Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Just Eat

I am not sure what to say?!

News is Takeaway food app Just Eat slammed for introducing new 'service charge' shortly before card fee ban comes into force

But surely this is entirely the spirit of the changes in legislation.

Previously a company could charge people more if they chose to use payment methods that caused them to have higher costs. That makes a lot of sense and is "fair". It means people choosing payment means that caused lower costs could have a lower price.

The change is to say that you can no longer do that, so you have to treat all payment methods the same. That is the whole point and spirit of the change in the law. It is not to make prices cheaper, it is to make all payment methods equal.

So now you charge people all the same, everyone has a "service charge" to cover those costs you have, even if they choose to use a payment method that costs you less. That is the WHOLE POINT of the change in the law. People can no longer choose one payment method over another to help the seller save costs and so pass on that saving to the customer.

The cynic in me says that is the point - encourage trackable cashless society.

But even, as some suggest, Just Eat could just up the charge they make to the restaurant the end result would be everyone, not just Just Eat, but walk-in and take-away, paying more to cover the extra costs. Even worse in terms of "fairness". This law is obviously and clearly not about being "fair" in any way at all.

What the hell am I missing here - surely that is the whole point of the change in the law?

Seriously if you had before "you can change people more if they use a payment method that costs you more" and you to change to "you have to charge people the same", the result is "all people pay more and nobody has the option to choose a cheaper payment method to get a lower price". That is the whole point of the change in the law, is it not?

8 comments:

  1. People en masse are stupid, they somehow thought that cost of running and administering credit card transactions would just magically disappear. It's like fines being applied to utility companies, who do they think that money comes from?

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  2. But it's all a bit daft as plenty of credit and debit card transactions are cheaper than accepting a Direct Debit and cheaper than accepting a cheque and even cheaper than accepting cash. So firms that are/were levying surcharges on card txns weren't doing so with their eyes open.

    With this debate we are also into Poll Tax territory. The value of the house does not generally affect the cost to the local council of providing services to that property and its occupants. But the number of occupants of that house does directly affect the cost to the local council of emptying the bins, running a local library, mending the roads (more people means more wear and tear on the nearby roads), etc. But the Poll Tax was removed as 'unfair'.

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    1. No, it is complex, and just eat restaurants are going to do cheap means like DD. This is simple, previously one could choose a payment means that cost less for the seller and so pay less. Now you cannot - the cost is the same, so the seller has to consider their costs for different means and increase prices or add service charges even for those choosing to pay by cheaper means to cover those costs.

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    2. council tax is a tax on property rather than just a way to recover costs - you could say a wealthy person does not cost the state more so they should not pay more tax than a poor person

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    3. Whole different area, and I’d be more than happy to pay my way in council charges.

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    4. Correct. A wealthy person does not cost the council/state more than a poor person. In fact the wealthy person probably costs the state less as he/she probably pays for more things in the private sector rather than claiming for them on the state/government/council.

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  3. I think this all came about because of a couple of things, the first being the over-the-top credit card charges levied by airlines and holiday companies, and secondly the anomaly when, say, paying for car-tax. Hitherto, you could pay for this fee-free with a debit card but were charged a fee if you wanted to pay by credit card. Additionally, some firms have tried to levy a credit card charge but most reverted to not charging when customers walked elsewhere. As a customer, I'm driven by what I have to pay and frankly I don't worry about the overheads of the businesses to whom I give my patronage. Those that tried to charge me a fee before the new law came in didn't get my business.

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  4. If the only way to pay takeaway X by credit card is via Justeat (as they don't have a card machine) and Justeat charge 50p: how is that not a charge for accepting credit cards?

    If it is justified as a sort of "platform fee", then "AAISP card services Ltd" could come into existence and charge a platform fee and will accept cards for AAISP...

    "Oh, but that's for a single retailer so wouldn't be allowed!". Okay.. how about a "Stripe platform fee" or "Paypal platform fee"?

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