Consumer Protection Act 2007

48.

Prohibition on surcharges where one method of payment chosen in preference to another.

48.— (1) In this section—

“cash” means cash that is legal tender;

“relevant method” , in relation to payment, means each of the following methods of payment—

( a) cash,

( b) credit card,

( c) direct debit,

( d) any other method or methods of payment prescribed by the Minister.

(2) In this section a reference to a representation includes a reference to a representation made at any stage up to the time the trader accepts payment in respect of the product concerned.

(3) Where—

( a) a trader makes a representation that the trader will accept payment in respect of a product by any one of 2 or more different relevant methods, or

( b) it is the practice of a trader to accept payment in respect of a product by different relevant methods,

the trader shall not impose an additional charge on any person by reason of the person’s making payment in respect of the product by one of the relevant methods (to which the foregoing representation relates or as regards which the foregoing practice exists) as distinct from another of them.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)

( a) without limiting any of the other means by which that subsection may be contravened, a trader shall be deemed to impose an additional charge, by reason of the person concerned making payment as mentioned in that subsection, if the price charged by the trader in respect of the product concerned is, where one of the relevant methods of payment is used by that person, greater than the price that would be so charged were that person to use another of them,

( b) if the representation or practice referred to in that subsection relates not only to relevant methods of payment but to one or more other methods of payment as well, that fact is immaterial, and

( c) it is immaterial that the trader can show that any expenses incurred by the trader in accepting payment by one of the relevant methods are greater than those incurred by the trader in accepting payment by another of them.

(5) A trader who contravenes subsection (3) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to the fines and penalties provided in Chapter 4 of Part 5 .

(6) In proceedings for an offence under this section, where evidence is given that on a particular occasion the defendant accepted payment in respect of the product concerned by a relevant method which was different from that which the defendant accepted in respect of the product on another occasion in the period of 12 months preceding the first-mentioned occasion (and that previous method is also a relevant method), then it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that a practice existed on the part of the defendant to accept payment in respect of the product by those foregoing methods.