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Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?

Moderator

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@CreditCuriosity wrote:

To me it seems like a company is being "Penny wise and dollar foolish" especially high end companies was looking for blinds for my new place one place wouldn't take CC thus they lost out on probably 3-5k on a purchase where-as i went to another place same blinds for the same price and they took CC.. Who got the sale?  I place literally can put themselves out of business not taking CC in todays society.  I know the cost is usually passed on to the consumer by higher prices in general but if two retailers sell same things for the same price and one adds a 3% surcharge and the other one doesn't then the above saying is very applicable here.  I truely believe in todays society is is part of the cost of doing business as k-n-boston stated


+1,000

 

There are many businesses that never got repeat business from me for not accepting American Express.  I've loosened up on that in recent years, but I still never carry cash.  Unless I'm somewhere exotic, I expect to be able to pay with a credit card.  Going back to what sarge said about it not being fair to cash-paying customers, in Mass at least it is acceptable to offer a cash/debit discount, and that's probably a good balance for the merchants who do that (in my experience, that is usually just the mom and pop non-chain gas stations around Boston).

 

OP, one possibility would be to use Plastiq to send the company a check.  There is a fee, but it may be lower.


Message 11 of 34
Senior Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?

I prefer businesses that accept credit cards.  I tend to spend more than if I have to pay cash.  Mainly becuase I have to drive for hours to get cash and am super careful with it.  Lol - I spend $300-400 less on food if I have to pay cash!  [My bank is several states away.  I don't do debit cards.  Thus, it's not easy to get cash.  Local banks require two proofs of physical address.  I don't have one.  I don't have utility bills or mortgage.]

 

With small companies/businesses, I don't mind paying cash if I know ahead of time.  I can plan and manage.  I don't have 10k or 13k cash lying around.  And I can't easily go get that kind of cash to make a purchase.  And a check for that amount?  Who writes checks anymore?

 

I pay cash at farmers markets.  I pay cash for hay.  I usually leave a cash tip.    

 

I do remember the days of cash discounts at the gas pump.  If I know I am going to have a cash discount price for paying cash, I can plan ahead and make informed decisions.

 

I do remember when debit cards came out and it was a 50 cent transaction fee.  People paid it!  I refused to get a debit card.  Still do.

 

 

 

Message 12 of 34
Mega Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@CreditCuriosity wrote:

To me it seems like a company is being "Penny wise and dollar foolish" especially high end companies was looking for blinds for my new place one place wouldn't take CC thus they lost out on probably 3-5k on a purchase where-as i went to another place same blinds for the same price and they took CC.. Who got the sale?  I place literally can put themselves out of business not taking CC in todays society.  I know the cost is usually passed on to the consumer by higher prices in general but if two retailers sell same things for the same price and one adds a 3% surcharge and the other one doesn't then the above saying is very applicable here.  I truely believe in todays society is is part of the cost of doing business as k-n-boston stated


I give the business owners some credit (pun unintended) to do their own research.   With low margin businesses, the extra fee might turn a profit into a loss, and it might be better to give up some of that business.    And enough"wrong" (from the businesses's perspective) chargebacks can also be disruptive.

 

Most of the cases I come across are for utility bill pay, in which case I have no alternative, and it's also hard to argue it particularly inconveniences me to have to pay by ACH rather than card  (whereas when buying something in a store, I certainly might not have the cash or a check)

Message 13 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@sarge12 wrote:

Many might disagree with my opinion on this, but I have no issue with a business tacking on an extra fee if the customer uses a credit card, as long as that is clearly stated beforehand. The merchant must pay a swipe fee for accepting a credit card, and in order to make a profit, the cost of the swipe fees are passed on to their customers. The ones who charge extra for use of a credit card are choosing to pass these costs on to the card user, rather than everybody, which in my opinion is fair. I have always thought it was somewhat unfair to the cash paying customers to have to pay more for their goods and services to benefit those who use credit cards. I will always use the credit card if it does not cost more to do so, and use cash if it does. Actually when you think about it, the very poor are usually the ones who have no credit cards, and are charged more for what they buy, so I can use a credit card.


Cash paying customers are free to go out and get a rewards credit card and benefit too. In no way, shape, or form is it "not fair" when they have a choice. 

 

I'll go back to my usual point when I'm in a discussion about this subject... The merchant can pay their own sales tax (8.25% in my state) and I'll gladly pay the 3% credit card fee. Merchants have no right to complain about the cost of taking credit cards... The cost of doing business could be 5% higher for them than it is now. Add in the fact that they just received a 14% tax cut and, well, you get the point... It's nothing but greed on the merchant's part. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

At some point the government and issuers need to stop doing favors for the merchants. We've seen Dubrin, we've seen the card companies cave and allow minimum charges, we've seen the card companies allow surcharges, and merchants are STILL complaining about the cost. Merchants are going to whine about card costs no matter what we do to help them out.  You ever notice in other countries the merchants have went out and bought contactless and EMV (person facing) machines without an issue, but here, we've seen nothing but crying, moaning, and complaining from merchants about adopting the technology? Yeah, we need to stop doing them favors... They're greedy. Don't like card fees? Too bad... Then go without half of your customer base. 

 

It's sad that customer service has stooped so low, that now merchants want to charge people (who don't even have to buy anything from the merchant) for using their preferred payment method. 

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Message 14 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?

Here in Texas government is supposed to be the only one allowed.

Happens with others though.

Some gas stations give a cash discount which is the same thing as a CC fee

Message 15 of 34
Established Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@sarge12 wrote:

Many might disagree with my opinion on this, but I have no issue with a business tacking on an extra fee if the customer uses a credit card, as long as that is clearly stated beforehand. The merchant must pay a swipe fee for accepting a credit card, and in order to make a profit, the cost of the swipe fees are passed on to their customers. The ones who charge extra for use of a credit card are choosing to pass these costs on to the card user, rather than everybody, which in my opinion is fair. I have always thought it was somewhat unfair to the cash paying customers to have to pay more for their goods and services to benefit those who use credit cards. I will always use the credit card if it does not cost more to do so, and use cash if it does. Actually when you think about it, the very poor are usually the ones who have no credit cards, and are charged more for what they buy, so I can use a credit card.


+1

  
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Message 16 of 34
Established Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?

While I do agree that ~3% of every sale does add up and can certainly pressure low margin sales, it’s not exactly cheap for a business, especially in retail, to facilitate cash transactions either. That’s why the costs associated with both fall under “the cost of doing business,” as mentioned above. Armored couriers, cash deliveries/deposits, embezzlement at the register, counterfeit money, robbery, etc all come with cash handling. 

 

I even find it a bit disingenuous for a business to encourage their customers to use cash. It’s not just the swipe fee they are trying to remove from the equation, and I find that to actually be a facade. They also want to eliminate potential credit card fraud at their business (not my problem as a customer), as well as remove the protections many customers are afforded by their credit card company after a transaction. A cash sale is mostly final, and it’s largely at the business’s discretion how they choose to proceed with any issues after the sale. A business can simply ask you to leave (trespass) and not return if you are dissatisfied and perceived as being a problem customer. You have a lot more options readily at your disposal when merchandise or a service is purchased with a credit card, which may ultimately leave a business out the money and the goods. 


Message 17 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@mountaindewvoltage wrote:

@sarge12 wrote:

Many might disagree with my opinion on this, but I have no issue with a business tacking on an extra fee if the customer uses a credit card, as long as that is clearly stated beforehand. The merchant must pay a swipe fee for accepting a credit card, and in order to make a profit, the cost of the swipe fees are passed on to their customers. The ones who charge extra for use of a credit card are choosing to pass these costs on to the card user, rather than everybody, which in my opinion is fair. I have always thought it was somewhat unfair to the cash paying customers to have to pay more for their goods and services to benefit those who use credit cards. I will always use the credit card if it does not cost more to do so, and use cash if it does. Actually when you think about it, the very poor are usually the ones who have no credit cards, and are charged more for what they buy, so I can use a credit card.


Cash paying customers are free to go out and get a rewards credit card and benefit too. In no way, shape, or form is it "not fair" when they have a choice. 

 

I'll go back to my usual point when I'm in a discussion about this subject... The merchant can pay their own sales tax (8.25% in my state) and I'll gladly pay the 3% credit card fee. Merchants have no right to complain about the cost of taking credit cards... The cost of doing business could be 5% higher for them than it is now. Add in the fact that they just received a 14% tax cut and, well, you get the point... It's nothing but greed on the merchant's part. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

At some point the government and issuers need to stop doing favors for the merchants. We've seen Dubrin, we've seen the card companies cave and allow minimum charges, we've seen the card companies allow surcharges, and merchants are STILL complaining about the cost. Merchants are going to whine about card costs no matter what we do to help them out.  You ever notice in other countries the merchants have went out and bought contactless and EMV (person facing) machines without an issue, but here, we've seen nothing but crying, moaning, and complaining from merchants about adopting the technology? Yeah, we need to stop doing them favors... They're greedy. Don't like card fees? Too bad... Then go without half of your customer base. 

 

It's sad that customer service has stooped so low, that now merchants want to charge people (who don't even have to buy anything from the merchant) for using their preferred payment method. 


In the final analysis, it may cost a merchant some business charging a fee for card use. As a customer, anyone can certainly choose not to purchase from a store that does so, and that is as it should be. I am in no way against the customer choosing not to buy from a merchant who charges a fee. It is only dictating by law to prevent a merchant from charging the fee I'm against. The free market works it out, if left unimpeded. I do agree that the customer does not even have to buy anything from the merchant.





TU fico08=810 08/29/18
EX fico08=796 09/05/18
EQ fico08=811 09/05/18
EX fico09=797 08/01/18
EQ fico bankcard08=827 08/28/18
Garden since 07/02/18
Message 18 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@sarge12 wrote:

@mountaindewvoltage wrote:

@sarge12 wrote:

Many might disagree with my opinion on this, but I have no issue with a business tacking on an extra fee if the customer uses a credit card, as long as that is clearly stated beforehand. The merchant must pay a swipe fee for accepting a credit card, and in order to make a profit, the cost of the swipe fees are passed on to their customers. The ones who charge extra for use of a credit card are choosing to pass these costs on to the card user, rather than everybody, which in my opinion is fair. I have always thought it was somewhat unfair to the cash paying customers to have to pay more for their goods and services to benefit those who use credit cards. I will always use the credit card if it does not cost more to do so, and use cash if it does. Actually when you think about it, the very poor are usually the ones who have no credit cards, and are charged more for what they buy, so I can use a credit card.


Cash paying customers are free to go out and get a rewards credit card and benefit too. In no way, shape, or form is it "not fair" when they have a choice. 

 

I'll go back to my usual point when I'm in a discussion about this subject... The merchant can pay their own sales tax (8.25% in my state) and I'll gladly pay the 3% credit card fee. Merchants have no right to complain about the cost of taking credit cards... The cost of doing business could be 5% higher for them than it is now. Add in the fact that they just received a 14% tax cut and, well, you get the point... It's nothing but greed on the merchant's part. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

At some point the government and issuers need to stop doing favors for the merchants. We've seen Dubrin, we've seen the card companies cave and allow minimum charges, we've seen the card companies allow surcharges, and merchants are STILL complaining about the cost. Merchants are going to whine about card costs no matter what we do to help them out.  You ever notice in other countries the merchants have went out and bought contactless and EMV (person facing) machines without an issue, but here, we've seen nothing but crying, moaning, and complaining from merchants about adopting the technology? Yeah, we need to stop doing them favors... They're greedy. Don't like card fees? Too bad... Then go without half of your customer base. 

 

It's sad that customer service has stooped so low, that now merchants want to charge people (who don't even have to buy anything from the merchant) for using their preferred payment method. 


In the final analysis, it may cost a merchant some business charging a fee for card use. As a customer, anyone can certainly choose not to purchase from a store that does so, and that is as it should be. I am in no way against the customer choosing not to buy from a merchant who charges a fee. It is only dictating by law to prevent a merchant from charging the fee I'm against. The free market works it out, if left unimpeded. I do agree that the customer does not even have to buy anything from the merchant.


Only the first two sentences in my post were my replies to you (just as an FYI I suppose). The rest of my post was based solely on my opinions. 

 

Charging fees for credit card use is just bad customer service. Either raise your prices (to cover the cost) or eat the fee. Merchants are lucky they can even pass sales tax onto the consumer... They're the ones selling the product after all. 

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Message 19 of 34
Valued Contributor

Re: Companies charging a "fee" to accept credit cards - legal?


@mountaindewvoltage wrote:

@sarge12 wrote:

Many might disagree with my opinion on this, but I have no issue with a business tacking on an extra fee if the customer uses a credit card, as long as that is clearly stated beforehand. The merchant must pay a swipe fee for accepting a credit card, and in order to make a profit, the cost of the swipe fees are passed on to their customers. The ones who charge extra for use of a credit card are choosing to pass these costs on to the card user, rather than everybody, which in my opinion is fair. I have always thought it was somewhat unfair to the cash paying customers to have to pay more for their goods and services to benefit those who use credit cards. I will always use the credit card if it does not cost more to do so, and use cash if it does. Actually when you think about it, the very poor are usually the ones who have no credit cards, and are charged more for what they buy, so I can use a credit card.


Cash paying customers are free to go out and get a rewards credit card and benefit too. In no way, shape, or form is it "not fair" when they have a choice. 


How pray tell is rewards credit cards a viable choice for the very poor. Any credit card at all, is difficult for them to obtain. A credit card that has rewards is not really a choice they have at all.





TU fico08=810 08/29/18
EX fico08=796 09/05/18
EQ fico08=811 09/05/18
EX fico09=797 08/01/18
EQ fico bankcard08=827 08/28/18
Garden since 07/02/18
Message 20 of 34