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Customers Illegally Charged For Credit Card Use in Florida.

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Florida Statute 501.0117: Credit cards; transactions in which seller or lessor prohibited from imposing surcharge; penalty.

 

1. A seller or lessor in a sales or lease transaction may not impose a surcharge on the buyer or lessee for electing to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller or lessor accepts payment by credit card. A surcharge is any additional amount imposed at the time of a sale or lease transaction by the seller or lessor that increases the charge to the buyer or lessee for the privilege of using a credit card to make payment. Charges imposed pursuant to approved state or federal tariffs are not considered to be a surcharge, and charges made under such tariffs are exempt from this section. The term "credit card" includes those cards for which unpaid balances are payable on demand. This section does not apply to the offering of a discount for the purpose of inducing payment by cash, check, or other means not involving the use of a credit card, if the discount is offered to all prospective customers.

 

2. A person who violates the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 

215.322: Acceptance of credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards by state agencies, units of local government, and the judicial branch.--

 

1. It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage state agencies, the judicial branch and units of local government to make their goods, services, and information more convenient to the public through the acceptance of payments by credit cards, charge cards, and debit cards to the maximum extent practicable when the benefits to the participating agency and the public substantiate the cost of accepting these types of payments.

 

2. A state agency as defined in s. 216.011, or the judicial branch, may accept credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards in payment for goods and services with the prior approval of the Chief Financial Officer. When the Internet or other related electronic methods are to be used as the collection medium, the State Technology Office shall review and recommend to the Chief Financial Officer whether to approve the request with regard to the process or procedure to be used.

 

3. The Chief Financial Officer shall adopt rules governing the establishment and acceptance of credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards by state agencies or the judicial branch, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

(a) Utilization of a standardized contract between the financial institution or other appropriate intermediaries and the agency or judicial branch which shall be developed by the Chief Financial Officer or approval by the Chief Financial Officer of a substitute agreement.

 

(B) Procedures which permit an agency or officer accepting payment by credit card, charge card, or debit card to impose a convenience fee upon the person making the payment. However, the total amount of such convenience fees shall not exceed the total cost to the state agency. A convenience fee is not refundable to the payor. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this section shall not be construed to permit surcharges on any other credit card purchase in violation of s. 501.0117.

 

All service fees payable pursuant to this section when practicable shall be invoiced and paid by state warrant or such other manner that is satisfactory to the Chief Financial Officer in accordance with the time periods specified in s. 215.422.

 

(d) Submission of information to the Chief Financial Officer concerning the acceptance of credit cards, charge cards, or debit cards by all state agencies or the judicial branch.

 

(e) A methodology for agencies to use when completing the cost-benefit analysis referred to in subsection (1). The methodology must consider all quantifiable cost reductions, other benefits to the agency, and potential impact on general revenue. The methodology must also consider nonquantifiable benefits such as the convenience to individuals and businesses that would benefit from the ability to pay for state goods and services through the use of credit cards, charge cards, and debit cards.

 

4. The Chief Financial Officer may establish contracts with one or more financial institutions, credit card companies, or other entities which may lawfully provide such services, in a manner consistent with chapter 287, for processing credit card, charge card, or debit card collections for deposit into the State Treasury or another qualified public depository. Any state agency, or the judicial branch, which accepts payment by credit card, charge card, or debit card shall use at least one of the contractors established by the Chief Financial Officer unless the state agency or judicial branch obtains authorization from the Chief Financial Officer to use another contractor which is more advantageous to such state agency or the judicial branch. Such contracts may authorize a unit of local government to use the services upon the same terms and conditions for deposit of credit card, charge card, or debit card transactions into its qualified public depositories.

 

5. A unit of local government, which term means a municipality, special district, or board of county commissioners or other governing body of a county, however styled, including that of a consolidated or metropolitan government, and means any clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, or supervisor of elections, is authorized to accept payment by use of credit cards, charge cards, and bank debit cards for financial obligations that are owing to such unit of local government and to surcharge the person who uses a credit card, charge card, or bank debit card in payment of taxes, license fees, tuition, fines, civil penalties, court-ordered payments, or court costs, or other statutorily prescribed revenues an amount sufficient to pay the service fee charges by the financial institution, vending service company, or credit card company for such services. A unit of local government shall verify both the validity of any credit card, charge card, or bank debit card used pursuant to this subsection and the existence of appropriate credit with respect to the person using the card. The unit of local government does not incur any liability as a result of such verification or any subsequent action taken.

 

6. Any action required to be performed by a state officer or agency pursuant to this section shall be performed within 10 working days after receipt of the request for approval or be deemed approved if not acted upon within that time.

 

7. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit a state agency or the judicial branch from continuing to accept charge cards or debit cards pursuant to a contract which was lawfully entered into prior to the effective date of this act unless specifically directed otherwise in the General Appropriations Act. However, such contract shall not be extended or renewed after the effective date of this act unless such renewal and extension conforms to the requirements of this section.

 

 

For the full article see

http://www.local10.com/news/13771854/detail.html

Edited by webworm98

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How to you report a business that is charging for credit card transactions? I went to renew my registration at the local DMV, and there is a sign that states there is a $2.50 fee for credit card use. I spoke with the supervisor, showed her the statute, and she refused to waive the fee.

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Florida Statute 501.0117: Credit cards; transactions in which seller or lessor prohibited from imposing surcharge; penalty.

 

5. A unit of local government, which term means a municipality, special district, or board of county commissioners or other governing body of a county, however styled, including that of a consolidated or metropolitan government, and means any clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, or supervisor of elections, is authorized to accept payment by use of credit cards, charge cards, and bank debit cards for financial obligations that are owing to such unit of local government and to surcharge the person who uses a credit card, charge card, or bank debit card in payment of taxes, license fees, tuition, fines, civil penalties, court-ordered payments, or court costs, or other statutorily prescribed revenues an amount sufficient to pay the service fee charges by the financial institution, vending service company, or credit card company for such services. A unit of local government shall verify both the validity of any credit card, charge card, or bank debit card used pursuant to this subsection and the existence of appropriate credit with respect to the person using the card. The unit of local government does not incur any liability as a result of such verification or any subsequent action taken.

 

How to you report a business that is charging for credit card transactions? I went to renew my registration at the local DMV, and there is a sign that states there is a $2.50 fee for credit card use. I spoke with the supervisor, showed her the statute, and she refused to waive the fee.

A unit of local government is authorized to accept payment by use of credit cards and to surcharge the person who uses a credit card an amount sufficient to pay the service fee charges by the credit card company for such services.

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