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FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE
Credit cards rip you off
Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/25/10 11:25 AM

Please see the link in my next post and the CLARIFICATION as well.....
*******

Well, recently I bought several books on AbeBooks.com. They are a company in British Columbia, Canada. HOWEVER, they are owned by AMAZON, and all the stores I got the books from are located in the states. AND all the prices on the site are in US currency. So my VISA bill comes and here I see a charge (very small) for each order from Abebooks and it is a charge levied by VISA. Mind you there has been NO service required of VISA - no currency transactions, no nothing. I had a long talk with my credit union people who issued the card and it seems VISA has lost two times in court over these fees, but now they are at it again, and they are not the only card company doing this - so a head's up and please call your issuing institution and complain if this is on your bill. If they are taken to court a third time and this time they win, they will just hike the fees and never take them away. How about making a few dollars you didn't earn multiplied by millions of people's accounts! Not a bad haul.
-- Edited on 8/25/10 12:23 PM --

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 8/25/10 11:30 AM



I would think the first defense would be to tell these book companies.. or other net sellers etc.. that you will no longer do business with them due to these fees..

Margasweet

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Date: 8/25/10 11:41 AM

Darn. DH likes buying books from AbeBooks... luckily he hasn't for a little while, and I'll tell him about the foreign transaction fee, that'll prevent more purchases from Abe.

I'm just sick every time I hear about another fee imposed, another job sent overseas, another tax break given to the superwealthy while the rest of us lose services. My purchases are way down, partly because of the economy, and partly because I can't find items that I can buy in good conscience. Am beginning to think that writing letters to the CEO/CFO of companies and to our congressmen/women is necessary, so they at least know why I'm not buying the stuff.

"Speak Truth to Power."

PS have been trying to buy a lipped cookie sheet: stainless steel, not made in China. Can't find one. They're mostly aluminum or teflon, and almost all made in China. DSis will now only buy things made in the US, which is surprisingly difficult. I semi-trust the regulators in the US, Canada and Europe, and don't at all trust regulations to be followed elsewhere; so any food and anything that touches food has to come from trusted sources. Haven't yet applied this to fabric & clothing.

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2007 fabric in: 7 1/2 yards; sewn: 7 yds +1/2 yd
2008 fabric in, 23 yards; sewn 20 yds; given away 6 yds -3 yd = -2 1/2 yd
2009 fabric in 41 1/4 yds, sewn 29 yds, given away 22 1/2 yds -10 1/4 = -12 3/4 yd
2010 fabric in 91 1/2 yds, sewn 27 yds, given away 1 1/2 yds; +63 yd = +50 1/4 yd
2011 fabric in: 55 yd.; sewn: 21 yd; given away: 20 yd +14 yd = +64 1/4 yd
2012 fabric in: 60 1/4 yd., sewn 25 1/4 yds, given away 16 yds, thrown away 3 yds scraps; UFOs completed: 7 +26 yd = +90 1/4 yd
2013 fabric in: 28 yds; sewn 25.7 yds.; given away 5 1/2 yd.s; projects 8, UFOs 4 -3 1/4 yd = +87 yd

2014 fabric in: 40.5 yd
2014 fabric sewn: 23 yd
2014 fabric given away: 10 1/2 yd
2014 projects completed: striped maxi skirt, bl/wh maxi dress, brown/turquoise sweater-knit tunic, rose print rayon dress S1587, faux fur blanket
2014 projects started: turquoise tank dress, sage tank dress, (working on sm. faux fur blanket 2 1/2 yd, suede squares quilt 5 yd, suede lap blanket 2 1/2 yd)
2014 UFOs completed: 9 (5 small gift bags, pieced & quilted table runner, blue/wh maxi dress, silk infinity scarf, blue squares sm. quilt)
so far this year: +9 yd. = must do more sewing!

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/25/10 12:19 PM

CLARIFICATION....these fees are levied NOT by the vendor you do business with but BY THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY. AbeBooks can do nothing about it, and in fact they are gathering information in another attempt to try to end it. Many many businesses are in the same boat - it is levied by VISA and maybe MASTERCARD - I do not have a Mastercard so cannot say, and other card companies...it will not work to boycott businesses.

FORBES Magazine article on this topic
-- Edited on 8/25/10 12:22 PM --

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

poorpigling

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Date: 8/25/10 12:43 PM


yES, BUT the Mastercard and Visa make money when people charge to these vendors..and the vendors can refuse to use those two CC services.. maybe just take American Express. or paypal etc.. So they do have some say in this.

Kathi R
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Kathi R  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/25/10 1:02 PM

Or maybe the vendors could set up US bank accounts -- then the money wouldn't be crossing the border. I'm sure there must be a reason they don't, I'm sure they have heard the complaint from more than a few customers.

Abe Books is a real sore spot with me ... I had a terrible experience a few years ago, I ordered books and my credit card was charged 5 or 6 weeks before the books were shipped. Vowed never to do business with them again, but relented a few weeks ago when I needed to replace an old out of print cookbook - the second time around the service was great.

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2012 : starting stash 386, net additions 206, used 164, ending stash 428...I'm never going to get in front of this pile of fabric!

DrFill
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Date: 8/25/10 2:29 PM

I noticed this on a recent MC statement, too. It was a separate charge not associated with any others on the statement and with no explanation. I called the CC company about it and was advised that it was because I had ordered from AbeBooks, a Canadian company. I stated that I had ordered from them before and was never charged this fee. The rep said that they used to hide (I believe she used the term "incorporate") this fee in among other charges, but due to recent regulations, they have to openly disclose it.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to DrFill


Date: 8/25/10 2:32 PM

Quote: DrFill
..... but due to recent regulations, they have to openly disclose it.

Was it disclosed in the final page, before you hit the "BUY" button? If not, seems like they're not following the law.

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iPad's auto-correct is my enema.

drsue
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drsue
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Date: 8/25/10 2:36 PM

I completely agree about the terribleness of those fees. I've had good luck calling Visa directly on some similar things in the past. Every time I complained they got rid of the fee. It's worth a shot.

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/25/10 2:49 PM

I still don't blame the vendor, although I did write to AbeBooks and suggest they also incorporate in the state of Washington, especially as they ARE OWNED BY AMAZON and AMAZON has a presence in Federal Way, WA.

Here right next to Canada - Quebec - where I live, there are numerous Canadian companies who do business out of Champlain NY for a US address and so on. It is very handy - my personal favorite is Yves Rocher from which company I order lots of stuff.Ditto with all border states. Many companies do this.

I might understand a slight fee if I ordered large amounts from Europe and needed currency exchange and so on, but some of the examples out there in the press are horrendous - like being charged that fee to book foreign airlines when you are buying tickets from Expedia - that one I think was stopped, but I am not sure of that.

I want the option of using VISA wherever I care to, but would use other means or not order if this continues.

In no way is this thread a hit on AbeBooks, with which I have had a great experience over many years. Each bookstore is independent, and AbeBooks is a clearing house, not the actual seller, so if you have problems, they have to be dealt with with each seller. Of course you can always complain about the sellers to Abe. I have had better experience with AbeBooks by far than over time with AMAZON used books. Alibris is also good.

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

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