Aldi Flogged Over Surcharges
German discount store Aldi failed to display credit card surcharges correctly, a recent ASIC review has found.
Aldi was recently investigated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) after concerns it didn’t consistently disclose the 0.5% surcharge for consumers paying by credit card in all stores.
Specifically, it did not disclose that ‘tap and go’ contactless card payments were also subject to the 0.5% surcharge. This surcharge applies in Aldi stores when a credit or debit card is used.
An ASIC review found the credit card surcharge was disclosed in some Aldi stores by a sign above the registers and, in others, by a sticker at the registers. In two stores, there were no signs, however.
In addition, for credit card payments where a PIN or signature is used, disclosure of the surcharge was made on the credit card terminal screen – after customers insert or swiped the card.
ASIC considered this was too late, particularly in stores where there was no other disclosure.
Under the ASIC Act 2001, failure to adequately disclose surcharges, or creating the impression that surcharges do not apply, may be misleading or deceptive.
ALDI has since undertaken to improve signage and other point-of-sale communication about credit card surcharges in its stores.
“Merchants need to be transparent about fees and charges where credit card surcharges apply so that consumers can consider using other payment methods without any additional costs,” ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell warned.
Aldi also sells a lot of tech gear – this week it’s selling a tablet for $149 and a $99 dual Sim Oinx smartphone but recently sold out of almost 10,000 TVs in under 100 minutes, prior to the World Cup in June.
It now has over 300 stores in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, with plans afoot to open as many as 110 in SA and WA in the future.