We’re scratching our heads and going in circles and starting to get dizzy.
We wanted to get clarification on whether merchants are allowed to say you must purchase a minimum amount in order to use a credit card. We called up VISA. The CSR said that it was definitely illegal and in violation. She said that if you had a problem with the fee, you need to file call your bank to whom your credit card is tied to and file an incident report. When pressed further to find out what sort of punitive measures the bank might take, the rep stonewalled us and kept telling us to talk to our bank. She said she didn’t have that info and refused to transfer us to someone who did.
We then called Washington Mutual. A tier 1 rep, after checking with her supervisor and credit card services, said that stores are allowed to require a minimum charge to cover the transaction fee they have to incur.
When we noted out that this directly contradicts the rules issued by VISA (see pg 14), she told us to call VISA. We pointed out that VISA told us to call our local bank. The rep said, “Well I don’t know what to tell you then.”
What’s the deal?
UPDATE: We went back to VISA with the new info. A friendly Southern man told us that it was definitely a violation of the rules. He also said, “The banks are VISA, let’s put it that way.” Good to know. When we pressed for more clarification and told him about the merchant guidelines document, we were put on hold several times.
Then he hung up on us.