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Companies charging big fees on credit and debit card transactions have come under fire.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been asked to investigate excessive credit and debit surcharges after a super-complaint was submitted by Which?.
The consumer watchdog said the charges are 'unjustifiable and becoming increasingly widespread'.
While the cost to companies taking payment by card is around 20p to process a debit card and no more than 2% of a transaction value for a credit card, research found dozens of examples of companies charging far higher fees. Some of the worst offenders included:
"Consumers are really fed up with paying excessive card charges. So far, over 40,000 people have pledged their support for our campaign to bring these to an end," said Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith. "Low-cost airlines are some of the worst offenders, but excessive card surcharges are becoming ever more widespread, with everyone from cinemas and cabs to hotels and even some local authorities getting in on the act."
Which? wants companies to tell consumers upfront if they have surcharges and how much they are, make charges fair so that it costs consumers the same as it does the companies, and for small debit charges not to be passed on to customers.
Once the super-complaint has been made, the OFT has 90 days to respond.
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