Credit card surcharges by retailers are set to be outlawed. This is going to actually create some strange waves if it goes through. Ryanair won’t like it, for instance. They like to charge a supplement for credit card use (and it’s understandable, given that credit card commissions are pretty hefty). Also, trade suppliers will be less inclined to take credit cards. I suppose what they will do is to resort to giving a 2 percent discount for cash, rather than charging a 2 percent supplement for credit cards.
The reason this is being introduced seems to be in response to Ntl‘s hair-brained decision to charge their unloved customers extra if they did not wish to pay by direct debit from their accounts. However, the real scandal of electronic payments in Ireland isn’t being addressed at all.
If Ntl in Ireland makes an incorrect direct debit charge against you, there’s no appeal, no way to get your money back, other than to go to court. If you browse the technology and consumer boards on boards.ie over a few months, it does seem that incorrect direct debits seem to happen quite a lot in the consumer telecoms world.
It’s different in other countries. In the UK, for example, you can call up your bank and ask them to reverse any direct debit that has been levied against your account.