Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Indroducing Card Payment Fees?

Soon after championing transparent pricing with their memorable "Nothing To Hide" campaign, we see that Air New Zealand will be introducing card payment fees just in time for the holidays. 

From their website:
"Air New Zealand wishes to advise that in order to recover the costs associated with credit, debit and charge card transactions, Air New Zealand will be charging a Card Payment Fee (CPF) from 15 December 2010 for tickets paid for by credit, debit or charge card.
However no Card Payment Fee (CPF) will be charged when customers choose to pay by:
  • Internet banking (POLi)
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars™*
  • Air New Zealand Travel Card
  • Cash or EFTPOS at an Air New Zealand Holidays store or travel agent
*Bookings made with a mix of Airpoints Dollars and Credit/Debit card are not charged a CPF.
The CPF applies on a per person per one-way journey basis, and will be applied to adult and child fares. Infants are exempt.
The applicable CPF is:
  • $2 for domestic New Zealand fares
  • $5 for short haul Tasman and Pacific Island fares
  • $10 for long haul fares..."
Just when we thought travel businesses were showing restraint by self-exempting themselves from charging card payment fees, Air New Zealand has now set a game-changing standard that we hope the accommodation industry will not follow.

We understand the philosophy of businesses recovering costs and charging more for consumers that use a method of payment that costs more to process. After all, shouldn't consumers that choose not to pay by a card be rewarded with lower prices?

This may be so in theory, however isn't more important for businesses to offer a clean and transparent price that is understood by all? In reality, added fees just p*ss people off.

Consumers have little understanding or concern for a business's financial costs. And nor should they. For many people the impost of a card fee is a barrier and makes the current ease of purchasing travel with a card just that little bit harder. Making a customer swallow a rat by charging them a card payment fee is not a good way to maintain a happy relationship.

From a marketing and customer relations prospective, Air New Zealand should drop their silly fee by simply raising their airfares where necessary and we suggest that the accommodation industry desist from the temptation of imposing cost recovery fees and lift their tariff.

Click the "Get Widget" link below to place this widget on your website or blog!