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Cousins and Credit Card Charges

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This may of interest to those in the UK using Cousins. I recently noticed that they offer a 2.5% discount for using a debit card instead of a credit card. As was highlighted in this recent BBC News article, CTSI considers these discounts the same as a credit card charge and therefore illegal in the UK. If you have used a personal credit card to buy anything from Cousins since January last year, you should be entitled to a 2.5% refund. If you used a commercial credit card then you may still be entitled to something as the charge can not exceed their processing fee and 2.5% obviously does.

I've taken it up with Cousins, although their website is designed to make it virtually impossible to message them, and their reply was absurd and made no sense. It just seemed to be a canned response not relating at all to my enquiry. It was as if they didn't even understand the message and additionally they made it so I couldn't reply to them. Really quite nasty actually considering I spent a huge amount there last year setting myself up with tools.

So I'm going to send them a letter and ask for a refund. If they refuse I might put in a complaint to Trading Standards or even consider Small Claims.

I hope this might be useful to fellow Brits and do message me if you want to join forces. 

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Basically what they have done is increase their charges to cover the costs they incur by using a credit card. Then give you 2.5% back if you use a debit card.  Sylvia Rook from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute said was "no different" to a card surcharge. This is not the only company to use back door methods to retain their finances. I personally refrain from using a debit card on line. Bank transfer is probably the way to go although you still are in effect paying the 2.5% surcharge. I had an altercation with a local auction house soon after the ruling came in in January last year. I left the goods I had bid on and said  "I'm afraid you will have to sell these items again" They billed me by post on two occasions but I just returned the invoices "Less 2.5%...Please amend" Needless to say I didn't pay and never got the goods.                                                                                                                                                                                                       


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Well done for standing up to them. It's sadly quite a common occurrence. As a business owner myself, I know what the charges are. And they're nothing like 2.5%. Even the most expensive ones like Amex aren't that bad. And you don't have to accept Amex if you don't want to. I try to use credit cards to purchase because they offer all sorts of extra benefits, insurance and protections. And if you pay it all back at the end of the month it costs nothing in interest.

I'm fed up with cousins. Bunch of Essex wide boys (I grew up in Essex so I'm allowed to say that.)

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In Australia probably around 10 years ago they passed a law allowing companies to charge you a reasonable fee for paying with credit cards to cover their costs, depending on the company and the card you are using this is usually between 0.4% and 2.5%.

I just pay with cash or from my saving account at those companies to avoid the charge or if possible not shop there, but with Cousins just accept I need to pay it as in Australia they are legally entitled to do so.

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