Following an investigation, there will be a ban on excessive credit and debit card surcharges introduced by the end of 2012.
This means that any consumers buying items or tickets online will only be charged a minimum cost, which has been established as up to 20p for a debit card transaction and 1-2% of the total price for credit cards.
Many of us have found that often, as you fill in details for your purchase and proceed to the checkout on a website, you only get to find out about the extra charges when you tick a box to pay by card, and often these charges are pounds not pence extra! Airline companies appear to be some of the worst, adding ‘administration fees’ of up to £12. One example is Ryanair who charged a customer £6 per person, per journey, so for a family of six, charges came out at £72!
The Government announcement has happened due to Which? putting in a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading. The executive director at Which?, Richard Lloyd, says “The Government’s decision to ban rip-off debit and credit card surcharges is a huge victory for consumers.
“This announcement goes further than the Office of Fair Trading’s proposals, finally putting an end to these unfair charges. More than 50,000 people supported our campaign to see these fees stamped out.”
With lots of the population doing a lot of travelling over the next couple of weeks, we thought we would put together a list of essentials to make sure you have in your car.
- A decent ice scraper and de-icer
- Hazard Triangle to warn other drivers if you have had an accident.
- Torch – a small LED torch is great or consider a wind up torch in case the batteries fail.
- A blanket or sleeping bag for warmth if you have to spend time in the car due to a breakdown.
- Tow-rope (one that should stay in the car all year round maybe!)
- A shovel and possibly even a small bag of rock salt in case you get stuck.
- First aid kit (plus, very importanty if you are travelling far, a supply of any medication you need to take on a regular basis)
- Extra warm clothes in case you break down – hats, gloves, extra socks and wellies are a good idea.
- Make sure if you have a mobile phone that it is fully charged in case you need to call for help.
- Drinks and snacks! Stock up on a few muesli bars and some dried fruit in plastic containers will keep you going. Also, pack a flask with a hot drink or some high-energy drink.
- Roadside assistance membership is also obviously recommended in case you get stranded.
Although we would naturally store this emergency kit in the boot of the car, in actual fact as many accidents involve a rear collision, it would be better yo keep it in the car preferably in the passenger footwell if possible.