Hey Lifehacker, I usually pay my internet account online via my ISP’s website using a credit card, and get charged a small amount for a card payment. This is detailed on the web payment page just before I commit to pay so I am aware of the charge. Today the online payment gateway was down so I paid it by phone.
There was no mention of any surcharge using the automated phone payment system. Can they legally charge me a surcharge if they don’t disclose the amount or percentage at the time I make the payment?
Picture: Getty Images
I should insert my general I-am-not-a-lawyer statement here. I guess I just did. Any lawyer-type-readers are more than welcome to pipe up in the comments if they so choose.
Still, generally speaking, charges should be disclosed no matter what system you’re using, but the disclosure can, as far as I can ascertain, be conveyed in different ways, including in the contract you signed with your ISP.
That may well state the surcharge exists if using the telephone payment option is utilised, in order to cover their bases. That’s presuming you’re using a credit card for that telephone payment in the first place, where charges have to be reasonable and not excessive; if you’ve got reason to think that they are, it may be worth pursuing the matter with your state consumer affairs department.
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