Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Communication of Credit Card Surcharges Under Scrutiny


Communication of Credit Card Surcharges Under Scrutiny

Credit card surcharges are once again in the spotlight with a new Government study of 3000 retailers underway to determine the scale of the issue.

The study comes on the back of nationwide research by Auckland PR firm Impact PR which found that nine out of ten Kiwis would move suppliers if their regular store introduced a surcharge of 3% and that most consumers felt surcharges were poorly communicated to them.

Impact PR's Mark Devlin says the businesses coming under the most scrutiny are those where the flat rate surcharge exceeds 3%. These include airlines and council run parking meters where additional charges could be in the region of 10-25%.

Devlin says that their research shows it was not just the surcharge itself that was likely to bring ramifications for the merchant, but how transparently it was communicated.

"We found that 88% of Kiwis believed that credit card surcharges are not made clear to them prior to purchase," says Devlin.

"Kiwi shoppers are not used to getting surprises when we make a payment. Unlike many overseas markets where sales tax may be added at the point of purchase, our legislation has long upheld that GST must be included in the price quoted on the shelf and we have an inherent expectation of no surprises," he says.

Devlin says often the surcharge "fine print" is so small it's hard to spot or worse, not displayed at all. There is also often a noticeable variance in the amount of the surcharge depending on the store and what type of credit card was used, he says.

"As significant an issue this is for us as local shoppers, it has also broader repercussions for our international reputation with tourists. The last thing New Zealand needs from a brand image perspective is to develop a reputation for adding unexpected charges which could be seen as covert or exploitative of visitors."

Devlin says since the introduction of credit card surcharges in the USA in just weeks ago, ten states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas have so far introduced legislation to ban them - and 11 more are expected to follow.

"New Zealanders need to consider whether regulation on how surcharges are communicated is required - this will once again ensure a degree of certainty at the point of purchase for both New Zealanders and visitors to this country," he says.

"Consumers should not have to hunt near the till for details of a possible surcharge when they enter a store, at the very least it should be displayed clearly on the shelf under the item," says Devlin.

For more information on the Impact PR survey visit www.impactpr.co.nz

-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Pre-Budget: Computer Emergency Response Team, Assemble!

John Key told the country's first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland that the government had earmarked funding set up a national Computer Emergency Response Team to help prevent and act on cyber incidents in partnership with the private sector and other organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Job Cutter Goes: Mark Weldon To Step Down As MediaWorks CEO

“When I joined MediaWorks in August 2014, I had a mandate to lead a significant change programme to bring the business back from receivership into a position where it could once again be a strong competitor in the market, with a sound and sustainable future. It was a big brief, laden with inherent challenges, but I took it in good faith and have dedicated myself fully to the goal since." More>>

ALSO:

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news