Red card for illegal credit charges

credit cardBusinesses have been reminded that it is illegal to charge customers who use debit or credit cards to pay.  Legislation banning card transaction fees in shops was introduced at the beginning of the year.  But West Dunbartonshire Trading Standards still receive complaints from people who have been penalised for not paying by cash.  They warn that businesses – including online shops – may be subject to test purchases, and could face court if they are caught making charges.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Regulatory Services said:  “The law was changed at the turn of the year following concerns that some shops and other businesses were charging rip-off surcharges on customers who paid by card.

“Consumers should be able to use their cards without worrying about hidden extras so it’s unfortunate that some local businesses still don’t seem to be familiar with new legislation around this.

“I fully support the work of our Trading Standards team in encouraging awareness and compliance throughout West Dunbartonshire, protecting consumers and businesses to ensure everyone trades on a level playing field.”

Trading Standards say that where businesses refuse to accept card payments altogether, or impose a minimum transaction price for accepting a card, a prominent sign for customers explaining their policy should be put in place.

Further information for traders can be found

Any shoppers  who  believe they have had a surcharge illegally imposed on them should report the matter to Trading Standards via their partners at Citizens Advice Scotland on 03454 040506 or email

Leave a Reply