'Payment not an
admission of guilt'
ACCC hits RV
hire company with $12,600 penalty
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CAMPERVAN and motorhome rental business Cruisin Motorhomes has been hit
with $12,600 penalty after the ACCC issued an infringement notice for an
alleged breach of the excessive payment surcharge laws.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claimed the company,
which has branches in Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns,
charged Visa and MasterCard customers a two percent surcharge, despite
processing costs ranging from 0.41 to 1.48 per-cent.
The ban on excessive surcharges came into effect for all businesses on
September 1 last year.
Cruisin Motorhomes cooperated with the ACCC's investigation and has now
taken steps to review and reduce its surcharges.
ACCC deputy chairman Mick Keogh warned that overcharging was prohibited by
the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
"If businesses choose to impose a surcharge, they can only charge
customers what it costs them to process a payment," he said.
“Businesses need to ensure the credit and debit card surcharges they
impose comply with the law or they risk facing ACCC action."
He advised that businesses unsure what the cost of acceptance is for a
particular payment method should contact their financial institution for
guidance before charging consumers.
The ACCC explained that the payment of a penalty specified in an
infringement notice was not an admission of a contravention of the
Competition and Consumer Act.
Infringement notices can
be issued where there are reasonable grounds to believe a person has
contravened certain provisions of the Act or Australian Consumer Law,
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