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Credit Card Bookings - Surcharges

Discussion in 'What's Going On' started by eco082007, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Oakfield

    Oakfield Guest


    No and that is something I really object to. TBH I think the fact you cannot avoid it when booking on-line, only if you book by 'phone but then you loose your discount is sharp practice, bordering on the illegal.
     
  2. laplace

    laplace New Member

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    There are plans to ban profiting from payment surcharges, probably later this year.
    This Section 75 protection only applies if paying over £100 per ticket (or other single item); below that, you only have the same chargeback protection as debit cards do. (The Section 75 link includes a case of a credit card provider accepting a claim for travel/hotel costs to a postponed event: in that case a concert, but potentially very relevant to railtours.)
     
  3. Phil K

    Phil K New Member

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    Someone mentioned Ryanair earlier, but I think it's a wide section of the travel industry that is affected by this disease. Ferries, airlines, and as mentioned the railtour companies all partake in this practise. I know Brittany Ferries levy a charge, as do British Airways for using credit cards. When I travelled to France on P&O Ferries I used a debit card, so can't tell you if they do or not. So whilst in context for this forum, it is a bit unfair to single railtour co's out.

    Going back to the TESCO comment, I recall a small print at Sainsburys a few years ago saying that the x.xx% credit card surcharge was included in the bill, i think it appeared on the PIN machines or maybe it was before Chip and Pin and was near the signing ledge?
     
  4. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Slightly off-topic but on a recent booking with Travelodge online booking gave a price for the booking which was just short of a whole pound by 20p; the booking form "suggested" a donation of that 20p to "charity" in order to round up the poundage. This beggars 3 questions (1) how much money is collected this way (2) what guarantee is there that the money actually goes to a charity and (3) is TraveLodge pricing set to create this facility for rounding-up ?

    Although it may seem that 20p is a small price to pay per individual the accumulated figure could be quite large ! I recall in the 1970s that a computer programmer added the roundings from a payroll program ( fractions of a penny rounded to the next whole pence and the rounding figure added to his private account ) that accumulated to a 5 figure sum of pounds within a year. He was tried for theft but IIRC was found not guilty on the grounds that since the company were actually prepared to ignore the roundings figure they had effectively given up ownership of the money; therefore he was not stealing from someone if that someone had effectively given up ownership of the money.
     
  5. eco082007

    eco082007 New Member Account Suspended

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    Thanks for posting that link to "moneysavingexpert.com". Very interesting though I note the section "Which? estimates the real cost of processing a credit card transaction is no more than 2% of the purchase,so £2 on a £100 transaction" Steam Dreams charge 2% per credit card transaction so if retailers are to be allowed to continue claiming the cost of the transaction via a charge under this new legislation it may not affect Steam Dreams at all unless the Which? estimate is somewhat overstated. Pathfinder charge 2.5%, RTC 2.1% and best of all, Vintage Trains, a flat £1.50 rather than a percentage of the purchase value.

    Regardless of any planned legislation therefore we come back to whether making any charge at all is either customer friendly or good for business in the longer term. UK Railtours lead the way in my view by proudly claiming they don't levy such charges and don't understand why others do when they benefit from the extra custom credit card bookings bring. UKR could probably cite the fact most of their tours run fully booked as not wholly detached from their policy on credit card transaction charges.
     
  6. Oakfield

    Oakfield Guest

    Both Tesco and Salisbury's did this , they did not increase the price of the goods, rather reduced them then charged for card use to make the transaction more VAT efficient for them. In a similar way used cars are usually reduced in price and the warranty, if an insurance backed product, shown as a charged item. In actual fact this is correct VAT accounting (I remember, about 10 years ago, a couple of VAT inspectors asking me just how VAT treatment and invoicing should be shown on invoices!!!!!!!!!!!).

    However we are getting into a hugely complex area here and it is rather off topic. What I object to is paying extra to use a normal method of payment. The cost of doing business should be calculated into your cost base and taken account of in standard pricing. What next, an extra charge for booking in winter when offices use more energy for heat and light?

    Despite having several shows I would have liked to see I will not now visit the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. They charge a £2.50 booking fee per ticket. This applies even if you visit their Box Office with cash. The General manager explained to me, at great length, how this saves them VAT and they do not have to share it with the artist(s) as it is not counted as direct income. Sorry but this, to me, is morally wrong (and legally dubious) and is a practice I will not support.

    I must add that as a General manager of a business with a largish turnover but working on small margins I never imposed charges for card payments. The flip side to the argument about costs is that banks charge quite high cash handling fees on commercial accounts and the cost of card transactions was never any more than the costs involved with cash handling. Take this into account and you can see that the card handling fees are really unjustified and blatant profiteering. The only cards that could ever justify a charge were Amex/Diners cards where their rates of commission were about 5 times higher than any other card, and the simple solution there was not to accept them.
     
  7. eco082007

    eco082007 New Member Account Suspended

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    Sounds like the profiteering associated with card handling / booking fees could be even more controversial than at first thought with implications of tax avoidance, a hot topic generally at present ! That said you could lay the blame for it all at the doors of the Bankers, adding to the buckets of **** already being dumped on them.

    Its up to Retailers however, and in this context Railtour Promoters to rise above this practice and adopt fair pricing methods across the board. With the number of Promoters we have, and the ever increasing number of tours running on the same day, price will have a more and more significant effect on choice in my view. Which one of the Operators will take this initiative first I wonder ?
     
  8. Spitfire

    Spitfire New Member

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    Shepherd Neame don't charge a credit fee either.
     
  9. eco082007

    eco082007 New Member Account Suspended

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    Unfortunately it seems to be those tour promoters operating steam tours only or regularly that do it.
     
  10. KRM47827

    KRM47827 New Member

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    The average deals I've been able to find for normal credit cards are around 2% (+ or - a few decimals) comm to bank/merchant supplier + small transaction fee. It isn't a quick and simple process to move merchant suppliers either to get an odd 100th of a percent better deal (timing consuming and lots of paperwork + compliance stuff making it not worth it always). We haven't ever charged a surcharge for cards and I just treat it is an overhead. Paypal are better, as are the rates for Debit Cards both of which make up a good percentage of transactions. It averages out perhaps just over 1% of total annual turnover goes just in processing money (be it cards/cheques etc). Call it a bit either side of £500 per train for complete simplicity. We do take AMEX as well, but only a very small percentage (2-3 or per train usually) of people use those!
     
  11. Oakfield

    Oakfield Guest

    Looks like the government are bringing forward their legislation about banning unfair card transaction fees, all ALL OTHER charges you have to pay when booking on line will have to be included in the 'headline price' and not as a bottom line item on the booking form.

    Are you listening Steam Dreams and your carbon offset charge?
     
  12. eco082007

    eco082007 New Member Account Suspended

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    Yes, that was good to read though I'm sure these little extras (margin boosters) will find their way into fares over time.
     
  13. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    You wouldn't be a climate change denier, would you? The green fanatics will want to burn you at the stake for that.
     
  14. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    One of the increasing number...and the word is sceptic..
     
  15. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Happy to accept that sceptic is the appropriate word. Even scepticism is not allowed by the PC/ green fanatic brigade.

    Back to topic, I certainly resent the compulsory charge by Steam Dreams for alleged carbon emissions, but paid it because it was a small amount and I was keen to go on their train, which was well organised and good value. I have to plead guilty to moral cowardice, but am not one to cut off my nose to spite my face!
     
  16. eco082007

    eco082007 New Member Account Suspended

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    Just to be clear, and off topic obviously, (though as I started it, I don't feel too guilty), I don't think anyone denies that climate change is happening. It's MAN MADE climate change that's attracting it's sceptics.
     

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