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Wrongfully Charged a Fee by Subway

Posted Sun June 3, 2007 12:00 pm, by Elizabeth B. written to Subway (Sandwich Shops)

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I recently ordered a couple meals at the Subway located at 15626 FM 529 Houston, TX 77095. I ordered a meal for myself and my child. When I pulled out my wallet to pay for the meal, I was informed by the cashier that there was a surcharge for paying with a debt/charge card. I did not have any cash and my child had already taken her food so I had no choice but to pay the fee. I told the cashier that it was against Visa and mastercard merchant agreements to charge a fee if they agree to accept them. The cashier was very rude and said she couldn't do anything about it and just pointed to the sign on the wall that listed a phone number for the store owners. She did not have a name tag on at the time and I was to upset to ask her name. I will be eating at one of the many other local establishments from now on.

I would like a refund of the fee they charged and an apology. This store should also be barred from charging customers the fee.


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by indiegurrl Posted Thu July 9, 2009 @ 10:13 PM

OMG! i went to google this, and i stumbled upon this story. i went to
the same location! WOW, seems like our copperfield subway is doing
something they shouldnt. and for a couple years now. I am going to be
filing a complaint! I think them charging $1 is complete BS. The
cashier lady told me it was because they are "renting" the register,
and that it was her managers decision to charge customers the extra
$1. That is the LAST time I ever go there! I hope you were able to get
your $1 back, and then some.

by J From The Bay Posted Thu June 19, 2008 @ 5:17 PM

Every comment that's been posted here is not completely accurate.
I've worked in the merchant processing business for 15 years.
Merchant's may never call it a surcharge or demand a minimum amount be
charged. This is directly against Visa and MasterCard regulatins
(non-bankcards like Amex and Discover have their own rules). Merchant
are charged anywhere from 1.6% to 4% per transaction depending on the
type of card (personal credit, check card, corporate card, purchasing
card, etc) as well as the type of business they are and if the
transaction is conducted face-to-face, over the Internet, mail order,
telephone order.

Merchants can charge a convenience fee which are heavily controlled by
Visa and MasterCard. The only time a convenience fee can be charged
is if the transaction is not done face-toface.

Government agencies are different and can have different rules. Yes,
they are trying to recoup the cost of accepting credit cards, but
depending on the transaction amount, they're making money. The higher
the transaction amount, the higher the charge from their processor.

You can complain to your card issuer or report them directly to Visa
or MasterCard. The merchant will be warned to stop and/or immediately
fined (heavily). If they do not stop, they will be shut down and
black balled never being able to accept credit cards again. The
owner's name and SSN will be entered into a database and he tries to
switch processors, he'll be declined and screwed forever.

by Marty5223 Posted Wed June 6, 2007 @ 3:39 PM

Merchants pay between 4% and 7% depending on the credit card you use.
Discover and American Express are the higher of the two charging
merchants the highest fees.

I thought these were illegal charges, but was told when this happened
to me while shopping by American Express that it is legal as long as
it is posted by the merchant and they charge for any credit card used.

I just had a new heating/air installed and that contract stated 4%
charge for using credit cards to pay.

These fees from credit cards companies to merchants are the reason a
lot of discount stores don't take credit cards, or only take one.

I would think that using the debit card since it goes under the visa
or mastercard logo would be subject to the same thing by merchants.


by Smiley Guy Posted Tue June 5, 2007 @ 5:08 PM

When the charge posts to your account, call the charge card company or
bank and dispute the portion that represents the surcharge. At the
very least, you'll will probably be issued a credit for the amount
right away. I know Amex has a special department that deals with
merchants that add on surcharges, maybe your card company does too.


by melissa savelloni Posted Tue June 5, 2007 @ 2:04 PM

i've dont think i have seen a chain do this, its more common in local
delis and such where the profit margin probably isnt as high.

usually a local deli will charge an extra dollar to run credit or
debit for purchases under 10 dollars. Doesnt bother me, I would have
to pay a 2 dollar fee at an ATM anyway. so really its just a
convenience thing, and i have no problem helping local business. On
the other hand, corporate chains the size of most fast food joints
make a HUGE profit on food, considering the quality of it is so low
(hey, when you only have a buck or two though... fast food looks
mighty good to me!) So i dont think i would go without cash to a place
like that.

as far as subway goes, i dont like them because i just dont like
subway food. i prefer a hoagie from a local deli any day!


by Aimeyir, the Rant Queen Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 7:59 PM

Actually, it's probably not Subway that requires the fee, it's the
transaction service. When I used to work at BK, they had one service
that charged an additional fee of $2.50 (!). Many thought that was
outrageous, and I agree.


by Angelic Princess:) Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 4:37 PM

I've heard alot of places charge for debit. How much is the fee? 50


by Harleycat Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 1:44 PM

There are no federal regulations that prohibit a merchant from
charging a fee for using a credit or debit card. However the
following states prohibit the surcharges:

California, Colorado, Conneticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, New York,
Oklahoma and Texas.

So therefore, the OP is correct because it is against the law in

As to whether it has to do with a Visa/Mastercard merchant agreement,
a lot of that has to do with whether the merchant is using a Visa or
Mastercard network to process a debit transaction. There is usually
no way for the consumer to know that up front.

Again, in this case it appears that Subway is violating state law in
charging the transaction fee.

I have to check something with regard to NY since the article I read
said NY prohibits these fees yet the NYC DMV charges a fee when you
use your card online and so does the NYC Parking Violation Bureau.
I'm thinking that has something to do with the fact that it's an
online transaction and not in person since when I went to DMV in
person I was not charged the fee.


Convenience Fees by Jeffrey Mon June 4, 2007 @ 2:42 PM

Yes, it does.. by Harleycat Mon June 4, 2007 @ 3:19 PM

by Wolf Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 12:55 PM

One of the gas station Chains near us they charge 45 cents per debit
transaction. They don't take credit cards. The gas stations get
NOTHING (there are signs up telling the customer that). The company
that rents the debit machines to the stations get it. That may be
what is happening here. I don't know. But it is just something to
think about.


yes, the renters charge the fees... by itshotinjt Mon June 4, 2007 @ 5:35 PM

by Jeffrey Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 12:20 PM

Both Visa and MC have in their merchant agreements that no surcharge
may be charged for CC use. Why? Because Visa/MC want you to use the

So, regardless of whether is makes economic sense for the merchant or
not, those are the rules. If a merchant finds that they lose money
(due to the fees the merchant pays to accept the card), they either
need to stop taking credit cards (customer loses) or raise prices
(customer loses).


When you called the owner, what did the owner say?

by A A Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 12:08 PM

If they don't charge the fee, they will charge it on the back end.
Your next sub will cost 6.69 instead of 6.59 and most people will not
notice. In the long run that $1 fee some stranger is no longer being
charged to use their card will become $5 YOU will be charged so that
stranger can use his card.


That was my point exactly by RedheadWGlasses Mon June 4, 2007 @ 1:13 PM

by - Leanne- Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 11:53 AM

Visa etc charges 4% of the sale to the merchant for the use of them.
It increases business and it's been proven that people spend more on a
card in addition to the people who will shop there to have that
freedom. Sales are increased and so are profits. I don't think it is
right to pass on that fee to the customer IMO as they are already
benefitting from taking them as a method of payment with increased


Btw by - Leanne- Mon June 4, 2007 @ 11:55 AM

Not everywhere by KU Wed June 6, 2007 @ 9:29 PM

by donno Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 10:55 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if it is against the merchant agreement to
charge a fee, and you should pursue that.

However, I generally support having a "minimum charge purchase" due
the the current fees merchants are charged. As Red points out, the
costs for all of us will go up (they already have for larger ticket
items) for things like sandwiches and beverages if charge cards are
accepted for bills like $4.79. Another poster points to it being a
"cost of doing business". Well, we know where the cost of business
ultimately is paid. By the consumer.

OTOH, I think it is inevitible that we will go to some sort of
electronic means of paying for something as small as a hot dog. By
that time hopefully the cost of such a transaction will have gone


I agree about there being a minimum charge by Venice Mon June 4, 2007 @ 3:23 PM
by dawniedawn67 Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 7:57 AM

This is against both VISA & Mastercard's merchant agreement, and you
can file a complaint against the Subway you visited.

You can file a complaint with Mastercard online, but you have to call
to report a merchant to VISA. I believe the number is

If a company does not like the fee that they are charged by these
merchants, then they should not accept credit cards. The minute that
they do, they are agreeing to the terms put forth by VISA and
Mastercard, and are bound to those terms.


by Venice Posted Mon June 4, 2007 @ 12:13 AM

After accepting debit/charge cards since the day the store opened,
Walmart suddenly decided to start charging a fee. They did post signs
and make it as clear as possible before the change became effective,
but either due to public uproar or being forced to by Visa/MC, they
eventually stopped. The funny part was that they tried to keep it a
secret, hoping customers would not use their card, but eventually
everyone got wise that there was no longer a fee.

I agree that if a company accepts the terms of the merchant agreement,
they should abide by it.


by RedheadWGlasses Posted Sun June 3, 2007 @ 11:11 PM

While I believe the business should post a sign so customers know
upfront that there is a fee to use a debit/charge card, and I
understand that it's against their merchant agreement, I completely
support businesses that want to charge a fee. You see, THEY pay a fee
every time you use your debit/credit card. If your order isn't large
enough, that fee could mean the difference of making any profit on the

If they had to stop charging the fee, they'd raise prices across the
board to cover this expense. As someone who pays cash for things
under $20, why should *I* pay more for YOUR lack of planning?


For me, it's more of a convenience by Venice Mon June 4, 2007 @ 12:23 AM

It's known as the cost of doing business. by PurPink Mon June 4, 2007 @ 1:22 AM

Not a valid reason, IMO by BarbaraT Mon June 4, 2007 @ 11:04 AM

While the fee was in effect at Walmart by Venice Mon June 4, 2007 @ 3:36 PM

That maels no sense by Brad F Mon June 4, 2007 @ 1:02 PM

It makes complete sense by RedheadWGlasses Mon June 4, 2007 @ 1:12 PM

Many dollar stores by - Leanne- Mon June 4, 2007 @ 1:29 PM

If the business doesn't want to pay the fees... by BarbaraT Mon June 4, 2007 @ 5:07 PM

It's not 15 cents by RedheadWGlasses Mon June 4, 2007 @ 10:18 PM

I too think it's time to update the agreements by Venice Mon June 4, 2007 @ 10:40 PM

My business is very small.... by BarbaraT Tue June 5, 2007 @ 1:15 AM

Failed Business 101 by Brad F Wed June 6, 2007 @ 12:41 PM

I have to agree, Red by Gino Tue June 5, 2007 @ 1:35 AM

Lack of Planning by Erin M. Tue June 5, 2007 @ 11:17 AM

I agree--there should be a prominent sign by RedheadWGlasses Tue June 5, 2007 @ 1:05 PM

I think... by The New and Improved Brenda Tue June 5, 2007 @ 3:12 PM

Bingo by Venice Tue June 5, 2007 @ 8:09 PM

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