Chafin to propose anti-surcharge legislation
by Ralph B. Davis
WILLIAMSON — State Sen. H. Truman Chafin, (D-Mingo), this week announced that he strongly opposed allowing merchants to add surcharge fees of up to 4 percent extra onto bills if consumers pay with credit cards.
Chafin said in a release that “it’s been a long time practice for most credit card issuers to charge merchants a ‘so-called interchange fee’ which earned credit card companies a lot of money.”
Under a proposed legal settlement, some merchants could soon begin charging consumers for using a credit card, the release stated. The senator said that many customers were not aware of the new credit card surcharge and that they have been unaware that credit card issuers have been charging merchants credit card fees for some time.
Chafin said he plans to introduce legislation to “prohibit merchants from doing to West Virginia customers what has been done to them for a long time,” in charging customers a credit card fee of up to 4 percent.
The senator said that some states had already implemented protection laws for customers regarding credit card fees and surcharges and that he plans to introduce similar legislation to protect West Virginia customers.
Under consumer protection laws, Chafin said, merchants should provide “clear and conspicuous disclosure” if any such fees or surcharges are going to be passed along to customers.
“In tough economic times, our West Virginia consumers simply cannot afford further credit card surcharges and I urge my legislative colleagues to join with me to protect the consumers of West Virginia,” Chafin said.
For more information contact Chafin at (304) 235-2221
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