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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Ben
    • By MSE Ben 11th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    • 38Posts
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    MSE Ben
    0 WOW
    MSE News: Have you ever paid in euros abroad but been charged in pounds?
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:09 PM
    0 WOW
    MSE News: Have you ever paid in euros abroad but been charged in pounds? 11th Jul 17 at 5:09 PM
    MoneySavers are losing out by having payments processed in pounds even when selecting the local currency payment option...
    Read the full story:
    'Have you ever paid in euros abroad but been charged in pounds?'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 11-07-2017 at 8:55 PM.
Page 1
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 11th Jul 17, 5:42 PM
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    zagfles
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:42 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:42 PM
    Re the situation mentioned where the customer was charged in GBP despite seeing the waiter select the EUR option - the problem might be that the terminals often ask twice for confirmation that you don't want DCC, as I mentioned in this post:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=72507722

    So seeing the waiter press the EUR option on the first screen wouldn't be enough you'd need to see what they did on the following screen.

    As I said in the above thread, if it's a hand held terminal, keep hold of it after entering the PIN and answer the DCC questions yourself.

    It's like ATMs which often ask a second time after you decline DCC. They want you to take the DCC option so they can profit from it.
    • redux
    • By redux 11th Jul 17, 8:40 PM
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    redux
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 17, 8:40 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jul 17, 8:40 PM
    At a Polish motorway fuel forecourt, the screen showed a total in zloty, and I agreed.

    Then I was handed two receipts, a shop one in local currency and the credit card one in pounds, which fortunately I looked at while about to leave the shop.

    I went back to the same till, waited for the next person to pay, then queried it. Złotych, he said, pointing at the shop receipt. No, I said, this one has pounds. We can cancel this and then do it properly. I'll pay in złotych.

    Even though he spoke no English, he understood me fully. He fetched the manager who spent about 10 minutes figuring out what she was doing, then refunded and did it properly.

    Meanwhile, I overheard two Germans querying theirs, who had perhaps overheard me.

    When I got home I calculated the difference. About 6.25%.

    I contacted my card provider to ask how to complain, to ask MasterCard to review the forecourt's policy and prevent other people inadvertently being hit with this. They didn't know. I looked up phone numbers on the MasterCard website itself. It asked me to enter my card number, and transferred me to the issuer call centre.

    Assuming that many of the customers there will be foreigners leaving Poland, I estimate the place could be making up to about £1 million a year extra profit from this, or more if lorries are falling for it too.

    It was a double mistake going there anyway, as it was more expensive than anywhere else in Poland, in fact no cheaper than Germany.

    I still wish that MasterCard itself had a proper complaint procedure for this sort of thing.

    According to the MSE article:

    A Mastercard spokesperson said: “No matter which card is used, it is the responsibility of the bank that provides card acceptance and dynamic currency conversion functionality to the shop who is responsible for ensuring the shop is compliant. If they remain uncompliant, ultimately they will have acceptance taken from them.”

    Not in my experience there. Can anyone at MSE recommend how to contact MasterCard itself, without being transferred back to my card firm?
    Last edited by redux; 12-07-2017 at 8:45 AM.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 11th Jul 17, 9:01 PM
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    Doshwaster
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 17, 9:01 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 17, 9:01 PM
    Happens all of the time in Spanish Tabac shops
    • Vortigern
    • By Vortigern 11th Jul 17, 10:28 PM
    • 2,310 Posts
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    Vortigern
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:28 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:28 PM
    ...if it's a hand held terminal, keep hold of it after entering the PIN and answer the DCC questions yourself.
    Originally posted by zagfles
    ^^^This is part of the problem. Entry of the PIN should be the last step and should finalise the transaction. There should be no way to modify the transaction by changing the exchange rate after the PIN has been entered.

    Mastercard and Visa should mandate that card terminals must display the amount and currency on the PIN entry screen, and that no alteration can be made after PIN entry.
    • JezR
    • By JezR 11th Jul 17, 10:34 PM
    • 1,512 Posts
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    JezR
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:34 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:34 PM
    Not in my experience there. Can anyone at MSE recommend how to contact MasterCard itself, without being transferred back to my card firm?
    Originally posted by redux
    Ask your card issuer for a chargeback, quoting Reason Code 4846 (Correct Transaction Currency Code Not Provided).
    • redux
    • By redux 11th Jul 17, 10:46 PM
    • 17,526 Posts
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    redux
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:46 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:46 PM
    Ask your card issuer for a chargeback, quoting Reason Code 4846 (Correct Transaction Currency Code Not Provided).
    Originally posted by JezR
    To clarify, I had this corrected for me during the visit, with 3 transactions, the first in pounds, the second refunding that, then the third in Polish currency.

    But I was still annoyed when I got home, and wanted to report it anyway that the screen messages were not showing what was happening, and I didn't want others treated like this.
    • JezR
    • By JezR 11th Jul 17, 10:51 PM
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    JezR
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:51 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:51 PM
    You could try their general assistance centre on 0800964767 or the web form https://www.mastercard.co.uk/en-gb/ask-mastercard-webform.html

    Incidentally Poland in general is one of the worst countries for unwanted DCC, others being China and India.
    Last edited by JezR; 11-07-2017 at 10:53 PM.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 11th Jul 17, 10:54 PM
    • 12,481 Posts
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    zagfles
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:54 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:54 PM
    ^^^This is part of the problem. Entry of the PIN should be the last step and should finalise the transaction. There should be no way to modify the transaction by changing the exchange rate after the PIN has been entered.

    Mastercard and Visa should mandate that card terminals must display the amount and currency on the PIN entry screen, and that no alteration can be made after PIN entry.
    Originally posted by Vortigern
    Exactly - altering the amount you authorised after you authorised it seems to me to be basically fraud. You've authorised eg EUR 100, not GBP 90, so if the retailer or their terminal changes your authorisation from EUR 100 to GBP 90 without asking you they are surely committing fraud. It's no better than altering a cheque after it's been signed.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 11th Jul 17, 11:02 PM
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    zagfles
    You could try their general assistance centre on 0800964767 or the web form https://www.mastercard.co.uk/en-gb/ask-mastercard-webform.html

    Incidentally Poland in general is one of the worst countries for unwanted DCC, others being China and India.
    Originally posted by JezR
    Spain is up there too. Also Ireland (think they invented it).

    DCC rates in Poland are the worst rip-off's I've seen, judging by cashpoint offers - over 6% as mentioned above. Spain's rates seem much more reasonable, IIRC about 2.5% at ATMs, these rates could make it better to take the DCC offer if you've not got a fee free card, as most charge about 3%.

    Never once encountered DCC in France, though apparently the Calais hypermarkets offer it.
    • JezR
    • By JezR 11th Jul 17, 11:03 PM
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    JezR
    It can happen with contactless now which in some ways is even worse.
    • Abbey1991
    • By Abbey1991 12th Jul 17, 12:38 AM
    • 63 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Abbey1991
    With Amex they can't do this can they?

    Worth getting the Lloyds Amex which doesn't have any foreign fees.
    • catwoman73
    • By catwoman73 12th Jul 17, 6:08 AM
    • 435 Posts
    • 517 Thanks
    catwoman73
    I've also had this at the tobacconist outside Malaga airport, and the KFC and Duty Free shop at Malta airport. At the KFC I saw the assistant pressing loads of buttons before handing me the terminal so I picked up on what she was up to and paid cash instead. I didn't know they could still change it afterwards, that's outrageous and will look out for that.

    Even though that transaction at KFC would have only cost a few pence extra, it's the principle - they are deliberately creaming off extra money from anyone not paying in local currency. The assistant in the Duty Free Shop did say 'I've put it in pounds because it's cheaper for you' to which I replied 'No it's not, I want to pay in euros' (I was paying with a Halifax Clarity card) so she had to cancel the transaction and start again.

    Very very annoying but unfortunately a lot of places will get away with it because people don't realise or the language barrier if people don't speak the local language or the assistant will suddenly not understand English.
    • pompeyrich
    • By pompeyrich 12th Jul 17, 3:54 PM
    • 3,045 Posts
    • 3,078 Thanks
    pompeyrich
    Until recently I used either a NatWest or Santander card abroad and as the original article says, with a card like these it is not always as clear cut as to whether it is better to pay in local currency or £s.

    From the Santander FAQs page, using a rate of €1 = £0.876855 or £1= €1.14, an example rate of 1/6/2017. Spending €100 would, at 0 fees cost £87.69, however they charge 2.75% as a Non-sterling transaction fee and another £1.25 as a Non-sterling purchase fee, which means the actual cost would be £91.35 or a rate of €1.095/£1. With the NSTF fixed at £1.25 a spend of €10 would end up giving less than €1/£1.

    A cash withdrawal from an atm, apart from a Santander branded one in Spain is worse as the charge is 2.75% NSTF and 1.5%, min £1.99, Non-sterling 
cash fee.

    If you accept DCC in these cases you avoid any foreign fees and a few clicks on a calculator would show the better option.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 12th Jul 17, 7:28 PM
    • 4,754 Posts
    • 3,878 Thanks
    Doshwaster
    Spain is up there too. Also Ireland (think they invented it).

    DCC rates in Poland are the worst rip-off's I've seen, judging by cashpoint offers - over 6% as mentioned above. Spain's rates seem much more reasonable, IIRC about 2.5% at ATMs, these rates could make it better to take the DCC offer if you've not got a fee free card, as most charge about 3%.

    Never once encountered DCC in France, though apparently the Calais hypermarkets offer it.
    Originally posted by zagfles
    I can't remember having a problem in Poland but in Spain I use cash as much as possible to avoid the hassle.

    On the other hand I have never known DCC in the USA. They probably wouldn't know how to charge in a different currency even if they wanted to.
    • JezR
    • By JezR 12th Jul 17, 8:59 PM
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    JezR
    On the other hand I have never known DCC in the USA. They probably wouldn't know how to charge in a different currency even if they wanted to.
    Originally posted by Doshwaster
    I've seen DCC at ATMs.
    • SalarySlave
    • By SalarySlave 13th Jul 17, 9:42 AM
    • 65 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    SalarySlave
    I spend a lot of time in Spain, and use my Halifax clarity card for everything. The difficulty is that almost all the time the currency question comes after the pin code entry. Also with contactless there is no pin entry obviously. Its so frustrating saying, "no you charged me in the wrong currency" they often offer a refund but that would cost even more money
    • jadex
    • By jadex 13th Jul 17, 10:28 AM
    • 654 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    jadex
    Spain is up there too. Also Ireland (think they invented it).
    Originally posted by zagfles
    Add mighty UK to the list.
    I know it's mainly UK forum so you/we don't notice that unless you go along with your visiting friend...
    • jadex
    • By jadex 13th Jul 17, 10:41 AM
    • 654 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    jadex
    Exactly - altering the amount you authorised after you authorised it seems to me to be basically fraud. You've authorised eg EUR 100, not GBP 90, so if the retailer or their terminal changes your authorisation from EUR 100 to GBP 90 without asking you they are surely committing fraud. It's no better than altering a cheque after it's been signed.
    Originally posted by zagfles
    that's because terminal operator accepts currency AFTER you type your PIN - for instance this is how ANZ terminals work in Australia and how you can avoid being done:
    1. Insert, swipe, or tap your payment card
    2. Have the cashier select credit (CR)
    3. The terminal will display CREDIT ACCOUNT
    4. If applicable, enter your PIN
    5. The terminal will display PROCESSING \ PLEASE WAIT
    6. The terminal will display EXCH <exchange rate> \ <currency> <amount> \ ACCEPT RATE? \ ENTER=YES CLR=NO
    7. Instruct the cashier to press the yellow CLEAR (CLR) button (If entering a PIN, you can retain the terminal to perform this step yourself. If entering a signature, you can ask for the terminal to control this process, not indicating that it's a chip-and-signature card.)
    8. The transaction should now process without DCC
    In many instances operator has like 5sec top to decide YES/NO and then terminal proceeds by default to DCC.


    There is plenty of info about DCC on travelers forums - kind of strange that MSE (and Martin on his blog) is picking up the topic about 4 years down the line...
    Last edited by jadex; 13-07-2017 at 10:45 AM.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 13th Jul 17, 6:46 PM
    • 12,481 Posts
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    zagfles
    that's because terminal operator accepts currency AFTER you type your PIN - for instance this is how ANZ terminals work in Australia and how you can avoid being done:
    1. Insert, swipe, or tap your payment card
    2. Have the cashier select credit (CR)
    3. The terminal will display CREDIT ACCOUNT
    4. If applicable, enter your PIN
    5. The terminal will display PROCESSING \ PLEASE WAIT
    6. The terminal will display EXCH <exchange rate> \ <currency> <amount> \ ACCEPT RATE? \ ENTER=YES CLR=NO
    7. Instruct the cashier to press the yellow CLEAR (CLR) button (If entering a PIN, you can retain the terminal to perform this step yourself. If entering a signature, you can ask for the terminal to control this process, not indicating that it's a chip-and-signature card.)
    8. The transaction should now process without DCC
    In many instances operator has like 5sec top to decide YES/NO and then terminal proceeds by default to DCC.
    Originally posted by jadex
    Then it's fraud, surely. The amount the cardholder authorised is being changed without the cardholder's authorisation. How can that not be fraud? Whether it's done by software design of the terminal or an act of the retailer.

    Especially when you get given a receipt which tells a blatent lie like those in the article, stating you've been given the choice of currencies and have accepted DCC.
    There is plenty of info about DCC on travelers forums - kind of strange that MSE (and Martin on his blog) is picking up the topic about 4 years down the line...
    I've been on MSE for 7 years and it's been discussed regularly here for at least that long, probably a lot longer. This specific article is about what seems to be a more aggressive form of DCC where even after telling them to charge you in local currency or selecting the option yourself you get DCC imposed. We've also discussed this on the forums.
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