01.Credit card surcharges
For the past 10 years consumers have been subjected to excessive credit card surcharges by companies such as Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Tiger Airways and Cabcharge.
Millions of dollars have been taken from the pockets of Australians to pad the bottom lines of these businesses. At is stands, the situation is clearly out of hand.
In the case of the airlines, surcharges are often applied not to single credit card transactions but to each ticket purchased. In some cases, each leg of the journey incurs an extra cost well above any cost to the airline.
CHOICE has been following this issue from the beginning and we've watched some surcharges go from moderately excessive to obscenely excessive. We were commissioned by New South Wales Fair Trading in 2010 to investigate the issue and delivered a 75-page report that helped instigate the RBA reforms that will take effect on 18 March.
But the RBA has only gone so far. In effect, the federal payment system regulator has given MasterCard and Visa permission to stop merchants from applying surcharges. Responsibility for pulling the retailers into line will lie with the credit card companies. The lack of statutory enforcement is worrisome, but that’s where consumer power comes in.
We think the credit card companies will do the right thing and prevent merchants who accept their card from slapping on a hefty extra charge - but only if consumers make it clear that they've had enough.
We’re asking you to sign our petition to the big surcharge offenders so we can all say goodbye to this obnoxious and costly practice.
Please help us make these reforms work – sign the petition now!
You can also help by signing up as a campaign supporter