Just to add, I meant challenge the merchant not report the merchant. Generally as a rule I use my debit or cc's and rarely carry cash. I'd be upset if a merchant refused a sale because it wasn't a minimum amount. I would only consider reporting a merchant if they were a pip about it.
MsKiwi wrote:This is true but I still see many stores with signs that require minimum purchases. Maybe I'll challenge one of these merchants.A friend of mine who had his own retail business used to require a minimum purchase for CC transactions. One day he received a letter from Visa or MC (don't remember which one) that he needed to stop that practice. Instead, he (stupidly, IMO) chose to stop taking CCs altogether.I reported a restaurant across the street from where I work for requiring a $15 minimum on CC transactions. Shortly after that, the Visa and MC logos disappeared from their front window.Merchants are not allowed to make their own rules or set their own policies when it comes to these things.You guys are correct about the merchants not being able to require a minimum purchase to use a credit card, but before going around reporting everyone that does, think about the repercussions for these business owners. I'm sure many of them don't even realize that they are in violation of their agreement. You should see the packages that arrive when you get a merchant account, one fo Visa/MasterCard, another for discover and another for Amex, then from the bank who issues the merchant account. You think you get fine print when you are issued a personal credit card...that's cake compared to this.Also, keep in mind that in this economy a lot of business ownes are doing what they can just to stay a float. We all advise to keep a card active by buying a pack of gum, I used to do that too, until I found out what it cost the merchant just to pay with a credit card. Let's say the stores purchase that pack of gum for $.20 but they sell it for $.50. In addition to the monthly fees for being able to process credit cards, the merchant bank is going to take a transaction fee of anywhere from 20-30 cents just for running the credit card through the machine. If your card won't swipe and they have to manually type in the numbers, they get charged more for that too. On top of that, they also take a portion of the total price for the transaction...depending on the volume of the store (more volume gives them better rates, so small business gets hit the hardest) that could be anywhere from 1.5-3% of the transaction total. So...do the math, that store just LOST money on your transaction. Not only did they not make a cent, they are eating money. This also does not factor in the cost of employees to order, stock and rin up the items...So you see....while you are absolutely correct, they should NOT be putting up signs saying there is a minimum purchase amount and yes they are in violation of their agreement, just consider how devastating the consequences can be for those businesses if you report them. It's not Wal-Mart or Starbucks putting up those signs, it's likely the smaller mom & pop shops doing it. Calling and reporting them could be the final straw in putting them out of business. I wouldn't want that hanging over my head, even if they are in violation of their credit card agreement. I say, let the credit card companies worry about regulating those rules.
Message Edited by UpUpUp on 06-25-2008 08:30 AM
Mastercard makes it easy to complain on their website. http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/contactus/merchantviolations.html. Their complaint number is 1-800-300-3069.
Visa is a little harder to complain to (but you can usually just make a complaint to M/C). If you want to complain with Visa, call them at 1-800-VISA-911 and say you want to file an "incident report".
When should you ask a cardholder for an official government ID? Although Visa
rules do not preclude merchants from asking for cardholder ID, merchants
cannot make an ID a condition of acceptance. Therefore, merchants cannot
refuse to complete a purchase transaction because a cardholder refuses to
provide ID. Visa believes merchants should not ask for ID as part of their
regular card acceptance procedures. Laws in several states also make it illegal
for merchants to write a cardholder’s personal information, such as an address or
phone number, on a sales receipt.
debtisgood wrote:I would never think to report every merchant I see in violation, but there are some bars with rude managers and employees that have $15 dollar credit minimums. Now I am sorry but a liquor license is one of the most lucrative pieces of property around - people obtain then and lease them out in some places for profit - so I don't feel bad if I want to put a 7 dollar mixed drink on my card, considering the 300% profit margin on that drink.
As far as merchants accepting the cards or not, in addition to the other benefits already discussed in the thread, don't forget funds availability. If the merchant batches out their transactions every night, they can have next-day access to all their funds. This working capital can be put to use instantly (even more useful if the merchant has corporate offices elsewhere- no need for the cash to be deposited in local banks after several days, get counted, and THEN work its way to corporate via the ACH system)
Mine actually takes a few days, I think it batches out to the merchant bank I signed up with and then they make the deposit into my account about 2 days later. Well, the exception to that is Amex, they deposit directly. Though, it seems AMEX does everything on their own accord! Even though there is a slight delay for me, it's so nice to have the funds directly deposited.