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Woman 'left in tears' after allegedly being verbally abused by post office staff over 25p card charge

10 May 2018, 16:04

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/som ... ly-1549406

A woman says she was reduced to tears after being verbally abused by a post office staff member following a complaint about a card charge.

Melissa Davis, of Bath, claims to have been subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse during a visit to the Post Office on Frome Road.


It came after she argued against paying a 25p charge for using her card.

She took to Twitter to complain about her experience on Tuesday, May 8.

She said she questioned the staff member after she was charged for a card transaction, adding: "I showed them the Government website."

Melissa claims the staff member then said: "I don’t give a f*** about the government."

She is still reeling from the encounter which she claims amounted to abuse.

What is the law on card charges?
Hidden charges for paying with a debit or credit card were banned on Saturday, January 13.

So-called ‘surcharging’ had become commonplace, particularly online, with many retailers hitting people with surprise charges just before they are about to make a purchase.

Some retailers have been known to add charges which are far higher than it costs them to process a payment.

It is estimated that surcharging cost Brits £166 million in 2015.

The ban means that it is now unlawful for retailers to charge additional fees when someone uses a particular credit or debit card, or other payment systems like PayPal, to make a purchase.

This will ensure consumers can be confident that there won’t be any nasty surprises, and they won’t be penalised for wanting to pay in a particular way.

The new rules are enforced by Trading Standards who have the power to take civil enforcement action against traders who breach the regulations.

She said: "Just in shock from being shouted at and verbally abused. Left in tears."

The Post Office is part of Bargain Booze. The off-licence is contracted to run Post Office services.

Other Twitter users were quick to share their thoughts on the encounter.

Zaina, who goes by the Twitter handle @zaza_zee, said: "Omg that's disgusting, so much for customer service."

One user was less sympathetic however. Richard Madden said: "Why not pay in cash anyway? Card payers are always demanding the cost of card payment processing be shared with everyone else. Rant over."

What does the economic secretary have to say?
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen said: "It’s completely unfair for someone to be hit by a hidden fee just before they are about to make a purchase, so by scrapping these rip-off charges we are helping to give power back to the consumer.

"As we build a fairer society, this added transparency ensures buyers can make informed choices about how they spend their hard-earned money."

Melissa responded: "I’m sorry in no circumstance is it acceptable to be shouted and sworn at."

The Post Office has since responded to Melissa's original tweet, saying: "I'm so sorry to hear this Millie. What time did you visit the branch today?"


Following Melissa's response the spokeswoman asked her to email across her address and contact details.

Somerset Live contacted the Post Office to see how the investigation into the incident was progressing.

A spokeswoman said: "We were very concerned to hear about this incident, as we expect those providing Post Office services to communities to treat customers with respect at all times, and we’re very sorry if this didn’t happen on this occasion.

"While this transaction was done on the retail side of the business rather than the Post Office side, we are speaking to the branch to find out more, and also speaking to the retailer to remind them of their legal obligations to customers.

"We are also trying to contact with our customer to apologise to her directly.”


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