Last Friday the 12th of January, all extra charges incurred by the use of either credit or debit cards are now illegal due to a new government directive.
However, some companies are attempting to circumvent the new rules. For instance, there have been cases of fees being renamed to eliminate any reference to "card" from the fee description, with the fee being charged as normal. This practice may continue in the short term as some companies have become dependent on the revenue generated by these fees.
Another issue is that some organisations are now not allowing payment with cards all together.
The practice of charging an extra fee when a card is used is called surcharging and has become a common, accepted aspect of shopping.
Unfortunately, there are not any recent figures that illustrate the extent of the amount of money earned by this practice, but the government estimated that it accounted for approximately £473 million in 2010 (Rupert Jones, Guardian, January 2018).
Authorities are being urged to keep an eye on the fact that in many instances, the fees are remaining, with only a name change necessary to ensure they are compliant. Hannah Maundrell of Money.co.uk asserts that: "The law was changed to stop businesses from profiting from unnecessary credit and debit card fees, so this makes a mockery of the law which is trying to protect us from getting ripped off.”
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Credit cards: is this the end of the great rip-off?