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A super-complaint has been made against the practice of high surcharges that are forced on consumers when they pay with a credit or debit card.
Which? is to ask the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the practice which is often sprung on customers at the point of payment and can be far in excess of what it costs the retailer to process the transaction.
Low cost airlines were found to be amongst the worst offenders, with charges of up to £40 made for transactions costing as little as 20p.
"We are happy to support Which? when they launch their super-complaint as it is not good enough for some businesses to generate profit by imposing inflated surcharges when their actual card processing costs are substantially lower," said Melanie Johnson, chair of The UK Cards Association.
Local authorities, estate agents, cinemas and even the DVLA were found to have charged excessively for paying by card.
"There's simply no justification for excessive card charges – paying by card should cost the consumer the same amount that it costs the retailer," said Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith.
"Companies shouldn't be using card processing costs as an excuse for boosting their profits.
"Low-cost airlines are some of the worst offenders when it comes to excessive card surcharges but this murky practice is becoming ever more widespread, from cinemas to hotels and even some local authorities."
Which? wants its super-complaint to result in:
After the complaint is formerly made on 7 March, the OFT will have 90 days to give a response and will launch an investigation of its own if it feels there is a case to do so.
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