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Consumers urged to check their bank balance for unexpected fees

  • June 25 2020
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Consumers urged to check their bank balance for unexpected fees

By Cameron Micallef
June 25 2020

Consumers should check for unexpected international fees, even when they are buying from major Australian brands, the consumer watchdog has warned.

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Consumers urged to check their bank balance for unexpected fees

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  • June 25 2020
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Consumers should check for unexpected international fees, even when they are buying from major Australian brands, the consumer watchdog has warned.

Online shopping

The ACCC has said that even websites that end with .com.au, which appear to be Australian, might be processed overseas, leaving the buyer with an international transaction fee.

“It is unclear to many consumers whether a retailer processes transactions overseas, so we expect retailers to make this clear to consumers on their websites,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Consumers who have been charged an unexpected international transaction fee for a purchase in Australian dollars from a website that appears Australian-based or has an Australian domain name should query the fee with their bank and report it to the ACCC.”

The ACCC says retailers may be engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct if Australian consumers are given the impression that their transaction will occur in Australia.

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ACCC noted that businesses should clearly inform consumers when they are likely to be charged an international transaction fee and has issued guidance to retailers about how price information should be presented to consumers.

The warning comes after US clothing manufacturer Nike Inc and the ACCC worked together to change Nike’s page to let customers know that they will be charged an international fee on checkout.

“Consumers who have been charged an unexpected international transaction fee for a purchase in Australian dollars from a website that appears Australian-based or has an Australian domain name should query the fee with their bank and report it to the ACCC,” Mr Sims said.

“If you are making regular purchases with overseas businesses, it may be worth considering a credit or debit card with no international transaction fees or asking your bank to block international transactions for certain cards.”

The ACCC stated it will continue to monitor this issue and encourage consumers to make a complaint to the ACCC if they identify retailers who do not warn consumers about potential fees.


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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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