Passing Credit Card Surcharges On To Customers, Is It Legal In Texas?
This is a hot-button subject for me right now. It's happening more and more these days. As consumers, we get charged for everything it seems except for the air we breathe and I'm sure that's only a matter of time. From overdraft fees to convenience charges, everybody wants a piece of your money for one "reason" or another. It's getting plain ridiculous as I'm sure most of you agree.
The latest craze I've noticed in Abilene is for businesses to pass along credit card surcharges to the customer. Especially restaurants. I once owned my own business and I get it. Pesky credit card processors can really stick it to you, it adds up. But, isn't it also a cost of doing business in the first place? It has been for as long as I can remember. As a business owner, if I didn't want to incur those charges then I wouldn't accept credit cards. You have to pay if you want to play.
This very topic came up in conversation the other day. I had a friend ask if it was even legal in Texas for businesses to pass along surcharges just because you're not paying with cash. The legal payment technology website LawPay says the short answer is yes, it is legal. The practice of surcharging was illegal for many decades until 2013 when a lawsuit allowed merchants in several states to begin issuing these charges.
According to LawPay, it is legal for the below states to impose surcharges.
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
If that looks like almost every state, you're not too far off. The only states that prohibit surcharging are Connecticut and Massachusetts. Puerto Rico also puts the nix on allowing merchants to charge these fees.
It is what it is and the law is the law. However, this is one person that gives passing these charges on to consumers a big fat thumbs down. After all, customers are the lifeline for any business. Another charge or fee in today's world, really? I say enough. What say you?
It can surely make you want to put back a few bucks here and there. It's good to have a cash reserve. In this day and age, you never know what may arise. Saving money isn't always easy but there's plenty of good ways that you can start right now. Check out down below.