Is charging to use a Debit or Credit Card Good Customer Service?

by Barry Moltz on October 28, 2010

I have heard about it in the news, but last night was the first time I experienced it.  I was charged a 5% fee to use my debit card at a gas station in Portland.

In this particular case it was only 45 cents, but on a larger transaction it could be outrageous!  We all know that credit card companies charge the merchant fees for their services and now with the squeezed margins, retail businesses are doing what they can to hold the line.

In a world where banks give us 1% interest on our money, it is excessive to charge a 5% “convenience” charge to use plastic on a single transaction.  This does not make the customer satisfied and leave that warm feeling.

I suggest that merchants set a price for credit and debit card use and then give a discount (like Amoco did years back for cash).  This will leave the customer much more satisfied and protect the merchants’ margins.

What do you think?

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