“We’re responding to considerable consumer concern…” — said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on ABC News. It has been confirmed that the Federal Government will implement new laws to cap credit card surcharges in Australia.
Up to this writing, people have been paying as much as $800 million in credit card surcharges when paying for airfares, hotel bills and even taxi fare. The government was ignoring this gouging.
More than 200,000 internet users supported two petitions on Change.org to Qantas and the Federal Government — and they have finally responded saying they will pass new laws to cap credit card fees.
Must have a complete ban on surcharges
It’s not everything people have been campaigning for. It is hoped that the government will consider further action to ensure a complete ban on surcharges — as well as action to make sure the cap isn’t increased, and merchants can’t introduce this surcharge again by another name.
People are encouraged to drop a quick email to Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer asking her to discuss the new laws and ensure companies can’t just re-name their surcharges: firstname.lastname@example.org
This action clearly wouldn’t have happened without tens of thousands of signing on Change.org
The government has been compelled to start addressing a totally ignored issue impacting all consumers. This is a huge achievement!
Many credit card companies and consumer groups have repeatedly accused the airline industry, utilities and taxis for gouging on payments fees. Airlines typically charge a fixed fee for accepting many payments methods, which means the percentage of the fare it represents varies.
In most, if not all International Merchant Agreements, especially those signed in the United States and most Asian countries, surcharges on credit card transactions are not allowed and are illegal.
It normally results in a chargeback to the merchant’s account. All that the cardholder has to do is to send a written complaint to the bank that issued the card and the entire amount will be invalidated. This addendum was written by the editor of Philippine Sentinel. He served as a senior executive of 2 international banks involved in the issuance of Visa and MasterCard for more than 20 years.