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.
More On Minimum Purchases, Surcharges, And Other Credit Card Merchant Agreement Violations, From The Companies Themselves
This last evening I was hungry and decided that I wanted Jack In the Box. So I went to the Manhattan Beach, CA store on Sepulveda Ave. When I pulled up and was beginning to determine what I wanted for dinner I noticed a sign on the order board. It stated that in order to use a credit card it required a 30 dollar purchase, ID and a signature. While I have seen minimum payment requirements before at various liquor stores and restaurants I have never seen one so high especially for a drive thru window…
A day without ice cream is like a day without sunshine.
Amy’s Ice Cream has a new sign (right) that seems to say that the $10 minimum charge is suggested, not required. The sign we originally posted (left) was one a store manager had replaced the ‘official’ sign with, according to Steve.
Our article on the minimum credit card fees charged at Amy’s Ice Cream generated quite a little uproar. Amy is pictured, left, helping award Lonnie Williams with the “Best Transition” small business award in Austin. It’s made from left-over toffee ice cream.
My my, how the rocky road of customer service melts and leaves a sticky trail.
Erik went ahead and consolidated the merchant policies of Discover, Mastercard and Visa, which leads to a startling conclusion.
We’re scratching our heads and going in circles and starting to get dizzy.
Having to purchase a minimum amount at stores might not just be annoying, the merchant could also be in breach of contract with the credit card companies.