New policy allows businesses to charge credit fee - KPTV - FOX 12

New policy lets businesses charge credit card fee

Posted: Updated: Jan 28, 2013 10:36 PM

A new policy between retailers and credit card companies took effect Sunday, allowing merchants to pass along credit card transaction fees to the consumer.

The notion of paying a credit card surcharge doesn't sit well with some shoppers.

"It doesn't make me feel good, I don't think it's fair, it doesn't work," said shopper Joyce Fisher. "I'd shop somewhere else."

And now businesses have to decide whether they'll risk losing customers by making them pay.

 "We just got the letter in the mail Friday and I know that went into effect Sunday, so we discussed it over lunch Friday and we're still kind of discussing it," said Heather Lynn McClure, owner of Tip Top Cleaners in East Burnside in Portland.

McClure said her business pays at least 2 percent to credit card companies for every transaction - thousands of dollars per month - but so far they are shying away from passing that fee on.

"We don't want to nickel and dime our customers," she said.

And even before this took effect, McClure had been trying to educate patrons about the cost of credit and encourage them to pay the old fashioned way.

"My customers know that if they prepay with cash they will always get a 5 percent discount," she said.

Credit may be convenient, but cash is still king to small businesses - and they hope the consumer will take that into account if asked to pay a checkout charge.

"I don't know if I would shop somewhere else, but I might start using cash more to avoid the fee," said shopper Harriet Jones. "Maybe that's not a bad thing."

Retailers who opt to charge the fee are required to tell customers about it. Stores are still not allowed to pass on a fee for debit card transactions.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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