Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Greetings all earthlings. Especially those of you who use credit cards, well that takes in 9 tenths of the planet in one go. Particularly, those who are tearing their hair out about the bills, the interest rates and wearing a hair shirt and beating themselves with sharp objects over their weakness for consumerism. Still nine tenths of the planet - I did, I heard the collective groan, don't deny it. As the well known saying goes "you are not alone" which only backs up my previous theory on the planet Zog and the Zogithian plot to rule planet earth.

As an aside, those of you who are warming to the "Zog" theory, as perhaps a valid explanation for your woes, financial or otherwise - see a doctor immediately. I suggest Prozac, such a nice calming little capsule. Those who claim to have "communicated" with the Zogithians, I would suggest seeking an immediate injection to bring you back to your senses. Dial the emergency number, explain your predicament and I guarantee someone will come to remove you to pastures new - beamed up to Zog maybe for letting the cat out of the bag.

Anyway I digress - here is the point of my Blog:

In the Scotsman newspaper this morning:

Story in full BANKS are ripping off consumers by at least £100 million a year through "unduly high" credit card fees.
The charges apply to Mastercard credit cards, which are issued by all the major banks.
The fees are levied by the banks on retailers who pass on the cost to customers by raising the price of goods in their shops.
Office of Fair Trading (OFT) - the government's competition watchdog which has been investigating the practice - said yesterday that banks had been unable to justify the fees, which acted "like a tax on consumers".
Its conclusion means all Mastercard purchases between March 2000 and last November were, in effect, in breach of competition law. But Mastercard and the banks involved will escape a fine because of their co-operation with the OFT.
The consumer watchdog believes that at least £100 million and perhaps as much as £200 million of "illegal" fees are charged each year.
In 2004 alone, more than 700 million purchases, worth £42.7 billion, were made using credit cards in the Mastercard network.
fee through higher retail prices".
The fee is set collectively by the banks, and under competition law is supposed to cover only the cost of handling transactions. But the OFT found the banks set an illegally high fee that allowed them to recover other costs, such as advertising and interest-free offers.
An OFT spokesman said: "This distorted competition betwThe inquiry focused on the "interchange fee" levied on retailers by banks. The OFT found that "consumers, including those who do not use Mastercard cards, ultimately picked up the cost for the higher interchangeeen the Mastercard scheme and alternative methods of payment such as debit cards, cheques or cash."

I rest my case. We are like lambs to the slaughter.

Have a nice day



Blogger Anne said...

Thanks for your visit. I can see you are addicted to blogging already....Cool site though, you have a good writing style. Will check in again.

7:37 AM  

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