Red Balloon penalised over card surcharges

Online retailer Red Balloon has paid $43,200 in penalties after allegedly breaching new excessive payment surcharges laws.

Red Balloon has paid $43,200 in penalties after allegedly breaching new consumer laws by charging "excessive" surcharges to some credit card customers when they made payments online.

The consumer watchdog alleges the online trader, which sells 'experiences' throughout Australia, such as skydiving, wine tours and cooking classes, charged four customers excessive surcharges on their MasterCard or Visa credit or debit cards in March and June this year.

New excessive payment laws have applied to 'large businesses' - which includes Red Balloon - since September 2016 and to all other Australian businesses since September 2017.

Red Balloon has, following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, since lowered its payment surcharges to the correct amounts.

ACCC deputy chair Dr Michael Schaper said businesses can only pass on to customers what it costs to accept the payment, including fees such as merchant service fees and terminal rental and maintenance fees.

Source AAP

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