With consumers paying an estimated £265k in airline debit card surcharges each day, consumers have spent £40m since the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recommended that the government ban debit card surcharges.
Which? has been lobbying financial secretary Mark Hoban to amend the Payment Services Regulations since the OFT recommended the government ban the practice in June earlier this year.
Surcharge winning streak
Which? was on a winning streak with the OFT upholding our super complaint and the European Parliament agreeing to cap debit card surcharges across Europe via an amendment in the Consumer Rights Directive.
Member states of the European Union will have two years to implement the practice in their respective country.
While we’re delighted with this progress, the Treasury could make an immediate change to consumers’ lives by banning surcharges in the UK by amending the Payment Services Regulations.
50,000 pledges of support
We were delighted when over 50,000 consumers pledged their support for the surcharge campaign. Over 43,000 consumers backed our super complaint, and 8,000 have emailed Mark Hoban asking him to implement the debit card surcharge ban.
To remind him that it’s important he takes action, we’ve sent Mark Hoban 40 cupcakes to represent the £40m airlines have made from this method of drip-pricing since the OFT’s recommendations.
Airlines’ £40 million surcharge profit
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: ‘With most airlines yet to drop these card surcharges and some introducing new fees, it’s time for the government to put a stop to this.’
He added: ‘A minor change to the law is all it would take to ban the charges on debit cards that you only find out about at the end of a lengthy online booking process.’
We won’t let Mark Hoban forget – our of debit card fees collected by UK airlines alone since the OFT’s response to our complaint. We’ll keep lobbying on this issue until the Payment Services Regulations are updated.