I sent this email to the Reserve bank and to Asic - but I doubt I will get a satisfactory reply.
Subject: Consumer complaint
I think it is abhorrent that the Reserve Bank agreed in 2003 to allow companies to charge a fee for using a credit card.
The reserve bank has a responsibility (according to your website) to "promote the safety and efficiency of the payments system" however by allowing merchants to charge a fee for using a credit card you are in fact discouraging the use of a payments system. Credit card payments are such a convenience for many consumers - a payment system that the Reserve Bank approved to be introduced for all Australians in 1972.
Now you are catering to the merchants with no regard to the consumer. When you introduced this policy in 2003 the media spin you promoted was "There is no requirement for such a fee to be charged and it is expected that many merchants will not charge one." Now just a few years later more and more merchants are realising how easy it is to increase their profits by enforcing this fee onto consumers - which was always going to happen.
Sure consumers have a choice and can vote with their feet by not using a credit card. After 30 years of credit card use, without fees, now it's the consumers who have to change. Most consumers will realise that they don't really have a choice and must pay the credit card fee - in the same way that they are forced to pay bank fees. If you have used a credit card for several years it is a way of life that is difficult to change. There are loyalty reward schemes that are tied in with credit cards - years of credit card loyalty will be lost if you stop using the card.
Shame on you Reserve Bank - thanks a lot - obviously you don't have the consumer in mind.