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Linda Sherry of Consumer Action Available to Explain What Consumers Need to Know About “Checkout Fees,” or Merchant-imposed Surcharges

Beginning January 27, 2013, consumers may begin seeing merchants charge a “checkout fee,” or merchant-imposed surcharge, when paying with a credit card. As part of a major class action settlement between retailers and the payments industry, Visa and MasterCard agreed to retailer demands that they remove their longstanding “no surcharge rule” which protected consumers from these fees. Without this rule, all merchants – regardless of size – are now free to impose these checkout fees in the 40 states where this practice is legal.

Consumer Action, one of the nation’s most respected consumer organizations, has published an online guide that explains consumer rights surrounding these checkout fees, available on its Know Your Card website. Additional information can be found at www.CheckoutFees.com, a consumer information site provided by the Electronic Payments Coalition.

WHO:
Linda Sherry, Director of National Priorities, Consumer Action

WHAT:
Now that retailers won the ability to impose checkout fees on their customers who use a credit card, Consumer Action has created an online guide to help consumers understand their rights. To further explore this topic, Linda Sherry of Consumer Action is available for media interviews.

CONTACT:
To coordinate an interview with Linda Sherry, please dial her directly at (415)777-9648 or call Ruth Susswein at (301)718-2511.

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action, a San Francisco-based national education and advocacy organization with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Consumer Action focuses on financial education that empowers low- to moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It delivers its multilingual educational programs and materials through a unique nationwide network of 7,500 community-based organizations and on the organization’s website (www.consumer-action.org).

About the Electronic Payments Coalition

The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) includes credit unions, banks, and payment card networks that move electronic payments quickly and securely between millions of merchants and millions of consumers across the globe. EPC’s goal is to protect the value, innovation, convenience and competition in today’s growing electronic payments system. EPC educates policymakers, consumers and the media on the system’s role in economic growth, and the importance of protecting consumer choice and stability for the continued growth of global commerce.

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