19th Aug 2014
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Aldi warned over surcharges
Aldi warned over surcharges

The supermarket chain Aldi this week has been warned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) over its lack of in-store disclosure on credit card surcharges, as well as tap-and-go payment surcharges.

Aldi charges its customers a 0.5 per cent surcharge for paying by credit card and an ASIC inspection of a select number of stores found that two stores didn’t display this information to the customer. What was most troubling was that there was no signage in any inspected Aldi store alerting its customers that the use of tap-and-go payments via debit or credit card would also attract the 0.5 per cent surcharge.

"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. For example, at Aldi stores, payment by EFTPOS by selecting the 'savings' or 'cheque' option does not attract a surcharge.’’ Said ASIC Deputy chairman Peter Kell.

Read more from SMH.com.au.

Opinion: Tap-and-go rip-off


The introduction of tap-and-go payment facilities into retail stores over the past few years has certainly made the process of paying for items simpler and quicker, but at what cost?

These tap-and-go facilities have already raised concerns over the high allowable tap-and-go limits, which could see stolen cards exploited by criminals. July 2014 statistics released by the Victorian Police showed crime rates had increased by five per cent and tap-and-go crimes were one of the major factors.

Now, customers are faced with the concern that they may be paying a surcharge at some retailers on a debit payment via tap-and-go, a payment which attracts no surcharge via swiping. The use of tap-and-go technology is only increasing with several major banks releasing recent updates to their Android apps. These updates now allow for card information to be stored on the smartphone apps and used at tap-and-go facilities to pay for products.

Have you asked your bank to provide your new debit card without tap-and-go facilities? Are you now going to stop using tap-and-go knowing that some retailers are charging you more? Should Aldi be forced to pay back the fees it has taken from customers to-date?





    COMMENTS

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    unicorn
    19th Aug 2014
    10:24am
    At least Aldi has stopped this rip off as far as the news saaid lat night, better than the banks ripping people off for charges.
    Abby
    19th Aug 2014
    5:34pm
    It is about time that Adi got into step with modern technology without slugging the customer.
    hughie
    19th Aug 2014
    10:35am
    Compared to paying a 1.75% CREDIT CARD SURCHARGE to pay your rates or electricity Aldi's 0.5% charge is a bargain. (Even with the Aldi surcharge I'm still way ahead with the grocery bill).
    KSS
    19th Aug 2014
    12:38pm
    I have a issue with that too Unicorn. And with the move more and more companies are making to direct debit only payments and charging you a fee for NOT using DD. Optus is one such organisation doing that and they charge $2 a month penalty for not giving them access to your bank account!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:05pm
    The real worry is that the financial system is trying to phase out cash and force consumers into a system for which they get slugged fees. The cashless society is coming. We all feel it and none of us are able to hold it back. If in doubt open your bible and check Revelations....."and the number of the beast is 666......"? I'm laying my bets!!
    btony
    19th Aug 2014
    10:36am
    New technology is always a new source of revenue,sneaky or otherwise, for providers, and it always will be. Buyer beware
    Polly Esther
    19th Aug 2014
    12:04pm
    you aint kidding
    fedup
    19th Aug 2014
    10:47am
    I do think Aldi should re inburse the customers such a rip off !!
    poppsy
    19th Aug 2014
    11:08am
    Most people don't keep their grocery bills. Unless the bank will go through their records and find these surcharges.

    My Aldi has been here a year and I still haven't seen the notice that the surcharge is applied. You don't find out unless you look at your docket. Again most people don't look at the docket.

    I object not to the small surcharge (even though I use my own money, not a credit card), but the sneaky way of not advising people about it.
    Bonny
    19th Aug 2014
    11:02am
    I think Aldi has a right to recover it's credit card charges and I have no problem with their surcharge as they have an alternative way of paying without a surcharge. I have no problem with merchants recovering their charges from customers for using credit cards. With alternative ways to pay one has a choice no to pay these charges. If they don't charge customers for them then everyone pays for them. Airlines on the other hand seem to charge a flat fee no matter how much the fare is and you have to pay online by credit card ...now that is a rip off.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:06pm
    They could build it into their prices but they choose not too. So what is Aldi going to do when cash disappears altogether, as it will?
    Tim@toc
    19th Aug 2014
    11:08am
    In my opinion 'tap and go' type facilities are dangerous and should be banned. Anyone deliberately using such facilities deserves whatever happens.
    As for Aldi's policy re credit card charges; at the Aldi stores I have visited the checkout staff have always advised me of the 0.5% charge for credit card payments. For me this is far more effective than another bunch of ineffective signs. No, I don't think Aldi have done anything wrong. Compared to the other major supermarkets they are angels.
    ourjeffie
    19th Aug 2014
    12:22pm
    Dangerous? You can get electrocuted or something? :)

    Coles and Woolworths don't have a credit card surcharge and don't charge for 'tap and go'
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:08pm
    My wife reckons that older people and the frail will infuture be targets for small time criminals wanting quick access to goods and services. So expect to be bumped on the head for your credit card in the future. Also, beware going off road overseas as tourists will be on the menu for the same reason.
    RosePerth
    19th Aug 2014
    3:50pm
    I don't use a credit card overseas Mick. My spending money is in a Qantas Cash Card. OK it still has Pay Pass on it but at least the funds are limited. However, I don't think older people and the frail as targets is in the future - it's with us already unfortunatley!
    lionsboy
    19th Aug 2014
    11:21am
    I think you will find they still do it but have to advise you, so you have the choice. I may be wrong but that's my understanding
    Polly Esther
    19th Aug 2014
    12:02pm
    the "fantastic plastic"
    marvellous !! and here I was just getting my head around the barter system.
    Mike Omment
    19th Aug 2014
    12:09pm
    I blame Tony Abbot for this
    Pass the Ductape
    19th Aug 2014
    2:23pm
    I agree - why not - he gets the blame for everything else that upsets people in this country!! :0
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:10pm
    That's one thing I can't blame Abbott for. But I don't have to because what this man is and who he represents is there for any to see should they so choose. Sorry Ductape.
    brainstraina
    19th Aug 2014
    4:15pm
    moorbid and mick. I must tell you about my front yard flooding due to very heavy rain.
    It was definitely the fault of Tony Abbot.
    Having read many of the comments herein, and having by them, become enlightened to the frightening state of our economy and for those upon whom blame is to be laid; oh dear!!!!! the only possible conclusion is Tony Abbot.
    Yes!! Tony Abbot is to blame.
    That heavy rain? Yes, Tony Abbot did it.
    Min
    20th Aug 2014
    6:38am
    C"mon guys...I think Moorbid was just being funny.
    bookwyrm
    22nd Aug 2014
    2:05am
    Sir Tony Rabbit is to blame for the heavy rain because the Mad Monk still lives in tke dark ages and doesn‘t believe in Climate Change! I like to blame the Sir Pository of Wisdom for everything because the budgie smuggler with big ears is an Evil Clown!
    bookwyrm
    22nd Aug 2014
    2:18am
    It is the Winking Idiot‘s fault I have to shop at Aldi and can only afford the fantastic bargain of 40 fish fingers for less than $4 with the Heart Foundation tick. Their Fair Trade Organic ground coffee at $5 for my op shop Bodum plunger adds a touch of luxury to my day. And thank goodness for their $1 loaves of bread!
    bookwyrm
    22nd Aug 2014
    2:22am
    Tony Meanie, if you take my coffee away for the GP co-payment I will revolt!
    cherab
    19th Aug 2014
    12:14pm
    i have always been told of the charge by the Aldi checkout operators and i shop there frequently
    Jen
    19th Aug 2014
    6:22pm
    So have I.
    MITZY
    19th Aug 2014
    12:16pm
    The Aldi Store at Batemans Bay NSW where I shop (which is 10 years old on 23/8/14) has always had a huge sign dropping down from the ceiling above the cash registers indicating an 0.5% surcharge is applied if purchases are by credit card. I have never paid for food etc. by a credit card, I either pay cash or use my savings account with Eftpos.

    I haven't used the tap and go facility and do not intend to ever.

    One thing I have noticed with the excellent and very pleasant staff in Aldi Batemans Bay is that they that also always verbally advise the customer that the 0.5% surcharge is charged for using their credit card. With the introduction of the tap and go facility, maybe they haven't updated the sign over the cash registers, but with the great efficiency and courtesy they always project at my Batemans Bay outlet, it will be up there post haste indicating that it also applies to tap and go.

    If you buy your goods on a credit card and all Aldi charge is 0.5% I think you are probably still coming out ahead as Aldi's prices would save you more than the 0.5% surcharge.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:11pm
    If in doubt ASK. Works all the time.
    Bobho
    19th Aug 2014
    12:16pm
    Where I shop at Aldi I have always seen or been made aware of the surcharge. I have no problems with Aldi's honesty.
    mogo51
    19th Aug 2014
    12:18pm
    I do not want anything to do with tap and go payments, just leads to more instances of fraud. I want to know that I am in charge of transactions on my card by using pin.
    Tim@toc
    19th Aug 2014
    12:55pm
    Precisely mogo51. Perhaps you could explain that to ourjeffie. His comprehension skills seem a little deficient today.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:13pm
    Your pin is safe if you cover your hand. The issue for older folk is if they can remember their pin.
    RosePerth
    19th Aug 2014
    3:57pm
    I actually use Tap and Go for smaller purchases. It gets me out of the shops quicker - and I HATE shopping. Your credit card is vulnerable regardless if it's stolen. I lost my purse a few years ago and, with no Tap and Go, within less than an hour, someone had used it to the tune of over $1000 just by signing the docket. When was the last time you saw a sales assistant check your signature? Luckily the bank refunded the money to me.
    RosePerth
    19th Aug 2014
    3:58pm
    Sorry - to add to my comment, the signature wouldn't matter now I know but your card can still be used for on-line purchases if it's stolen.
    Theo1943
    20th Aug 2014
    10:29am
    I don't have tap-n-go on my credit card but do have it on my debit card. We don't have Aldi in WA yet. Do they also charge the fee on debit cards?
    alinejordan
    19th Aug 2014
    12:27pm
    it was clear to me that paying by credit incurred a surcharge. so it goes without saying that the tap and go (which automatically uses your credit card and not your savings account) also incurs a surcharge. if you're not sure, why not ask?
    RosePerth
    19th Aug 2014
    4:00pm
    I use Tap and Go on my debit card which is linked to my Savings Account.
    KSS
    19th Aug 2014
    12:36pm
    It seems the issue here is not with the credit card surcharge as most responder here say they were aware of that and accept the charge. What is more important is the charge for the tap-and-go facility. This is not credit card use , it is more akin to EFTPOS in that it directly deducts the amount from your bank account. Why then is there a charge for tap-and-go and not for EFTPOS? That doesn't make sense. And the fact they seem not to have told people they are up for the charge is plain theft. People must know ALL the information then make an informed decision. They should not be shanghaied in this manner.
    MITZY
    19th Aug 2014
    12:59pm
    Aldi is a lot more credible than a great number of retailers.
    See my comment above about my Aldi at Batemans Bay. They have always had signs in their stores re using your credit card incurring an 0.5% surcharge. Maybe, as you say, if tap and go charges come directly from your bank account, there shouldn't a surcharge. Come to think of it I haven't seen any signs at Coles or Woolies Batemans Bay indicating a surcharge for tap and go, how come only Aldi got singled out?
    KSS
    19th Aug 2014
    1:58pm
    Neither Coles nor Woolworth charge for credit card use so don't for tap-and-go either.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:14pm
    Correct KSS. And you can use your Amex there and get triple points.....which leads to cash rebate a lot sooner. i have no complaints.
    defa
    19th Aug 2014
    1:23pm
    At all (3) of my local Aldi stores, the checkout operator points out the surcharge when you elect to pay be credit card AND at least one of them has a notice stating that.

    I agree with the comment about the local authorities charging a higher surcharge than Aldi for paying rates by credit card; my Body Corporate charges 2% surcharge for paying by credit card.
    JackandJill
    19th Aug 2014
    1:46pm
    Coles and Woolies where I shop don't need to have signs, cos they don't charge. I don't tap and go but always use the Credit facility on my card = no extra charges.
    Blossom
    19th Aug 2014
    2:28pm
    Some banks charge a fee based on your account balance and the number of transactions. If you have a very small balance you are allowed less free transactions. Some show individual debits and the total credit amount against them.
    Some restruants charge a surcharge on credit cards when you pay your bill even if it is one you pay a set amount at the entrance as you go in and choose whatever food you want. I am not sure if you get charged if you use your card as a savings or cheque account card.
    I pay my rates & taxes, utility charges insurance etc. via Direct Debit from my bank account and do not pay surchages at all.
    I don't know whether or not it is correct but I have heard that banks charge whoever you purchase goods from a small surcharge if you pay by card. I know AMEX definitely does and they are expensive. A company I worked for used them.
    taxes, insurance, utility charges etc. via Direct Debit and am not charged a surcharge at all.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:17pm
    Do yourself a favour: get a credit card with a rewards program. Then pay everything with the card and get cash back. No charges other than an annual fee and one for th erewards program as well. But if you are smart then you can make it work providing you put through at least $15 000 pa. I love it.....but like all good things, oncluding life itself, it won't last forever. Until that time let the good times roll!!
    Theo1943
    20th Aug 2014
    11:08am
    Mick, I don't think that the Gov't pension is $15,000 per annum. I have a separate debit (with pay-n-go) and credit card (without pay-n-go). I try to avoid using the credit card in shops. My credit card has no annual fee, no rewards program but the interest charges, if any, are 14%.
    Blossom
    19th Aug 2014
    2:32pm
    Excuse my ignorance but what is tap and go ???
    Is it the same as paywave?
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:20pm
    You should have a card with a micro chip embedded in it. If not you need to ask your bank to provide one. I can't remember if I was sent a new card to use tap and go or not but your bank will tell you if your card is ok.
    When you go to pay with this card YOU DO NOT SIGN but simply hold the card over the machine and when it beeps you are done. You can see the angst from some bloggers above because if you lost your card then other people can use it to purchase goods.....but then you are covered as long as you report the loss immediately.
    Hope that helps.
    RosePerth
    19th Aug 2014
    4:02pm
    Yes, it's the same as Pay Wave.
    dougie
    19th Aug 2014
    3:01pm
    I am surprised no end. I see that nobody has blamed Tony Abbott for this oversight of Aldi's.
    He must surely have had something to do with it as it is not right for it to happen and must impact on the cost of groceries for those who pay on credit card. Then again thinking about it, it is probably Joe Hockey's fault. But again no furious name calling and blatent abuse so maybe I am wrong.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:33pm
    Cynical dougie.
    I may be guilty of your accusation but I direct people to the facts, some of which they choose to ignore as they back their favoured side of politics like a football team. We need honest people running the nation dougie, not disreputable liars who are pandering to the rich and the big end of town. And we need Australians to take an interest and to see through the lies and deceit.
    Whilst Abbott, Hockey and the front bench are not guilty of credit charges at the checkout they are guilty of winding back protections for ordinary Australian investors. In the wake of the Commonwealth Bank scandal (with Macquarie next in line) the banks have had their way and managed to get this government to removed protections for ordinary Australians put in place by the previous government. Good luck to your if you rretirement nest egg is decimated because that is what is at stake.
    If you intend to make a comment like the above you also need to open your eyes and look at the facts, which may in some cases not be what you hear on the 7 and 9 media broadcasts and not what you want to hear. Good luck dougie. I suspect that you are going to need it.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    3:34pm
    And while I am at it read the other story on the yourlifechoices page today:

    http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/recovering-from-financial-oblivion

    And then consider if your position is a tenable one or not.
    KSS
    19th Aug 2014
    6:57pm
    There you go Dougie.
    Kopernicus
    19th Aug 2014
    3:59pm
    I repeatedly heard the Aldi checkout person inform each customer who wanted cash out that this will incur a 0.5% surcharge. This is pre tap-and-go.
    Pass the Ductape
    19th Aug 2014
    4:02pm
    I used to shop at Aldi but like some, I’ve worked out that whilst Aldi appears to give value for money - all things being considered - it doesn’t! I think you need to be acutely aware when you shop at Aldi.

    To begin with - the real cost to Australia and Australians is that most of Aldi’s profit goes overseas.

    Apart from that - just a few things I discovered when I shopped at Aldi.........

    1. Aldi employs as few staff as possible and the people who do work for them, work like Trojans for the lowest pay rate; possibly why you rarely see the same checkout operators the next time you enter the store - and it doesn’t seem to matter which store you frequent.

    2. Quality control is woeful; many products I purchased in the veggie and fruit line never lasted for more than a day or two and one frozen item in particular, although well within its use-by date and opened on the day it was purchased - had gone off and was absolutely putrid.

    3. Packaging was cunningly deceiving, (it is imperative to check the nett weight on all Aldi packaged products) - and I doubt I had ever purchased a packet of biscuits where every biscuit had been intact..... generally dropping from the packet to the plate in halves - or in many other numerous bits and pieces. Lord knows what happens to them en route to the shelf!

    4. Although Aldi stands by a money back guarantee that if you aren’t satisfied with the quality of their products, you may return the item to the store; even so, a great many many Aldi products have dubious origins; their seafood produce being a good example....
    Enter BASA.... (sounds like BARA don’t it?). Yes people - the overseas fisheries answer to the land product - rice!
    CARP and CATFISH - in any other language - take your pick!

    5. And next time you buy a frozen product of any kind at Aldi - inspect it for freezer burn when you get it home. This indicates the product has been in the freezer for so long, it should be declared as ancient history, and again, I loved that the ice-cream spillage on the bottom of a freezer at one Aldi store, (obviously had a meltdown at some stage) had been finally cleaned up. Only lay there on the bottom for about four months!

    But hey - that’d go pretty cheap don’t you reckon? Just saying!
    Not Senile Yet!
    19th Aug 2014
    4:20pm
    Me thinks Aldi need to come to grips with the fact that there Surcharge is driving customers away,,,,they need to get their act together and Match the Cole/Woolworths of NO Surcharges!!!!
    Not because they have been smacked.....but because their Customers do not like surcharges!!
    A friend of a friend once stated that he stopped putting surcharges on the Bills at his restaurant because his customers simply di not like it! Instead he put his prices up marginally to compensate for the loss.....Customers soon returned because they knew up-front what they were paying!
    No I do not think they should repay anyone....simply change to what the customer wants.....no-one like surcharges for the use of credit cards....you already pay high interest rates to the bank for the convenience.....double whammy's are not liked by anyone!
    As for Blaming the Pollies......I don't think so.....more like the Greedy banks charging the retailers un-necessarily and having a double dip on revenue making easy profits for the Bank!!!
    But in the End ...You have a Choice...simply vote with your feet!!!
    Pass the Ductape
    19th Aug 2014
    4:27pm
    As for the card. YES, yes, and yes again! Should be a $10 surcharge - by every retailer. Bloody time wasting things! You stand in a line of card carrying fools who know no better and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, while every turkey in front of you spends your precious time (and I don't have a great deal left) coming to terms with the fact that first of all, you should already have your card in your hand, not down in the depths of your wallet or bloody purse to be pulled out at the very last moment - and have the correct one too! Then go the process of trying to remember your pin - then we all stand around having a chat and talking about the weather, waiting for the paper process to complete (and I thought these things were supposed to save time and money - who for?) Lord give me strength - I only wanted to pay for a packet of screws costing $5 - and I've got the dosh in my hand even.

    "Is that all" - she says, - "Yes it is thankyou," - I say. "Bye" - I say.

    I get my receipt for my 5 second transaction and leave - after my agonising 20 minute wait in the queue listening to little Jonny's cough and cold episode, tiny tot Janes tantrum, and solving the worlds problems for the fourth time with eight other people (their credit cards still tucked down in the depths of their apparel not yet ready to see the light of day). YES, YES, I SAY - BRING IT ON ALDI! I don't care - I don't shop there any more...
    RichF
    19th Aug 2014
    4:32pm
    When you are saving something of the order of 50% on some items and certainly more than 25% on nearly all items by using Aldi I have no qualms about a 0.5% - that's one half of one percent - surcharge. Mind you, we don't pay it because we use either cash or savings accounts.
    Anyway, in our local store the staff ALWAYS advises customers about the charge so nobody should get a surprise.
    Yes, sometimes the fresh produce can be a bit iffy -- but that also applies to Woolies, IGA and (occasionally) Coles. When it comes off the farm you have to take what is being offered right now and that's the way it goes.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:57pm
    Spot on comment. And the produce is normally better than the duopoly....although the big two have certainly stopped selling floury apples and real suspect fruit. But I think that the Current Affairs programs have helped that to happen too.
    BB1
    19th Aug 2014
    4:41pm
    Aldi where I live have notices around and also the people on the check outs advise you if you select CR that there will be a surcharge. Those with 'Tap and Go' will probably be informed as well. I don't have or want the facility. Bad enough to get to a check out, put ones card in and don't have to put my pin number in. I don't like this either.
    dougie
    19th Aug 2014
    4:41pm
    Mick,
    My position is totally tenable because I take the responsibility of management of my assets. I invest my funds and insure that I am making the best decision to suit my family. I seem to think that the matters that you are speaking of were evident in the times of the Labor Government as well as currently. Be fair and allow that anyone who uses a Financial Planner is generally leaving themselves open to financial abuse. They have probably been lured by excessive promises of expectations from that persons plans for your money. It is always a case of they win you lose. My experience over 75 years has taught me certain rules of caution and care. These may not make me a lot of money, but to date my prudence has not cost either me or my family any of our savings. I am not heaping it on those who have lost because of these people, just explaining my point of view. Do not be offended. I am no financial guru, just a careful person.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    6:11pm
    I also manage my own affairs and take responsibility for my actions. I would not touch a Financial Planner as far as I could throw him/her. And if I were to play this sort of Russian roullette I would certainly not be deposit ALL of my funds with one planner....plain stupid!!
    Congratulations on being careful. Research is important and I live with the old carpenter's addage 'measure thrice cut once". I am not offended. Cheers.
    unicorn
    20th Aug 2014
    8:37am
    I neither have of want a tap & go anything card I'll stick with my Visa card at least it requires a pin number which the bank provided and I guess is as safe as I can make it.
    Young
    20th Aug 2014
    5:00pm
    Perhaps we can take class action against Aldi.We have class action against ANZ because we cannot organise our finances.We have class action against Telstra for the same reason.Please people, pay your bills on time.
    Young
    20th Aug 2014
    5:03pm
    Some items in Aldi are cheaper,but when I see people with full trolleys I just wonder.Woolies and Coles both have specials and cheaper items than Aldi.You need to read all of their catalogs and go to each for your shopping.
    Young
    20th Aug 2014
    5:05pm
    And pay with cash.
    Virginia
    20th Aug 2014
    10:07pm
    How did one know the extra charge was added. Was it an item on the docket.
    Judy in the hills
    4th Sep 2014
    1:25pm
    My husband checked with the local CBA re risks with the tap & go method, and was told the BANKS are required to cover all risks! Hope the advice was right!
    Gee Whiz
    22nd Aug 2017
    10:53am
    Ever since Hawke and Keating privatized the Banking system the banks started charging for everything they could get their hands on.

    The CBA was the worst, but the others weren't far behind.

    When eftpos came in followed by a whirlwind of new credit cards providers these financial parasites saw new ways of ripping off the public. That's how they make their billion dollar profits pay tens of millions to their CEOs.

    Aldi's card fees are just another rip-off.

    We used to be regular Aldi shoppers until we noticed the card surcharge on one of our dockets. We now shop at a different supermarket where there are no surcharges.

    Think we are paying more for our groceries? Wrong.

    Most super markets are now stocking the same generic and imported lines as Aldi and we have kept an eye on our budget.

    The difference between the two is less than $1.00.


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