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Which? report on 'rip-off card charges' - BRC answers back

Which? is right to draw attention to excessive charges levied on customers using debit or credit cards but wrong to blame retailers.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Which? report on 'rip-off card charges' - BRC answers back

Which? is right to draw attention to excessive charges levied on customers using debit or credit cards but wrong to blame retailers.

Which? is asking the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the charges for paying by card. The consumer organisation says airlines, ferry operators, estate agents and cinemas are all charging customers much more than the actual costs those businesses incur when a transaction is processed.

British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson said,"We welcome this focus on the unjustified card charges customers can face but Which? is wrong to suggest this is a retail practice. Airlines and cinemas are not retailers.

"There is a big card issue for retailers. It's the widely varying fees banks levy on them for processing the different payment methods. That's something few customers are aware of.

"On average, the banks' charges for processing a credit card transaction are 15 times higher than for cash. But responsible, competitive retailers charge customers the same price for an item regardless of how they pay.

"I can't speak for budget airlines but retailers are actually protecting card-using customers from the bank's excessive charges on them. We've been engaged in a longstanding campaign and legal action to bring those fees down to levels that reflect the actual, very low, costs of processing transactions. The banks should play fair by their customers as retailers do with theirs."

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