Date:23 December 2011
Surcharges on online purchases to be banned in 2012
The Government has announced plans to ban what it terms "excessive" fees for using a debit or credit card to purchase items such as concert tickets or flights online.
When a consumer buys a ticket online, an administrative surcharge is often applied when the payment is made via a credit or debit card. Retailers say that the charges are necessary to cover payment processing costs.
The announcement follows a report in June by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into the travel industry's use of surcharges, which said that charges should be clearer and surcharges for using a debit card be banned. The Government has now decided to extend the OFT’s recommendations to cover all online surcharges.
Treasury minister Mark Hoban commented: "We want consumers to be able to shop around. They have a right to understand the charges they may incur up front and not be hit through a hidden last-minute payment surcharge."