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credit card service charges, long and bitter

updated sun 31 aug 97


Lisa or Ginny on tue 5 aug 97

Talbott wrote:

> Should a merchant which you are ordering from tells you that if the order is o
card, then you will be charged an additional 3% over the retail amount of
the purchase for using a credit card... that is ILLEGAL...

I don't know what brought this issue up for you, but it happened to me
when I bought my wheel from Axner. My one and only complaint about Axner
is that they are so unreasonable about credit card purchases. If you
don't order $30 worth of stuff at a time, they want to charge you an
extra amount over whatever you purchased. If you order something that
costs a lot, like a wheel, they want to charge you more if you use a
credit card.

I shopped my wheel and found that even with the excess charge, I got the
best price from Axner, HOWEVER, I am doing less business with them as a
result, because I can buy elsewhere with my card without all the
ridiculous extra charges.

I have never EVER spoken directly to Howard Axner regarding these
policies. His sales reps all sing the same tune, however, saying that
their prices are so low they HAVE to charge these excesses, etc. I
doubt this statement, and here is an example why: I have in my hand the
latest catalog from both Axner and Kickwheel. Axner's price on a
Dolan#310 trim tool is $10.50 US Kickwheel's price on a Dolan#310 trim
tool is $9.50 US. If I order this item from Kickwheel using my Visa
card, I will pay $9.50 plus shipping, period. If I order it from Axner,
I will pay $10.50, plus shipping, plus their "you didn't buy $30, so you
have to pay more" charge of (I think) $3.00 US.

I have serious doubts that complaining to the credit card company will do
any good, because your credit card company probably didn't issue the
merchant's charge system account.
Lisa Skeen
Living Tree Pottery & Soaps

Kenneth D Westfall on wed 6 aug 97

To my best knowledge all merchants have signed a contract with the credit
card company to handel charges according to there policy which included
not adding additional charges for using the card. You may if you choose
to give a discount for paying cash but not the other way. You may also
set a minimum order for using and credit card, usually $25 to $30
dollars. In the pass the the credit card companies have taken that
policy very serious because that is money out of there pocket for both
advertizing and loss of interest on credit. If that is truly the type
of business that is going on, I would push to have there Merchant
Account pulled. It usually doesn't take many credit card customers
complains about such practice to make changes.

Kenneth D. Westfall
Pine Hill Pottery
Don't get stuck in the mud pies K&T

Jenni on thu 7 aug 97

On Wed, 6 Aug 1997, Kenneth D Westfall wrote:

> to give a discount for paying cash but not the other way. You may also
> set a minimum order for using and credit card, usually $25 to $30

I don't know about this one...My mother just started a small business and
yesterday I was reading the information that was sent to us about the use
of credit cards...and requiring a customer to purchase a minimum order
was a big no-no, as was charging extra for the use of credit cards. It
was this way at my Hallmark store as well, however I can't make a
sweeping generalization. But I've always been told, and have heard from
other customers, that such things were not allowed.

:) Jenni

| I silently sit in the cold dark night | waiting for the flowers to appear into
| sight...constantly checking, but to no | avail, I go back to the kingdom from
| whence I hail.