Readers’ letters: card fees stoke a revolution

I am glad somebody else has noticed that airlines are driving a bus through the credit card surcharge regulations (“Pssst — want to hear the best-kept secret in pensions?”, last week). I booked a flight for four people from Manchester to Heathrow last year with British Airways and was charged £5 per person for using my credit card.

The total charge came to 7% of the fare. BA refused to refund the difference between what I had to pay and 0.6%, which is supposed to be the cap on credit card charges. [The interchange fee on credit card transactions is capped at 0.3%, and experts believe additional costs for large companies should amount to no more than an extra 0.3%.]

I tried to claim the money from my bank as the flights cost more than £100 but it said it could not help because the charge was in BA’s terms and conditions.
IW, Greasby, Wirral

WE BOOKED an all-inclusive holiday costing several thousand pounds through a travel agent and were charged 2.5% for using our credit card. The cap on charges should be publicised more widely to ensure the message is clearly understood. Just last week my wife was planning to buy a new car and was informed by the dealer that a 2.5% charge would be levied if it took a deposit of more than £500.
PW, Dartford, Kent

IT’S not just airlines that impose credit card surcharges — customers also have to pay extra for theatre and concert tickets. I normally pay by debit card to avoid the charges. The rationale is rubbish: it’s just another excuse to fleece us.

You don’t pay a credit card charge in shops, so why do companies feel they have a right to do this? We have rolled over and played dead. Let’s do something! KM, Kenley, Croydon

I HAVE just booked flights with Monarch to Lanzarote for the Easter holidays. The flights were pretty expensive — £3,056 for four adults, a child of six and an infant — but I was also charged £91 for paying by credit card. Seems excessive.
SBS, Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire

WHEN I renewed my car tax on the DVLA website it was free to use a debit card but for a credit card there was a £2.50 charge. The tax was £145, so that is a fee of more than 1.7%. ES, Brighton

CUNARD is charging us 1.5% for paying by credit card. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider the price of a cruise it adds up to a tidy sum. We will be paying the balance of our cruise in December and as the cost will be more than £8,000, the fee will be in excess of £120. Can we challenge this?
RM, Southport, Merseyside

IF YOU want to avoid credit card charges, book flights and holidays with Jet2. No fees unless you choose American Express.
IH, by email

A RIVER cruise company charged me a £30.76 credit card payment fee on a bill of £1,738 (1.77%). I was also charged a fee of £4 with no further details and a card fee when I paid the deposit.

I like to pay by credit card to get the protection of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Please start a campaign against these excessive charges.
NP, Eastbourne

SSE charges 1.5% for payment by credit card, and our quarterly energy bills are usually in excess of £200.
EE, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

I HAVE booked a trip with a sailing company for about £3,000. I have had discussions with the company because it specified there would be a 3% charge for paying by credit card.

Despite my comments, it insists on levying a charge, but as a special offer to me it reduced the figure to 2.5%. That is still way more than the 0.6% your column mentions.
PP, Basingstoke

HAVING just paid a 2% (£77.32) credit card charge on a £3,866 holiday with Kuoni, I feel this is somewhat exorbitant.
WP, Bookham, Surrey

Moved to tears by broadband
THE most excellent Jill Insley couldn’t understand why a distressed customer wasn’t able to cancel their broadband upon moving house (“Two landline bills, one big headache”, Question of Money, last week). I’m afraid I can.

I moved house four years ago and called my internet provider on the day to cancel the line and account. Despite my ever more distressed protestations that my new home was linked to a BT-only rural exchange, with no possibility of the provider being able to supply service, it refused to cancel my line or accept that I couldn’t remain a customer in my new property.

I still have a spike in my blood pressure when I recall the half hour on the phone — with removal men at the door — trying to get the company to simply “let me go”. It left me with tears of frustration and stress, and the worry of being responsible for the new occupier’s calls.
RT, Thorpe, Derbyshire

Write to: Money, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF

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