I received this e-mail from a ValueIreland.com reader last week.
I received the Listowel Writers week brochure today. It says they charge you €6 for paying for a workshop by credit card or laser card. With laser the company gets the money at the time – they pay a small fee (it was 15c per transaction) to the card company. Can they charge €6? How do you justify this.
Here was my response:
Unfortunately this charge, assuming the amount quoted is accurate, doesn’t have to be justified.
They’re free to charge what they want at the moment – the financial industry have been successful in resisting the banning of card surcharges, despite it being part of EU legislation.
Unfortunately, it’s a standard response to many queries that we get, but it’s your own choice as to whether to pay the charge or not. In situations such as this, there’s not a whole lot that the consumer can do about it except not pay it.
And as I can probably guess, there’ll be more people who will pay the charge than those that might refuse to pay – and therefore, they’ll get away with charging it.
For events such as this, with a big demand for tickets and places, people such as the organisers of the Listowel Writers Week are dealing with a captive audience.