“This is something that has bothered merchants for a long, long time.”
Businesses getting stuck with credit card fees. Phil Catlett, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan explains the issue was settled by a federal court judge that allows businesses to pass along the amount they’re charged to you, the consumer.
“Typical case that’s 1.5 to 3 percent, but this is allowed up to 4 percent. It pertains only to MasterCard and Visa.”
If you use those cards, beware! The judge’s ruling demands merchants post signage, clearly mark receipts and make it known online if they’re adding check-out fees. Catlett reminds shoppers they have options.
“See if you can get the business to potentially not add that on and then if they say no, this is a real cost of business and we need to pass that along to you then you as a consumer need to decide whether or not you’re willing to pay it? And if you have an alternative, in other words, if you’re able to pay with a different kind of payment method that doesn’t have this add-on fee, or if you’re willing to go purchase the item somewhere else then you’ve got leverage.”
Catlett doesn’t recommend using cash as the alternative. The BBB recommends using credit cards or debit cards that don’t apply to the new pass through fee. That’s because credit cards offer a number of consumer protection.
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