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Old 28th October 2007, 13:07   #1
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Default Surcharge on payments made by electronic cards at service centres

Since this forum has members from all over India, thought it'll be nice to put across this thought and share views here. Many of us being salaried professions, i'm quite certain we can't reserve excess funds to meet incidental expenses for the car, amongst other commitments, each month. This is where the plastic card comes of help most.

Two Maruti Suzuki dealerships that i know of, here in b'lore, charge surcharge for payments made by electronic cards (debit/credit). Mandovi Motors charges 2% for all payments in excess of Rs.10,000/- and Sagar Automobiles charges 1.5% for all payments above Rs.5,000/-. These days, with labour charges hitting the roof, not sure how many would be able to carry lots of cash during settlement of the bill. As an instance, I had ended up paying an additional Rs.450/- towards the AC fitment that i got done from Mandovi (the cost otherwise was about Rs.22,200/-). My credit card issuer told me i should've called them up right then, as its' not supposed to be charged, and nothing could be done since i'd already signed over the payment slip

Thankfully, the Tata dealer back in m'lore, Auto MATRIX doesn't charge this so-called surcharge, and i don't think twice in getting the car serviced/repaired on time. I'm truly appreciative of this gesture of theirs

The info about the Tata dealership might seem out of place here, but i honestly have second thoughts on even buying a bicycle from Maruti if at all they ventured into making one.

Sorry for the lengthy (yawn...) writeup. Now my question: Is this surcharge thing a standard practice in most of the dealerships across India, or are we being taken for a ride, here in b'lore?

Last edited by Aditya : 28th October 2007 at 13:34.
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Old 28th October 2007, 14:25   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkamath View Post
Two Maruti Suzuki dealerships that i know of, here in b'lore, charge surcharge for payments made by electronic cards

Is this surcharge thing a standard practice in most of the dealerships across India, or are we being taken for a ride, here in b'lore?
Hiya,

It is wrong and illegal to charge a surcharge if you pay by Credit card.
What happens here is - the bank that transfers the money from your CC account to the sellers account charges anything between 1.5% to 3% as a service charge to the seller.

Please note that this charge is to be borne by the seller only and NOT by the buyer. It is a small price to pay for the added convenience for a customer - who has more money to spend at your dealership.
"Ah, how much is that headlamp for? OK I'll take that too, because i'm gonna use my credit card"

Also the extremely convenient assured payment as opposed to you paying by cheque.
FOr this, 2% is a small price to pay for the seller. No seller in India is authorised to charge extra for accepting an electronic payment.

What will they do tomorrow? Raise their prices because of regualr service charge on their banking accounts? Charge you a commission because the price of blank cheque books have gone up?

If it was me I would refuse to pay the extra and complain to the bank. Or I would ask for a written separate receipt of the additional 2% amount and file it in consumer court.

P.S. Even if you have already paid, you can send one email to the bank complaining about an excessive unjustified surcharge and they will hold up the payment to the service centre.

Once I was charged in a restaurant for 2 dishes i did not order. This was an addition of about 1100/- to my bill. Since I was with guests, it was not possible for me to check and make a noise.
Upon my return I sent a fax to my bank explaining what happened.
Believe me, in one week I received a call from that restaurant. The manager told me that their payment of 8000 had been held up because of my complaint.
When I explained myself, they apologized and said they would sort it out with the bank. Then the bank called me to ask if I would authorize the balance payment. I agreed. My statement reflected Rs.6900/- only.

Paying by credit card is the safest for a consumer.
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Old 28th October 2007, 14:28   #3
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EDC machines are put up as a service to customers, they are NOT allowed to take the extra payment (charged as commissions from bank) from customers. You complain to the Master/Visa authorities. They'll close the terminal.

EDIT: sorry sam, we were typing at the same time.

Last edited by panky12345 : 28th October 2007 at 14:30.
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Old 28th October 2007, 15:14   #4
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sam what bank do you use ?
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Old 29th October 2007, 12:53   #5
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If you have come across this type of excess charging, just make a call to the customer care of the credit card company and the they will suspend the operations of that sowroom. This has also come in saturday's paper TOI. All you need to do is just make a complaint against the showroom and they have to face the music.
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Old 29th October 2007, 13:16   #6
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Dakshin Honda in Bangalore charges extra 2% for payments with Credit card. This is both for accessories & service.
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Old 29th October 2007, 15:46   #7
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Pratham charges 2% too. Though one may be able to bargain it down to 1%, if one is adamant.
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Old 29th October 2007, 15:49   #8
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Compalin to the credit card companies. They will surely step in to avoid these kind of hassels created by dealerships/showrooms.
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Old 29th October 2007, 15:50   #9
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These sort of unauthorized surcharges are against the law. Once again, i advise you to not pay it.

If you are in a situation and must pay it - ask them for a receipt of that surcharge. Any payment made officially in India warrants a receipt.
Given that situation, ask them to bill you Rs. X for the services and Rs. Y as a surcharge. Once you have this receipt you can make them cry in consumer court.
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Old 29th October 2007, 16:08   #10
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The TOI carried an article on this a couple of days ago. Asking for surcharge is surely illegal. But petrol bunks and IRCTC have been authorized to charge surcharge, per the article.
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Old 29th October 2007, 16:16   #11
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Here is the TOI Article on this

No surcharge on credit card payments
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Old 29th October 2007, 16:47   #12
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What about hospitals? are they allowed to charge a surcharge?

I had to pay Rs. 40K at one of the hospitals in Pune. They charged me a 1.4% surcharge and refused to give me a receipt for that amount. Since I could not withdraw that amount in cash at that moment, I had to agree.


Whom can I contact if I want to complain? Is there a website or email to contact?
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:03   #13
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do u complain to the bank of the card u are using or the bank they are using
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:13   #14
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Sam Kapasi, great way to make us clear about this and what is to be done by your story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Here is the TOI Article on this

No surcharge on credit card payments
Great! Didn't see this TOI article! Thanks for linking it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesal View Post
do u complain to the bank of the card u are using or the bank they are using
Complain to your card issuer bank.

By the way. According to the article, does it mean surcharge below 2% is allowed? Or surcharge shouldn't be charged at all; Apart from the petrol companies and railways.

cya
A
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Old 29th October 2007, 21:14   #15
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thanks all you guys, and Technocrat, for the article.
like the article mentions, the way out as of now seems to be paying up in cash. and as i can recollect, the merchant uses a terminal from ICICI Bank, while i'm an SCB follower. my credit card bank hence, might shroud responsibility to the issuer bank into enforcing this culture among its merchants.
still wonder what the dealer's "service above self" motto means
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