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Qantas in clear breach of disclosure requirements.

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Media Release by…

ALAN GRIFFIN MP Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection & Consumer Health

4 July 2003

Qantas in Clear Breach of Disclosure Requirements

Qantas’ failure to inform customers of the size of the surcharge levied on credit card transactions is a clear breach of ASIC’s disclosure requirements.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission told merchants such as Qantas who choose to levy a surcharge on customers paying by credit card that they “should ensure that its customers are aware that the credit card fee will apply, and of the amount of the credit card fee expressed in dollars or as a percentage before they enter into the transaction”.

Qantas may also be in breach of the Consumer Credit Code by failing to disclose a fee or a charge on a credit card contract.

The RBA reforms were intended to ensure that when customers decide how to pay for goods and services, they make efficient choices based on the true cost of different payment instruments.

Customers cannot make an efficient choice if they don’t know the true cost of using their credit card.

Qantas must act immediately to disclose the amount of the surcharge.

If they fail to do so, the Treasurer must instruct Qantas to disclose the size of the surcharge and if necessary make such disclosure a legal requirement.

This latest issue is the direct result of the Treasurer’s complacency over the implementation of the RBA’s credit card reforms.

Such issues are unlikely to have arisen if the Treasurer had supported Labor’s private members bill that would have granted the ACCC surveillance powers over the implementation of these reforms.

For further information please contact: Alan Griffin: 0419 353 476

Jane McGill: 0402 112 255