08/10/2011

easyJet approved debit card

The radio programme "On en parle" this morning, 10 August, pointed out that it is almost impossible to obtain the only debit card accepted freely by easyJet.


To book a place on an easyJet flight one has to use either a credit card or a debit card. There is only one type of debit card which does not incur a surcharge: the Visa Electron card. However, as was pointed out on the radio programme, this card is virtually impossible to obtain in Switzerland. This means that there will be a substantial extra charge, quoted by the programme as typically being either 16 Swiss Francs for a debit card (e.g. Maestro) or 26 Swiss Francs for a credit card (e.g. MasterCard).

It appears that the Swiss Federal Secretariat for the Economy (SECO : Secrétariat d'Etat à l'écomomie) is not satisfied that these extra charges are sufficiently clearly indicated on easyJet advertisements that we can see on billboards. Unsurprisingly, easyJet disagrees, claiming that it meets all the relevant European and Swiss standards.

This subject, to which I referred in a previous blog, is becoming more important. Only about three weeks ago the press reported that as a result of a clamp-down by the UK Office of Fair Trading, the easyJet response had been to call for a standard European-wide policy on credit and debit card fees. Whether this is a genuine attempt to have a level playing field or simply a time-wasting exercise has yet to be determined.

For the moment, expect an extra charge at the moment of paying.

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