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Kiwis resent credit card charge - survey

Published: 9:45AM Monday April 09, 2012 Source: ONE News

  • Man using credit card (Source: ONE News)
    Man using credit card - Source: ONE News

Kiwi shoppers are sounding a warning to businesses with 90% saying they would rather leave their favourite store than pay a credit card surcharge, according to a new survey.

The survey, commissioned by public relations agency Impact PR, investigated the habits of New Zealand consumers and their perceptions of having to pay additional credit card surcharges.

The research showed 90% of customers would stop shopping at their regular store if a 3% credit card surcharge was added to their purchase.

Some merchants began introducing the surcharges two years ago after credit card companies removed restrictions.

But the new research shows there is increasing resentment among customers to the surcharges.

Impact PR managing director Fleur Revell says the study sounds a warning to businesses about imposing and also failing to communicate additional charges at the point of purchase.

The survey of 1,000 New Zealanders found that 88% of respondents believed retailers adding a credit card surcharge are not adequately communicating enough information about the fee to their customers.

Revell said inadequate communication leading to "surprises" at the till is bound to produce some extreme reaction in customers which many businesses will already have experienced.

"The key to minimising this is to ensure customers know as soon as possible in the transaction process that a surcharge exists and the rationale behind it," she said.

Mark Devlin, owner of shopping website, said retailers who add the credit card surcharge are short-sighted.

He said his New Zealand customers have no additional charges for payment by credit card or freight.

"What we may lose in margin we definitely make up for in customer satisfaction and repeat purchase," Devlin said.

He said he understands Kiwi's reluctance to take on additional charges and consumers disdain for additional credit card charges has been mirrored in other markets.

He cited a similar study in Canada which found the introduction of a 3% surcharge would encourage 95% of credit card shoppers to switch stores.