The Office of Fair Trading are set to investigate the huge numbers of rip off credit card fees that are cropping up after a Which? investigation.
The results, which will come out in the next 90 days look set to lead to a full scale investigation, which could lead to the charges being banned.
The move will be welcomed by consumers fed up with paying over 200 times the actual cost of processing the transaction.
In Europe, France, Italy, Portugal and Sweden are amongst 10 European countries who have already banned the ridiculous charges, and in Germany, Spain and Greece they are subject to strict limits.
With Ticketmaster and Budget Airlines leading the great rip-off Which? found that BMIBaby and Flybe were charging £4.50 a flight, and RyanAir charge £5, hardly surprising from the firm who wanted to charge a pound to use the loo.
Irish Ferries also charge £5 while Thomas Cook and the Co-operative charged 2.5%, which on a £2000 family holiday is a whopping £50.
Even the cinemas charge with Odeon charging 75p and Vue 70p, nearly 10% of the ticket price. With councils joining in and charging for paying for council tax with a credit card the providers have also had enough.
Visa and Mastercard have backed the Which? campaign as they are worried the charges are damaging their own reputation. The UK Cards Association revealed that the average fee for processing a credit card was 1-2.5%, but just 10-20p for a debit card, despite being a similar process.
Ryanair showed typical maturity in their answer to the claims saying their customers could avoid the charges by paying with a pre-paid Mastercard. Their exact words were, “Before making ‘Super Duper Complaints’ the clueless clowns at ‘Which?’ should at least get their facts right,” before adding, “Ryanair does not levy any credit or debit card payment ‘surcharges’.”
Many of the businesses claimed they would have to put the price up if they were forced to drop the charges but at the end of the day that would improve transparency and that’s exactly what the average consumer wants.