Back in February, a federal court ruled that American Express merchant agreements violate antitrust laws, resulting in higher costs for consumers, by forbidding retailers that accept AmEx from encouraging customers to use competing cards like those from Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Today, the credit card company’s CEO said the company is asking the court to stay this ruling. [More]
Credit cards come with a lot of fine print. But the scene isn’t just complicated for cardholders; it’s complicated for the retailers that accept them, too. What needs signing, and what doesn’t? When can a store ask for ID? Are they allowed to charge different prices for cash and credit? [More]
I spotted a coffee shop charging customer a $.50 for using a credit card on any purchase that is under $10. It doesn’t break any laws, but it does violate their agreement with the credit card companies. [More]
Matthew says a Wisconsin Walmart demanded not only an ID with his MasterCard purchase, but a Wisconsin state driver’s license. Because Matthew is from out of state, he was out of luck. Read on to see whether or not Matthew escaped the store with his munchies: [More]
Chuck tells Consumerist that he witnessed a strange transaction at Pizza Hut recently. When another customer went to pay for her purchase with a credit card, the person behind the counter asked to see her ID before allowing her to pay for her pizzas with a credit card. She didn’t have any ID with her, and was forced to leave without her pizzas. [More]
More On Minimum Purchases, Surcharges, And Other Credit Card Merchant Agreement Violations, From The Companies Themselves
We’ve posted a lot of stories of businesses requiring customers who pay with a credit card to make minimum purchases, or pay a surcharge, or show ID. And as we’ve repeatedly said, the businesses’ merchant agreements with the credit card companies forbids these practices. A reader wrote in to argue that this might not be true, as many businesses contract with third-party credit card processors, and are not bound by the merchant agreement. So we did some investigating.
Reader Brandon sent us this picture of a McDonald’s violating its merchant agreement by charging a fee for using a credit or debit card. The text reads, “FEE ASSOCIATED WITH CREDIT/DEBIT CARD OF 25¢ WILL BE APPLIED TO CARD TOTAL.”