Tuesday 21 September 2021

Do Not Fall “Victim” To Credit or Debit Card Surcharges

Paying the bills


Covid Entry Requirements to Panama

RICO's DIGEST - "I heard" is a term often...

107 people died from covid-19 in Costa Rica in the last three days

QCOSTARICA - In the last three days, 107 people...

Mu variant of coronavirus: what we know about this mutation present in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - All viruses change over time. SARS-CoV-2 has...

Constitutional Court confirms constitutionality of mandatory vaccination

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica's Constitutional Court or Sala IV...

Costa Rica worsens its international image as a place to do business

QCOSTARICA - Our country, Costa Rica, worsens in how...

U.S. to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travelers in November

(Reuters) - The United States will reopen in November...
Paying the bills


Q COSTA RICA – A practice that is more common than you think, although prohibited, is retailers surcharging customers for using plastic. That is to say, at the time for paying a purchase with a debit or credit card, be it a product or service, an extra % is tacked on to the final sale.

That percentage can be as high as 10% or even more.

Cinthia Zapata, head of the government Office of Consumer Support (Dirección de la Oficina de Apoyo al Consumidor) explains that any business tacking on a surcharge is exposed to fines of between ¢3 million and ¢12 million colones.

- Advertisement -

The practice is prohibited in Article 26 of the “Reglamento de Tarjetas de Crédito o Débito” (Credit or Debit Card Regulations) that establishes that businesses “may not add-on charges for the use of  credit or debit cards, to the detriment of the consumer”.

Adding injury to insult, few retailers will tell the consumer of the surcharge. And when asked why, the general answer could be something like, “every does it” or “everyone knows we do that here”.

The merchant fees for credit cards are very high in Costa Rica from 7-9%, especially for small retailers like a soda (lunch counter or eatery), for example.

Another practice by some retailers, also prohibited, is to either deny accepting a credit or debit card, even when there are signs indicating the business does with a typical excuse that “the machine (card reader) is down”, or offer the customer a discount if paying with cash.

Zapata suggests consumers who are “victims of this crime” report it to the consumer protection agency by calling the consumer hotline at 1311 or 800-consumo or visit the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio (MEIC) website for more information on your rights as a consumer.

In 2015, the MEIC received 92 complaints. In 2016, the number of complaints was 179. These numbers seem small, but that is not to say the practice is not happening at a great scale. The reality is that most consumers either aren’t aware that the practice is illegal, do not pay attention or notice (the additional charge) too late.

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

‘War Against Sex Workers:’ What Visa and Mastercard Dropping Pornhub Means to Performers

(VICE.com) This week, Visa and Mastercard cut ties with Pornhub, a...

Banks cut credit cards of 136,000 “no longer profitable” clients

(QCOSTARICA) Tens of thousands of bank customers saw their credit cards...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.