Currency switches can lead to losses
Foreign credit card purchases are sometimes being charged in sterling rather than the local currency, without the buyer being consulted first.
Users of credit cards abroad have been warned to check their receipts in order to make sure the currency switch has not taken place, the BBC reports.
When goods and services are charged in this way the foreign vendor's bank sets the exchange rate, meaning that customers can pay extra for purchases.
Kirsty, a credit card customer, told the broadcaster that she had paid for a hire car deposit in sterling, only to be paid back in euros at an overall loss of £17.
She only found out that the initial transaction was in sterling when she noticed the figures on her original receipt.
"If they're doing this to every customer, every day, for every hire car, they're making a tidy little profit at our expense," Kirsty commented.
"[It's] a bit like giving the customer the small print after they've signed on the dotted line."
Published: 22 June 2009
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