'Rip off' card charges in the spotlight
It’s high time that someone did a good hard probe of the proliferation of credit and debit card booking fees. Unfortunately, due to our lack of numbers and keen interest in legal highs and niche filmmaking, that probably isn’t going to be Bitterwallet.
Which leaves the way open for our good friends at Which! to pick up the baton and run with it. And boy have they! Somehow, they’ve acquired the power to launch a ‘SUPER COMPLAINT!’ about booking fees, which means that the Office of Fair Trading HAS to sit up and take notice, and launch a preliminary investigation. Way to go, Which!
They say that for a family of four, card booking fees vary wildly, with Ryanair charging £40, Flybe charging £38 and easyJet charging only £5.50. Which! estimate that to process a debit card payment would cost the airlines around 20p while a credit card payment should cost no more than two per cent of the transaction. Sounds to us like the consumer is being RIPPED OFF and that someone should launch a SUPER COMPLAINT! Oh, they just did.
As we all know, it isn’t just airlines. More and more transactions take place online these days and it’s rare that there isn’t some added arbitrary charge or other chucked in there in order to fleece you even further. Everything from cinemas to estate agents to local authorities to even the good old DVLA are banging on added card processing charges and we’re SICK OF IT.
Which! say that the charges are disproportionate and that calculate that they add up to ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ each year, which is, you know, a LOT. Hence the Super Complaint, which we at Bitterwallet are fully behind, to the point that we’re going to start pretending that it was our idea.
Lord Sir Peter Vicary-Smith, the chief executive of Which!, said: “There's simply no justification for excessive card charges – paying by card should cost the consumer the same amount that it costs the retailer. Companies shouldn't be using card processing costs as an excuse for boosting their profits.”
Which is exactly why Bitterwallet have registered this Super Complaint with the Office of Fair Trading. We’ll keep you all bang up to date with how it progresses as soon as we get any further updates from Which!