OK I hate doing new blogs like this to make a point. However, I really want to make it simple.
Making cash and card the same does not mean card is cheaper, it can mean cash is more expensive!
A seller could charge a fee for payments by different methods. They had different costs for card (depending on card type) or cash (that has a cost in many cases) or bank payment by different means, and could choose to charge a fee depending on the cost to that seller handling that payment method.
That is fair!
It means the seller is covering the cost that depends on the buyers choice. Simple.
This did not help the seller, they simply allowed the buyer to choose a means that reduced costs by choice of payment method, and benefitted the buyer as a result.
Now (from 13th Jan)
The seller cannot charge a fee depending on payment method in most cases.
But the seller still has costs, and this change means the seller may have increased costs as people can choose to pay by more expensive means at no cost difference to them.
The seller still has to cover those costs somehow. Yes, they are "the cost of doing business", but they are now costs that cannot be added to the bill, so have to be in the overall costs somehow. They mean a change in price or a "service charge".
Everyone pays the same!
This is the key thing, and the whole point and spirit of the change of the legislation.
It does not matter if Just Eat charge a service charge or charge the restaurant - the latter means prices for everyone goes up to cover it, not just those using Just Eat. So worse in many ways.
The key change, and the whole point of the change, is that you can no longer have something cheaper by your choice of a cheaper payment method. That is the point.
I really do not understand why people do not immediately look at the converse. A discount for X is a surcharge for not-X. Remove a charge for Y and it is a charge for all not just for Y.
Nothing in the legislative changes expects or requires that costs to the consumer are cheaper in some way. Remember that! The whole point is to make it the same regardless of payment method, so those choosing to pay by a cheaper method do not get any discount. That is the point of the law.
The spirit of the law is the same charge for everyone, so Just Eat changing from a charge for "card payers" to a service charge for "all", that is the whole point and spirit of the change in the law.
Discount for cash? No!
Pay by cash, and get a discount, that is how it was, and that is what this legislative change outlaws. Why did you think it was otherwise? Why was this any surprise to anyone?