New Law Allows ACCC To Crack Down On Credit Card Surcharges

Legislation has been passed that will finally give a regulator the power to crack down on companies slugging consumers with surcharges 1,000 per cent above the cost of processing credit card payments.

"Airlines, ticketing companies and taxis are among the many businesses that have for years punished consumers who pay with credit cards. Even when faced with an earlier RBA ban, these corporate profiteers ignored the rule and continued to inflict pain on our hip pockets," said Tom Godfrey, spokesperson for consumer advocate organisation Choice.

Choice's recent analysis of airline surcharges found sky-high booking fees that don’t reflect the cost of processing a credit card. The consumer group found that the Qantas $7 card surcharge was on a cheap flight 348 per cent higher than it should be, and Jetstar’s $8.50 surcharge landed a whopping 1,187 per cent mark-up.

The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Payment Surcharges) Bill 2015 was passed by the Senate this morning and gives the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the power to crack down on companies charging excessive surcharges for card payments.

"We are delighted that the ACCC has finally been given the power to investigate if a surcharge is fair and issue infringement notices of up to $108,000 for companies that don’t play by the rules," says Mr Godfrey.

"While we have new laws on the books, they won’t come into effect for some months, when the Reserve Bank finalises regulation. Until then, Choice will be shining a spotlight on those companies who take advantage of this last window to gouge their card-using customers.

"It couldn’t be clearer that the age of sky-high surcharging is over. So we are calling on companies like Qantas and Virgin to act in good faith and to end the pain by ditching their dodgy surcharges ahead of the laws taking effect.

"What better way to put your customers first than being the first to company to officially end the excessive surcharge frenzy.

"It’s time the airlines, ticketing companies and taxis stopped gouging their customers and started treating them with a little respect," Mr Godfrey says.


Comments

    Thank God. F**K you Cabcharge and your 10% surcharge. Not that I really use taxis these days

    I love when something charges me a surcharge, but has literally no other way to pay than credit card. Seriously, how about you just include the cost in your pricing?

      This, totally.
      Even Village Cinemas online tickets add $1 fee per ticket, just because...

        They all do that, Dendy, Hoyts, total arsehat move.

        My favourite though is ticketek. Want them to use a credit card? That's a surcharge. Want them to mail out your ticket? That's a surcharge. Want to pick it up from the venue? That's a surcharge. Want it to be entirely electronic? You'd better believe that's a surcharge.

          They also have super anti-competition relationships with venues and artist. I'd say any artist that is interested in their fans and uses ticketek really hates their fans.

          yep agreed. want to print out your own ticket with the ink and printer you bought.... surcharge there to. Complete BS

    PC Case Gear: 2% surcharge on credit card, 2% surcharge on Paypal, only other payment option is bank transfer - not a particularly good/safe way of buying hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of equipment (especially since the bank holds and makes interest off your money for a few days before passing it along)!

    good on ya for singling out PC Case Gear, but they all do it. I actually picked up some stuff from them and paid via EFTPOS for no additional surcharge!! Following day i went to CPL and bought the rest of the components i wanted, on EFTPOS! Only downside was no CC points :(

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now