Credit card debt to be cut in super complaint?

The issue of the charges levied by many companies for goods and services when paying by credit card is one consumer group Which? has issued a super-co…

The issue of the charges levied by many companies for goods and services when paying by credit card is one consumer group Which? has issued a super-complaint about to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

After saying it would do so months ago, the consumer body has made the complaint today (March 30th) and listed a number of firms it argues are charging too much for bookings, which can add to credit card debt.

Cases it noted have included a £25 charge for a £500 deposit with London-based rental landlord Foxtons, while train passengers are hit with a £3.50 levy if booking domestic rail tickets through the Trainline and a £4 charge on Eurostar.

Airlines were noted as issuing some of the highest charges, with an extra £40 being added to the cost of securing return flights for a family of four with Ryanair.

Public sector bodies were also mentioned, with chargers including Bath and North East Somerset Council (3 per cent extra) and the DVLA, which routinely puts an extra £2.50 onto payments.

Commenting on the issue, Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: “Consumers are really fed up with paying excessive card charges. So far, over 40,000 people have pledged their support for our campaign to bring these to an end.”

Victory for the campaign could help reduce credit card debt for many, but those who do owe a lot on their plastic may also wish to consider other ways to become debt free.

Bank of England figures produced last week showed there was a £0.1 billion rise in credit card balances in February.

However, this was eclipsed by a £0.7 billion increase in other forms of consumer credit, with the overall rise for the four-week period being four times the average for the last six months.

By Amy White

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