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Sep 01, 2023

Woman baffled by 'passive aggressive' note on receipt after paying with card

A woman was left confused when she was charged an additional fee in a restaurant because she paid on card, rather than giving cash - and others wondered why too

Going out to eat at a restaurant is a lovely treat, and it's become commonplace to tap the plastic on the card machine when you've finished enjoying your meal. But one woman was left completely baffled when her sister was given a "funny but s****y" message on her receipt after paying with a credit card - and there was even an added fee because they didn't pay in cash.

The woman took to Reddit's 'Mildly Infuriating' forum to write: "My sister went to a little mom and pops style restaurant and used a card. Here's her receipt", and she posted the picture of the 'passive aggressiveness' she was greeted with.

On the receipt, at the top, it read: "Bring me cash next time fee", and it was $0.50 (40p). It was clear that the owner of the restaurant was not happy that she'd paid with cash, and in the comments, people were trying to work out why.

A small business owner wrote: "I run a small business and we used to be only cash but then started being able to accept credit cards. Yes, the fees suck but being able to accept credit cards not only increased the number of sales but also our average sales. Customers spend more now which more than makes up for the fees. So we charge the same whether a customer pays cash or card."

Someone else said: "I think this is a common thing for super small businesses", trying to justify the charge - but not the message, and another pointed out: "In my state it's actually illegal to have any fees associated with using credit cards. The price listed on your menu has to be the maximum price paid by any customer regardless of payment method. Restaurants can offer a discount for using cash, but they can't penalise people for using credit."

"You're also welcome to just not accept credit cards", a Redditor fumed, whereas some dubbed the message that came with the fee as "passive-aggressive", saying it's wrong that it comes across that paying by card comes with a "penalty."

In the UK, businesses are not permitted to impose surcharges for paying by debit card, credit card, or electronic payment services- it was banned in January 2018 to avoid 'rip-off fees'. The rules are enforced by Trading Standards, who will have the power to take civil enforcement action against traders who breach the regulations. In the USA, surcharges are prohibited in many states by state law, but not in others.

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