Quebec Stores Are Illegally Overcharging You When You Pay With Debit
You're getting robbed.
Over the weekend, I was walking around in an unfamiliar neighborhood when I got thirsty.
I went in to some shady looking dep to buy a bottle of water but I only had my interact with me.
The bottle was $1,50 and the dep owner said I couldn't pay with my debit card if I was buying something that costs less than $5.
It's total bullshit, but I was really thirsty and I wasn't in the mood to argue so I grabbed a 2nd water bottle and a lighter.
I paid with my card and walked out.
Later when I got home I emptied my pockets and the bill dropped on the table. That's when I noticed there was an extra charge on my bill. It was only a couple of cents but basically I got charged for paying with my debit card.
This is when I lost it.
Certain businesses put up signs that list a minimum amount to use their interact machine.
We looked into it and this is totally illegal.
Businesses get charged for every transaction so they try to discourage the use of debit cards to minimize their cost. And most people feel bad paying for small items with a debit card for that very reason.
So it definitely goes against common courtesy, but technically it is 100% legal to pay by debit no matter how small the amount is.
And it turns out that charging an extra fee is also illegal.
Unfortunately the page is only available in French so we translated it for you below:
"It is forbidden to demand an extra fee from consumers who are paying by debit. The cost of using a credit terminal is part of your business costs. They cannot be added to the price of a product and they cannot be added to the total at the time of purchase.
The announced price must be the complete price the consumer must pay to obtain a good or service.
At the time of payment, you cannot demand a fee higher than the announced price. The only sums of money that may be added are the ones that get handed back directly to a public authority. These include the GST and QST.
Warnings are not enough. Simply putting up a sign that warns consumers of the extra charge does not make it legal."
So if you come across any businesses that violate these rules and refuse to give you a good or a service on the grounds that you're not spending enough, make sure to report them to the Office de la Protection du Consomateur or they will continue to pass their business expenses onto you.
(Note: Dep in the cover photo is not the dep in question at the start of this article)