Rip off card charges

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COLERAINE shoppers are being urged to look out for high debit and credit card fees, after a ban on excessive surcharges came into force last April.

In spite of the new legislation, some companies are still hitting customers with excessive debit or credit cards charges when buying goods or services. The new rules make it illegal for companies to charge more than what it costs them to process the payment.

Encouraging consumers to be vigilant, Stephen Thompson, Consumerline manager, said: “The practice of excessive payment surcharges should now be a thing of the past, however some companies are still charging excessive fees.

“Individuals should know what price they are paying for goods, rather than getting to the end of a process to discover that the final price is in fact much higher due to card fees.

“Traders must ensure that any payment surcharges are representative of the actual processing cost involved, as it is illegal to charge more than this.

For example, if the cost to the trader of using a credit card facility is 20 pence per transaction, the trader can only charge the customer 20 pence.”

The ban covers airlines, travel agents, ticket agencies, night clubs, oil distributers, and any other retailer who charges consumers extra for payment using a card.