Ban on credit and debit card surcharges comes into effect on Saturday 13 January
The Consumer Council wants to remind consumers that from this Saturday businesses can no longer apply an additional charge (surcharge) to your order when you pay by debit or credit card.
Dr Catriona MacArthur, Director of Consumer Insight, Empowerment and Protection at The Consumer Council, said: “There have been fears expressed that the ban on surcharges will lead to price increases as businesses seek to recoup their costs elsewhere. Already there is evidence of some companies replacing the card surcharge with a ‘service charge’. We may also see more businesses impose a minimum spending limit, or a refusal of card payments altogether.
“However, in spite of these fears, we believe the ban is a positive move as prices should become more transparent, making shopping around and price comparison easier for consumers.
“Another important benefit is that it will prevent consumers being deterred from using their credit or debit card to make payments. Credit cards offer greater protection for purchases of single items costing over £100 up to £30,000 as the credit card provider must by law help get your money back if problems arise. The Chargeback process is also available for credit card purchases under £100, and all debit card purchases.”
To find out more about protection offered by different payment methods, please contact The Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 for your free copy of Safer Ways to Pay, or you can download it from www.consumercouncil.org.uk
If you notice any businesses not complying with the ban on credit and debit card surcharges you should report this to Trading Standards Service via Consumerline: 0300 123 6262.