Friday, 23 December 2011

Today's Exercise In Futility

Listen, guys in Westminster. It's nearly Christmas, you really didn't have to scout around for something to justify your existence, you know. Especially something as pointless as this.

"Excessive" fees for using a debit or credit card to buy items such as travel or cinema tickets will be banned by the end of 2012, under government plans.

The move comes amid complaints that airlines, booking agencies and even councils were imposing excessive charges for using a card.

However, firms will be allowed to levy a "small charge" to cover payment processing costs.
Boy! That'll have them quaking in their boots, for sure.

"Hey, Boss! The government have banned us from charging more than it actually costs for card transactions."
"Oh noes, there goes our super-normal profits. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. We'd have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those pesky kids at Which?"
"Yes, Boss, and those politicians are really on the ball, aren't they? They foiled us good, and no mistake!"
Yes, that'll be the gist of the conversation up and down the land soon as traders are stung by this stroke of governmental genius.

They'll never think of absorbing the charges into the price and taking exactly the same money as they did before, that's far too complicated for them, isn't it?

Still, at least those unable to say no when they've had their heart set on the £5 flight - which turns into a £80 one - will be saved from having to develop some self-restraint, and there'll be a job creation or ten to monitor compliance with the new law. So it's definitely worth the consultation exercise, debate hours, legal costs and paperwork involved in placing it on the statute book. Innit.

Good grief.


Ray said...

As far as I can tell from some Googling, VAT isn't chargeable on credit card surcharges, but obviously is on the main price of the item. Thus by forcing that extra cost into the main price of an item the state will get extra VAT tax revenue.

Anonymous said...

its a nasty trick that ryanair play and this will end that and make charges more transparent, without clued up travellers constantly having to beat ryanair charges by opening up new accounts and taking on different cards.

engage your brain dick muddled up

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon: It doesn't affect RyanAir, fuckwit.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Ray: Very good point. So, by 'bringing forward' EU guidelines (as in, "please Mr Barroso, can we go first again!"), our benevolent overlords feather their pockets. Should have guessed.

Anonymous said...

Am I botherd about Credit card
charges on cheap flights,am I hell
as like
Recently my £12 return flight to
Charleroi added up to £26 total
with added card charges
However, as I saved about £540 in
taxes on my purchases ,stuffing the
Chancellor for approx £460,I could not give a toss about fidgetting
with vote chasing initiatives.As long as Politicians treat me like a dog (freezing my butt of outside deserted pubs)I will buy my bones abroad.

Stuff the London clique,bring them to their knees and stuff all those who voted for any of the three main gangsters
I'm innocent ,the volcanic ash
trapped me abroad at the election.

One of the few

Anonymous said...

The curtailment of credit card fees 'proposal' is probably another EU directive, disguised as a Tory "big idea" to appease the barbarian masses.

Plus, while it appears to be designed to deliver a little slap on the wrists of fee-leviers, it's probably a way of increasing debt.

After all, this is a debt-based economy - home to the largest ponzi schemes on earth, in history (carbon trading and fiat money).

Anything that comes out of Hoban's mouth should be immediately suspect. He's one of the "captured" ones so loved by lobbyists.

PS: The word verification gizmo proclaims "fucto". How apt!

Anonymous said...

... forgot to post link:

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree that these charges should be stopped! The ability to pay by card saves companies like airlines masses of costs. Imagine the cost involved in paying in cash - extra offices near where people live, security, bank charges for cash handling, and so on. Even paying by cheque has a lot of costs for companies.
I wonder who dreamed up the terrific wheeze of charging people to pay!

The only thing that I am annoyed about is that they seem not to be going far enough. Card payments should be declared to be 'legal tender'.

Anonymous said...

As an example, no-one has ever been forced, at the point of a gun, to fly with Ryanair. It's a choice - folk make the choice, accepting the total 'deal'. If you don't like the deal, don't fly with them. If you don't like any airline deal, don't fly.

I've never found it compulsory to fly, that's why I don't do it - the combination of ridiculous security, smoking bans and loony-tunes pricing structures makes it totally unattractive now.

If we all stopped doing it, they'd soon change, but as long as we comply, no matter how much we whinge, they'll continue to rape and pillage us like the lambs to the slaughter we've become.
Your choice - I've made mine.

nisakiman said...

"It doesn't affect RyanAir, fuckwit."

Arf! :¬)

As you say, Ray makes a good point. One that hadn't occurred to me when I read about it in the news.

I really see no need for yet more legislation. Market forces will sort it out soon enough.

They just can't resist bossing people about and making new laws, can they...

John Pickworth said...

I just think it would all be so much simpler (for us at least) if the Government/EU or whoever, told these companies that that the price advertised is the price you pay.

Airlines and others like to off-load these extra charges purely to make their base price appear cheaper than their competitors. Problem is, their competitors are all doing the same thing. Worse, many of these charges are difficult to escape... like airline seats, checking-in, baggage and card fees.

Of course, the companies will complain... just as the electronics, camera and computer industries did when they were told that advertising/marketing aimed at consumers (as opposed to business) must be VAT inclusive prices.