Wigan MP Tackles Surcharge Injustice
The Charity made what is known as a ‘super complaint’ to the Office of Fair Trading in March of this year about the amount that some businesses charge when processing a payment with a credit or debit card. This is a typical practice for airlines and holidays, some of whom charge up to 33% of the ticket price.
However, other sectors have begun to make use of high surcharges including, alarmingly, the government, which charges a fee for paying taxes by credit card.
The OFT have recommended that the Government take regulatory action on surcharges either through the Consumer Rights Directive or amending the Payment Services Directive. It has also announced it would take enforcement action against companies who continued to hide payment charges from their customers. If you have been charged a ‘hidden amount’ please consider contacting your MP to let them know.
Lisa Nandy has welcomed the response of the OFT, recommending that businesses should no longer impose surcharges for debit cards, which are the most commonly held payment card in the UK and called on the Government to introduce measures quickly to prohibit businesses from imposing surcharges in this way.
The Wigan MP said: “I am delighted that the OFT have taken firm action on this and moved to end the charging of unfair payments to consumers. I know events tickets are another particular problem, with fees of up to £10 or £15 in ‘handling costs’, this simply can’t be right and I am happy to work with Which? and local business to correct this and get a fair deal for consumers.”