Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I hate service fees

I found this story on MSNBC and I have to say that I'm shocked. I had no idea, but merchants are not allowed to charge a service fee if you use a credit or debit card. In fact, it is a violation of their merchant agreement with the credit card companies to charge a service fee OR impose a minimum amount that you must spend to use your credit/debit card.
Can a merchant charge you a service fee for using a credit card or debit card? There is no federal regulation that prohibits this. The law that prohibited a surcharge on credit card purchases expired back in 1984. But both Visa and MasterCard say it would be a violation of their rules for a store to tack on a service fee for using one of their cards. A merchant can offer a discount for paying by cash or check, but they cannot charge more for putting it on plastic.
So the next time a local store attempts to pull this crap on you, remind them that they are violating their merchant agreement. If they insist, reports their asses to the company that issued your card. And if they don't like it, fuck 'em!