Grumpy / Those extra credit card fees are unfair

Reader MAX McGREGOR, of Curtin, is grumpy about the way businesses add fees when he uses his credit card to pay a bill

Reader MAX McGREGOR, of Curtin, is grumpy about the way businesses add fees when he uses his credit card to pay a bill

I’M grumpy about the way businesses make a charge for what they call a “processing fee” each time I use my credit card.

Why should they levy the charge as a percentage of the $ amount of each transaction, rather than as a set fee per transaction?

Just how much does it really cost to “process a payment”? 50 cents? $1? If I spend a night at a motel, I’m charged a percentage for using my credit card. If I spend three nights at the same motel, I’m charged three times as much for processing my payment. Why?

It’s even worse when I pay a larger bill, such as for water or electricity. ActewAGL imposes a levy of 0.55 per cent, called a “transaction fee”, based on the total amount of every bill (which, incidentally, includes GST). These bills can (and often do) run into several hundred dollars or more.

Why then should it cost so much more just for processing a larger payment? And, anyway, how do they get away with charging a fee on the GST element of the transaction which is, effectively, a tax on a tax?

Don’t ask the ACT Assembly – they’ll tell you that it’s a Reserve Bank issue, and that “it appears that the fee is not prohibited from being charged”, neatly sidestepping the issue of the tax that’s being charged on the GST.

Shouldn’t the ACCC be pursuing this on behalf of Australian consumers?

 

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