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RedBalloon fined over excessive credit card charges

RedBalloon fined over excessive credit card charges
November 18, 2017

Online leisure experience and gift retailer RedBalloon has paid $43,200 in penalties following the issue of four infringement notices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for alleged breaches of the excessive payment surcharges laws in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The ACCC alleged that the online trader charged four customers excessive surcharges on their MasterCard and Visa credit or debit cards in March and June this year.

New excessive payment laws have applied to 'large businesses' - which includes RedBalloon - since September 2016 and to all other Australian businesses since September 2017.

RedBalloon, which cooperated with the ACCC through its investigation, has since lowered its payment surcharges to the correct amounts.

ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said businesses can only pass on to customers what it costs to accept the payment, including fees such as merchant service fees and terminal rental and maintenance fees.

Dr Schaper stated “RedBalloon was charging these customers more than allowed under the law prohibiting excessive payment surcharges on card transactions.

"This provides that businesses can only pass on to customers what it costs to accept the payment, including fees such as merchant service fees, and terminal rental and maintenance fees.”

"If a business wants to impose a payment surcharge on card transactions, that business is responsible for ascertaining the cost of acceptance of the payment before imposing the surcharge onto customers.

"If a business is unsure what the cost of acceptance is for a particular payment method, it should contact its financial institution to obtain a copy of its annual statement."

Dr Schaper said any business, large or small, charging excessive surcharges on card transactions, whether intentional or not, risked ACCC enforcement action. 

28th August 2017 - ACCC COMMENCES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST TICKET RESELLER VIAGOGO 

6th April 2017 - VISITOR ATTRACTIONS HIT BY STOLEN CREDIT CARD SCAM 

19th July 2016 - REDBALLOON LAUNCHES REAL-TIME BOOKINGS WITH LIVN GDS

6th December 2015 - ACCC URGES BUSINESSES TO CHECK THAT THEIR CONTRACTS ARE FAIR 

14th April 2004 - REDBALLOON SURVEY SHOWS AUSTRALIANS VALUE FAMILY TIME


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