerned by the charges applied by telephone and other utilities for not paying by direct debit. These bear no relation to their costs. They are a pressure to use direct debit and are all about stopping the user looking at how much they are paying and perhaps going on to check other suppliers charges. Regarding the costs of processing debit card payments. There is NO excuse for any charge for using a debit card. The cost of processing a debit card payment is far less than the costs involved in handling a cash payment.
Matt

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I think Credit card issuers make huge profits as it is - and that in spite of the high level of fraud they allow to proliferate - ultimately charged to the C.C. user in the form of unjustifiably high interest rates.
alan

I occasionally buy items like jewellery, glass, porcelain etc from a shop in Stratford upon Avon. They do charge extra for using a credit card, but both prices are always clearly marked and the difference is probably about 2 1/2 %. Having said that, I have shopped there for a number of years and so they usually waive the extra charge, even if I use a credit card. I think a small charge is acceptable, provided that the customer is made aware of it at an early stage. I do not think a large percentage should be charged.
nina

IKEA in Thurrock, last time I bought furniture from them (6 months ago), charged extra for using the credit card. Interestingly, I was not charged extra for a similar purchase around the same date in Manchester.
kaSh

order but my wife wished to proceed, so we used a debit card.


derek

When I first applied for a Credit Card I was told that charges were NOT to be applied & were to be reported to the Company. This has gradually changed to all retailers charging for credit cards. In recent years they are also charging for Debit cards. With the Banks withdrawing Cheque facilities and reducing cash transactions this is a very unfair Bank driven levy on the public. I have on occasion booked theatre tickets only to be told that a charge applies to each ticket instead of the one financial transaction. Charges for both Credit and Debit cards DO put me off making a purchase. I would prefer to deal with someone who does not charge.
ian

A couple of months ago I purchased flat-pack furniture from IKEA. After queuing at a checkout for some time I reached my turn and only then became aware that I could ONLY pay with a credit card AND I would be charged extra for that privilege. I then found a sign to that effect which was only on view from side-on to the queues having reached the checkout!
tone

My wife wished to purchase new curtains for our lounge. A company called Plumbs (of Preston) measured everything and worked out a price. The rep asked for a deposit of 250 which I wished to pay by Credit card. The rep asked for 4 extra for payment by credit card. I would have cancelled the

A builders merchant I visited refused to take certain credit cards because they said the charges were too high and it took too long for them to receive their money. He then charged me 1% for using one of their approved credit cards. A travel agent I have used charges 2.5% for the use of any credit card and 1 per transaction for the use of a debit card. Another travel agent that I have used only accepts debit cards for which he charges a flat fee of 2.50 for each transaction. In all cases the charges were divulged at the time of payment. I would not object to a small fee for the use of a credit card (say 1) to cover the cost of processing the transaction (which used to cost less than 12p) after all I am having an interest free loan for one
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reTaiL
to fifty six days for the cost of the goods that I am buying. However, I strongly object to paying anything for the use of a debit card as the money is removed from my account within 24 hours and the processing of the transaction is a part of the cost of doing business for the banks. If we accept debit card charges then soon all suppliers will start charging for using a cheque and then for having to take their days takings to the bank each day or for having Securicor collect their days takings and take it to the bank for them.
alan

Why is it that Costa Coffee does not charge for items purchased with a card? They are all small amounts and presumably more expensive in percentage terms. If Costa can do it there is no excuse for others to charge. We all know about booking tickets etc online but I was staggered the other day to be ordering something on the Internet and when I got to the final paying stage the agency that were acting as the money handlers for this company put an extra 3 onto the bill as a surcharge with absolutely no warning. Needless to say I baled out.
riChard

IKEA and Thomson holiday both charge for a credit card but not for debit - as for Ryan air!
elaine

On a couple of occasions I have purchased foreign currency from Travelex, and used my Barclays debit card. I am amazed that Barclays had the nerve to charge me for this - it was a sterling transaction between me and Travelex. It was Travelex that provided the currency service, not Barclays. This type of charge should be illegal.

Makro have now applied a charge of 1 to use a credit card for any purchase. David Madden Netto and Lidle charge extra if one uses a credit card but ok with a debit card.
k roCk

Main problem is on-line when ordering items and the surcharge for using credit card doesnt appear until the last window.
ken

I believe that all retailers should factor in card acceptance fees in their normal business costs and price their goods and service to include that (including accepting American Express and Diners Club). After all, as an operator of a small business I know its not free for retailers to pay in cash or cheques because cash has a transport pick-up/ delivery cost even assuming there are no other cuts taken by the bank, and cheques delay money receipt as well as soon becoming non-guaranteed so open to fraud for retailers that will still take them after 30th June.

In any case where I find credit card charges, I use my debit card, which carries no charge. I do agree that some charges are greater than I think necessary, but I cant remember which companies do this I always ask, and refuse if the charge is high. Good luck with the campaign.
John

I support the action you are taking because the unaware are being taken for a ride. This is what offends me. However to be truthful, I rarely buy with a card (credit or debit) that is going to cost me extra money. I have rarely found times when you are not aware in advance so I have time to make a decision - charge or convenience. Nonetheless, I am angry when the buyer is actually being made to pay more for the privilege than it actually costs the trader.
ewan

I have simply given up paying by credit card when I feel that the surcharge for using a credit card is more than I think reasonable. This now applies to Rail tickets, as well as airline and ferry companies.
ronald

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reTaiL
I have on a few occasions been made aware that there is a charge for using a card. I will not accept this so I send a cheque or find an alternative supplier. I regard the practice as illegal and anti-customer and I support your approaching the Office of Fair Trading. I was charged 1 extra to send flowers through Interflora to my daughter in America. I didnt know right until the end and I just accepted it, but I didnt like it
Brenda

This is not an additional experience, simply a comment you might wish to take on board. Given that debit and credit cards are the more typical method of payment for most things these days; I agree that there should be no surcharges for using them, especially now that many retailers are phasing out payments by cheque. Also, internet shopping increases week by week, making card payments even more necessary. However, as we know, the credit card companies not only charge high interest rates to their customers who use the credit facility, but they also charge businesses high fees for enabling credit card payments. I suspect that businesses factor such costs into their product prices, meaning that the consumer pays more in the end, whichever payment method they use. I would say that card surcharges are unethical in todays society, but then certain companies could be regarded as unethical in their pricing policies anyway (e.g. a certain Irish airline) and if surcharges are outlawed, they will use other methods to charge their customers more. Whether businesses can afford to absorb the costs or not, most wont and are likely to pass on the cost to customers, either through other charges, or raising prices. In the end, it will be the end user, the customer, who will pay and we are unable to escape this reality. I still favour an end to these surcharges in order to bring transparency, clarity and fairness into the purchasing process, but I wont hold my breath on any cost savings overall.
alan

All my card payments are generally made using a Debit Card as I have never been asked to make extra payments; it only seems to occur when using my Credit Card which I now very rarely use because of this.
ian

Simple things like the on-line purchase of a Road Fund Licence does not attract an added charge IF a debit card is used, but does if a credit card is used; but I feel much safer using a credit card for internet transactions. There is no reason whatsoever for levying a charge for credit card payments as banks charge for all credits to Business Accounts, including cash and cheques.
philip

Times when I choose to pay with credit card, even though it costs extra, from 5 to a % of the total, because (a) I get better cover against anything going wrong and (b) I dislike the idea of someone whipping money off my bank account without the additional gate of a credit card bill which I can question - and get the credit card company on my side if necessary.
Sandra

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When I paid Parkwood Leisure Services for a years swimming pass I was told there was a charge if I paid monthly - 30 to set up a DD on card. I chose to pay by debit card as I thought this would not incur charges. I was told the total amount, but this was not broken down. I subsequently learned that 5 had been added to the annual charge as I had paid by card. I asked about paying with a cheque and was told this was not possible. I rang trading standards as I had never been charged to use my card before, and was told that as long as I had been told the full amount, the company were not breaking the law.
peter

I had a private consultation with a Doctor and when I went to pay by Amex I was told there was a 2.5% surcharge if I paid by Amex, but no surcharge if I paid by Master Card
roBert

I was paying for exercise classes at a private clinic called the Sherwood Clinic in South Harrow, the amount being 120. There was an unexpected fee for paying by credit card so I paid using my debit card.
Sheila

When attempting to pay my bill in the hairdressers, I was told that an extra charge would be made although I only ever use a debit card, and there is no risk of non payment. I only ever pay cash now. My dentist charges for using a Debit Card. I take a cheque book, but after dental treatment you can be a bit shakey, and it would be much easier to just hand over a card.
Colin

The Hospital Group charges: No charge for the first 1,000; then with AMEX it is 7% and Mastercard?Visa 3%. My bill would have come to 172 extra on Mastercard. Is it fair?
katie

I went to pay my bill at my dentists surgery. I wanted to pay by credit card and I was charged 3 for this. Is this a fair amount or is it in fact legal? I know that it does not cost 3 to process a transaction. I cannot believe how many are jumping on this bandwagon, my dentist charged me a surcharge of 15 on a 250 bill last week and that was a debit card. Fee for credit card was 30!!!

I recently visited the Botleigh Grange Hotel & Spa, near Southampton. The spa day was good value, but I paid cash for our lunch when I saw the notice to advise that every credit card transaction was subject to a fixed fee of 3.95!!! Not so bad if paying a large hotel account, but would have been around a 30% addition to our bill.
Stephen

Falltricks hair salon, Romford, have started imposing 3% surcharge for payment by credit card. I do resent paying surcharges, unless for small independent shops, and use debit card instead.
Sarah

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goVerNMeNT

I was charged online by HMRC for paying my tax with a credit card.
patriCk

Charged by HMRC for paying my tax with a credit card.


Janet

Check out the billpay system on the HMRC website- a charge for paying your tax by credit card! Government Departments do this Tax by Phone or online by credit card and 2.5 % added. How about the Government HMRC charging a fee for paying taxes by credit card - so who is poacher and who is gamekeeper?
Jane

One of the worst culprits is the government. It should cost far less to tax a vehicle on line than if one stands in line for ages at the Post Office, yet it costs more to do it on line. If you want to pay your income tax on line, the Revenue charge a fee of 1.25% if paying by card.
riChard

What about HMRC itself? The Government Tax Collector. Do a Self Employed online return, which is nice and easy. And then if you want to pay by the easy method of a Credit Card, Santander nails you for a percentage of your tax return!! That could be huge amount of money. Especially bad for people who are paying a lot of tax. Why on EARTH do they think they have the right to that much money? Is the tax office not paying them enough already to take the payments? Or is this a Spanish tax on the UK tax payer?
Mark

I have had to pay HM Revenue and Customs 2.21 to settle seld assessment tax bill. Arun District Council delegate garden waste collection to Verdant Group Ltd who charge 58.21 a year for renewal by direct debit or online but 66.38 for renewal by post or telephone. Verdants telephone number is 01903734520. I appreciate that this is not simply a charge for using plastic but I find it more offensive than a requirement to pay 2 for using a credit card for a hotel booking.
doug

It is not just companies making unreasonable charges for the use of credit cards, it is the government itself. When you renew your car tax online (which is the easiest way), they charge 2.50 for the pleasure of paying by credit card.
grahaM

Taxing you card on line using a credit card costs 2:50 free if you use a debit card this is a government department. I used the Post Office until I had a debit card a holiday company wanted to charge 2% of the cost of my holiday (over 5000) but accepted a cheque for free.
peter

South Somerset District Council / Somerset Waste partnership Renewal Form 2011/2012 for Garden Waste Collection Service.(42,50 pa) ... (please note that if you wish to pay by credit card you will incur of 2.26%) An odd method of encouraging recycling and green credentials!
harry
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