Monday, 16 July 2007

Open thread - penalty fees

The Australian Consumer Association/Choice Magazine have announced recently that they're going to start a campaign to fight penalty fees charged by banks, credit unions and building societies on the grounds that they believe that they're illegal and unfair.

This blogger supports this, and suspects that his cohorts, nice1bruva and The Hulk would also be in favour.

Banks, credit unions and building societies aren't the only guilty parties, though. Off the top of my head, I can think of other industries where penalty fees should also be abolished.

Childcare would be one - has any parent shown up to collect their children thirty seconds late and found themselves being invoiced for a late collection fee or suchlike?

Open thread - is there any other industries that should have penalty fees removed?

Leave your whinge here.


nice1bruva said...

1) I'm not sure this is a penalty fee but I especially hate being charged for paying my bills EARLY by credit card and then being forward on the cost of using it. It certaily raises the point why pay early when I'm only going to be charged more?

2) Again not a fee, but I also despise being charged for a FOXTEL guide. Surely after signing a 24mth contract to stay with a company I shouldn't be subjected to paying extra for a simple guild.

CHRIST what is this world coming to??!!!!!

Dikkii said...

That FOXTEL Guide fee is a disgrace. But do they at least have the good grace to put a programme guide online?

Early payment fees for credit cards is a new one - I haven't seen that before. If that's happening, then I think that it's time we all crack each others heads open and feast upon the goo inside.

KitKat said...

What are your thoughts on penalties for not paying a bill?

I got charged $10 by Primus for not paying a bill. The bill was for about $40, so I think 25% is quite a penalty. It also bugs me that they bill monthly, so you've got 12 opportunities per year to forget to pay your bill and get charged $10.

They were also charging me $2.27 per month for not direct debiting. I didn't change it for ages to save being on hold to India for 45 mins, as usually happened with Primus. When I did ring recently, I spoke to someone with an Australian accent who seemed to deal with it quite well...

Dikkii said...

KitKat, this is the kinda thing that the ACA/Choice are going after.

I think that it would be great if they could broaden the scope of their complaint and include stuff such as this. Banks are easy targets.

Brendan said...

Ok, so this thread is a little old by now, but hey, I'll comment anyway.

Again, not a fee, but the NAB charges you interest on the full balance of a credit card for the duration of the interest free period even if you fail to pay off only 1 cent within that time.

I was a little short for a couple months and had balances of around $3000 which I paid off all of about $200 each time. Thinking I'd only be charged interest on the unpaid amount, as was the case when I was with Westpac, I was rather surprised to see interest amounts of around the $70 mark each time. I don't have my CC Ts&Cs on me right now, but when talking about interest charges they do mention "difference" somewhere in the relevant paragraph, but also "aggregatge for the month" making it a little ambiguous as to what the interest charge is supposed to apply to. When complaining to the bank they wouldn't listen to my suggestions that the word "difference" meant that they were applying their interest charges incorrectly, but instead kept returning to the "aggregate for the month" bit. They did however refund one of the interest charges.

I'm flush again, but still haven't gotten around to setting up a direct debit for the CC. Thanks to the above experience when paying my CC over the net, I make damn sure that if the bill is XXXX.53 I don't accidentially pay XXXX.35.

Dikkii said...

Might be a recent whinge, Brendan, but still a valid point. I agree that for a few cents, you shouldn't be charged interest on the whole kit and kaboodle.