Retailers warned over toll pay surcharges

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CSNA says Road Safety Authority has no right to interfere in retailers' pricing



11 September 2008

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Payzone, which operates the M50 pay-as-you-go toll payments system, has told ShelfLife that “as an agent for the National Roads Authority (NRA), it will have no alternative but to remove the system from any retailer who imposes an additional charge.” The NRA stated last month it would not tolerate retailers adding a surcharge to the toll payments, adding that it would strip any shops imposing a charge of the right to provide the system.

Responding to the announcement, the CSNA, which represents 1,500 shops around the country, said there was “very little incentive” for members to handle the payments. With retailers receiving three cent in administration fees for handling the E3 charge, the organisation said a surcharge of 15 cent per payment was likely.

CSNA chief executive Vincent Jennings said the NRA were not entitled to interfere with the prices retailers set. “They haven’t a leg to stand on. A retailer is free under competition law to set the retail price of any product except cigarettes,” said Jennings.
A Payzone spokesperson said the operator wouldn’t recommend adding a surcharge, however, as it would “ultimately push the consumers away from the retail channel.” He said: “Payzone works with many of the best retailers in Ireland…these retailers are not in the business of penalising customers for shopping in their store. The Payzone agency is driving thousands of customers into convenience stores to make their payments and our experience in other markets proves that these retailers will increase their overall sales as a result.”



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