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  • FIRST POST
    • sue_marie
    • By sue_marie 16th Jun 17, 11:56 PM
    • 31Posts
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    sue_marie
    Charged for using debit card
    • #1
    • 16th Jun 17, 11:56 PM
    Charged for using debit card 16th Jun 17 at 11:56 PM
    Today I went to York Theatre Royal box office to buy two tickets and was told there was a £1.50 'transaction fee' for all debit and credit cards. I've never been charged for using my debit card before. Is this a new thing?
Page 1
    • Brewer20
    • By Brewer20 17th Jun 17, 12:27 AM
    • 23 Posts
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    Brewer20
    • #2
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:27 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:27 AM
    Booking fee.
    • jonesMUFCforever
    • By jonesMUFCforever 17th Jun 17, 12:44 AM
    • 24,078 Posts
    • 11,367 Thanks
    jonesMUFCforever
    • #3
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:44 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:44 AM
    OP I think you would have been charged this even by using cash.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always receive lots
    • realaledrinker
    • By realaledrinker 17th Jun 17, 12:44 AM
    • 1,518 Posts
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    realaledrinker
    • #4
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:44 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:44 AM
    Booking fee.
    Originally posted by Brewer20
    No, rip-off
    Ethical moneysaver
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 17th Jun 17, 12:53 AM
    • 23,100 Posts
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    xylophone
    • #5
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:53 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:53 AM
    OP I think you would have been charged this even by using cash.
    How so?
    £1.50 'transaction fee' for all debit and credit cards.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 17th Jun 17, 12:59 AM
    • 5,568 Posts
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    eskbanker
    • #6
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:59 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:59 AM
    According to https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/page/terms_and_conditions.php it is a card surcharge, or more accurately a non-cash one (so cheques would theoretically be charged too!):
    York Theatre Royal charges a fee of £1.50 per transaction for all bookings excluding cash payments made at the Box Office
    My understanding is that under current regulations, such surcharges have to reflect actual processing costs by card type, so unless they can demonstrate that debit cards cost as much to process as credit cards their policy may not stand up to scrutiny....
    • CKhalvashi
    • By CKhalvashi 17th Jun 17, 2:21 AM
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    CKhalvashi
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 2:21 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 2:21 AM
    My understanding is that under current regulations, such surcharges have to reflect actual processing costs by card type, so unless they can demonstrate that debit cards cost as much to process as credit cards their policy may not stand up to scrutiny....
    Originally posted by eskbanker
    My understanding is that most systems use this to cover the cost of their software, so you end up with something like a £15 ticket and a £1.50 booking fee.

    My company does things a bit differently, where we'll charge £15 for a ticket with no booking fee and reclaim the costs from the other end, usually as part of a package of services, as I feel that it's a fairer way to do it.

    External companies would charge the booking fee though, not the promoter or act/group themselves, and whilst I feel it's morally wrong (as in there should be a properly costed business plan for where the £1.50s will come from elsewhere), many don't.

    As a guide, with processing charges you could possibly argue it's unfair unless the ticket cost more than about £60. There are chargebacks and other costs to consider, though, which could weight the test against the OP, especially if a different system is used for that against physical sales, as it's not a card charge.

    Also, just to be clear, the box office will likely be acting as an agent (largely for tax purposes although an important legal change) instead of a principal. How this changes things legally when querying the charge, I don't know.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    Call me Remainer or Romaniac, but not Remoaner. It's insulting and I have the right to have my voice heard too.

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 17th Jun 17, 12:39 PM
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    eskbanker
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:39 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:39 PM
    This isn't about booking fees that are applied across all payment types, it's specifically about the different issue of surcharging for specific means of payment, which is regulated under the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012.

    In the government's guidance notes for the implementation of these, it's explicitly clear that
    Costs must not be calculated on an average basis across two or more individual methods of payment (e.g. credit and debit cards together) and applied as a flat fee across those means of payment
    which is exactly what the York Theatre Royal appear to be doing, and hence my previous comment.
    • sue_marie
    • By sue_marie 17th Jun 17, 1:55 PM
    • 31 Posts
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    sue_marie
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 17, 1:55 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 17, 1:55 PM
    Thanks for all your help. I've sent the following message to YTR and will let you know their response...
    Referring to card charges, the government guidelines for The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 clearly states "Costs must not be calculated on an average basis across two or more individual methods of payment (e.g. credit and debit cards together) and applied as a flat fee across those means of payment."
    However, I was told yesterday that there is a £1.50 'transaction charge' regardless of whether I paid by debit or credit card. Could you please explain why your policy - as set out in your T&Cs - appears to directly contradict the Consumer Rights Regulations.
    • jonesMUFCforever
    • By jonesMUFCforever 17th Jun 17, 5:04 PM
    • 24,078 Posts
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    jonesMUFCforever
    How so? [/B]
    Originally posted by xylophone
    By going to the box office to buy the tickets and finding this fee added to the ticket.
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always receive lots
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 17th Jun 17, 8:32 PM
    • 18,515 Posts
    • 14,228 Thanks
    agrinnall
    By going to the box office to buy the tickets and finding this fee added to the ticket.
    Originally posted by jonesMUFCforever
    But not if you read the extract in eskbanker's post, which says that cash payments are excluded from the fee.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 18th Jun 17, 2:03 AM
    • 4,124 Posts
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    Heng Leng
    With card payments, they may have to deal with fraud.
    I could be viewed as legitimate if they factored this into the card fee.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 18th Jun 17, 11:56 AM
    • 23,100 Posts
    • 13,387 Thanks
    xylophone
    I could be viewed as legitimate if they factored this into the card fee.
    "Shame and scandal in the family"?
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 18th Jun 17, 2:17 PM
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    eskbanker
    With card payments, they may have to deal with fraud.
    I could be viewed as legitimate if they factored this into the card fee.
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    Not according to the guidance notes linked previously:
    costs related to bad debt, collections, and general costs of running a business which may be indirectly associated with taking payments (e.g. administrative costs, equipment installation and set-up fees, costs deriving from fraud and risk management, and staff–related costs such as training) are not legitimate costs recoverable under these Regulations
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 18th Jun 17, 3:17 PM
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    angryparcel
    This happens more and more these days as Visa and Mastercard now allow retailers to pass card charges directly onto customers.
    The thing is that with Debit Card retailers face a fixed charge of 40p to 60p, with Credit Cards it is 2% to 3.4% per transaction.

    some like Paypal and Stripe will charged per transaction 3.4% + 20p (paypal), 2.9% + 20p (stripe) across the board.
    retailers can only charge what they are charged, so if a card provider charges 2.5% then the retailer can only add a 2.5% fee they cannot charge 2.6%, but they could charge 2.4%
    Last edited by angryparcel; 18-06-2017 at 3:21 PM.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 18th Jun 17, 4:23 PM
    • 4,124 Posts
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    Heng Leng
    Not according to the guidance notes linked previously:
    Originally posted by eskbanker
    That appears to be fraud generally, rather than specially related to card payments. Cash payments are unlike to have this issue as they either have the payment or don't.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 18th Jun 17, 4:26 PM
    • 4,124 Posts
    • 1,263 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    This happens more and more these days as Visa and Mastercard now allow retailers to pass card charges directly onto customers.
    The thing is that with Debit Card retailers face a fixed charge of 40p to 60p, with Credit Cards it is 2% to 3.4% per transaction.

    some like Paypal and Stripe will charged per transaction 3.4% + 20p (paypal), 2.9% + 20p (stripe) across the board.
    retailers can only charge what they are charged, so if a card provider charges 2.5% then the retailer can only add a 2.5% fee they cannot charge 2.6%, but they could charge 2.4%
    Originally posted by angryparcel
    The interchange fees are now in % for both debit and credit transactions. Also, the % for consumer credit isn't massively different from debit cards.

    It boils down to what deal they have with their card processor.
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 18th Jun 17, 4:34 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 519 Thanks
    angryparcel
    The interchange fees are now in % for both debit and credit transactions. Also, the % for consumer credit isn't massively different from debit cards.

    It boils down to what deal they have with their card processor.
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    DC still capped at 50p for a transaction value of £245 and raised to £1 cap at £495

    http://www.cardswitcher.co.uk/2016/05/uk-card-processing-fees-change-2016-2/
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 18th Jun 17, 5:03 PM
    • 5,568 Posts
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    eskbanker
    That appears to be fraud generally, rather than specially related to card payments. Cash payments are unlike to have this issue as they either have the payment or don't.
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    I don't see your first sentence as being relevant even if your interpretation is correct - yes, of course fraud is more likely with card payments than cash ones, but what those regulations are saying is that retailers can't include (any) fraud-related (or other indirect) costs as a component of card surcharges, i.e. they need to absorb them in their standard pricing across all methods of payment, which is expressed more clearly in the paragraph following the one I quoted before:
    To be clear, the Department does not consider that indirect costs, such as general administrative overheads or staff training, should be included in the calculation of costs borne by the trader. Indirect costs, in addition to other internal business costs that may be wholly or partly attributable to the taking of payments, should instead be reflected in the headline price of goods and services, as they ought to be for any general cost categories.
    The document also highlights what are considered legitimate card-related costs for surcharging and these are clearly direct ones rather than indirect:
    For card payments, legitimate payment surcharges could include fees directly charged to the business such as:

    • The Merchant Service Charge, which traders pay to their acquiring bank. This includes the interchange fee paid by the trader’s bank to the card issuer; the fees paid by the trader’s bank to the scheme (e.g. Visa or Mastercard); and the margin retained by the trader’s bank to cover costs and profit.

    • The transaction/overhead fees paid by the trader to intermediaries for some or all of the merchant services usually provided by the acquirer bank. This is where an intermediary acts as a point of contact for retailers and typically deals with the acquirer bank, charging a mark-up on the acquirer bank’s fees for the relevant services.
    • sue_marie
    • By sue_marie 19th Jun 17, 2:41 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    sue_marie
    Here's the reply from York Theatre Royal. I'd be grateful for any advice on whether it is reasonable or not. Many thanks
    When we first introduced the fee it was in response to funding cuts by both the Arts Council England and local authority cuts. As a registered not for profit charity we have for years absorbed the costs of payment processing which are on the increase due in some part to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. We decided after consulting the Consumer Rights (Payment surcharges) Regulations 2012 documentation, to charge an administration or booking fee based on the transaction as a whole rather than the payment method. If the charge is the same regardless of the card payment method and is imposed as a booking or administration fee, then the amount is not restricted by the regulations.
    We wanted to be able to waive the fee for members and participatory activities which are on the whole cheaper and educational and by using an administration/booking fee we were able to do this. I hope that my explanation makes the fee clearer and that at all times we do have the best interests of our bookers at the centre of everything we do. By passing this cost onto our customers we are able to re-invest the money we would have paid for these charges back into the organisation.
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