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payWave trap

payWave users have been urged to make sure they’re aware of their rights, with fears some businesses are charging customers extra without them knowing.

Consumer advocacy group Choice has stressed businesses are required by law to declare all surcharges.

Choice campaigns manager Erin Turner said that retailers needed to clearly display the total price of any product or service they were offering.

“If a businesses wants to impose a credit card fee they must make sure the customer is aware before they carry out the transaction,” Ms Turner said.

“Even if they’re just adding on an extra 20 cents or so, the business must have clear signage or tell you before you swipe your card.”

Mark McKenzie, 32 from Cottesloe, considers himself a savvy shopper but was caught out when a bartender told him he couldn’t have a receipt because the transaction had already gone through.

“I have always been really wary of payWave and I thought it was a bit suspicious when he wouldn’t give me a receipt,” Mr McKenzie said.

“I didn’t think much of it at the time but when I checked my bank account later I noticed they’d charged me an extra 50 cents and hadn’t told me.

“Since then I’ve always used cash at that bar.”

Ms Turner said customers had the right to request a receipt for any item purchased and a business must produce it within seven days.

“Don’t accept any excuse like the computer isn’t working and the transaction has already gone through,” Ms Turner said.

“The bottom line is if you feel like you need a receipt, get one.”

But not everyone is bothered by extra charges.

Charlotte Alexander always uses payWave when shopping.

Charlotte Alexander always uses payWave when shopping.

Sydney local Charlotte Alexander (23, pictured) never asks for receipts and has no concerns using payWave.

“I use it whenever I can,” Ms Alexander said.

“It makes paying for things faster and I always use it when I’m doing general shopping.

“If I was charged an extra few cents and they didn’t tell me it wouldn’t really bother me, but I suppose it would definitely add up over time.”

While she say she’s generally trusting, Ms Alexander is more cautious when going out.

“I do take more care at bars because I’ve had friends who’ve been overcharged, including one mate who was meant to be charged $20, but instead they charged him $200.”

Choice has urged customers to question management if they think they’ve been overcharged.

“People aren’t always aware of their consumer rights and not everyone knows what they’re entitled to,” Ms Turner said.

“If your problem isn’t resolved you can always take your complaints to the [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission] to be investigated.”

Cover image of payWave reader: ‘Jackie’, Wikimedia Commons

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