A couple of weeks ago the government finally banned ‘rip off’ surcharges. We asked you to report any companies who weren’t sticking to the rules, and found that people are still being hit by unfair card charges.
When the ban on excessive surcharges began, we were pleased to report the Which? victory to more than 50,000 of you who supported our campaign.
However, our work doesn’t end here. We asked you to report any instances of companies who are now breaking the law by continuing to charge excessive surcharges. In turn, we agreed to investigate these companies and report them to Trading Standards.
Help us stop companies breaking the law
Since the ban came into effect, you’ve reported more than 200 companies for applying excessive surcharges.
For example, Jon from Newcastle told us his story. He tried to book his holiday through independent travel agent Purple Haze the day before the rules came in, and was charged £32 to book his holiday on a payment card.
According to the government’s new rules, surcharges must reflect the cost incurred to the firm for processing the payment. We estimate this to be no more than 50p per transaction for debit card payments, or 2% of the total transaction price for credit card payments.
However, on checking Purple Haze’s T&Cs after the rules had changed, Jon noticed the travel agent’s surcharges were still listed at the same excessive price.
Challenging ‘rip off’ surcharges
Jon’s story piqued the interest of BBC’s Money Box, who then challenged Purple Haze on why they weren’t complying with the new rules. Its chief executive responded:
‘That’s totally unacceptable, I apologise. We will take steps to ensure that Purple do not charge this sort of fee going forward’
Thankfully, Jon’s story had a happy ending as he was refunded the £32 he was charged, and Purple Haze has now changed its rules.
I want to encourage all of you to keep an eagle eye on companies charging excessive surcharges for card payments, and to report them to us if and when you find them.
But most importantly – make sure you complain to the companies who have charged you. Tell them if you think they’re breaking the law, and you may even get your money back.