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Old Jan 30, 09, 2:11 pm   #1
 
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Angry Dynamic Currency Coversion Should Be Illegal

Dynamic Currency Perversion is a disgrace and a sly way to rip off travelers. I have heard it discussed but never came across it while abroad until now. In a recent trip to Tenerife, Spain (otherwise great destination) I found that a couple of the gift shops offered-- I mean forced this on me. It actually said on the receipt that I certify that I was offered a choice of currencies and choose to have my Euro purchase converted to US dollars. I told the shopkeepers that this is not true, that I want to pay in Euros, and that I refused the dynamic conversion. They didn't understand why I was angry and had no way to overriide it-- said it was a function of the banks not them, showed me a pile of receipts from other tourists who paid in other currencies. So I crossed off the dollar amounts and the "I agree to pay in USD" on the receipt but of course I found when I got home that the charges had gone through anyway at the inflated conversion rates, with the additional VISA surcharge on top of it. This is patently unfair and sleazy and should be illegal but I got tired fighting about it and didn't spend enough money on gifts to dispute it with my credit card company-- though I feel I should do so just on principle. Not one of the restaurants tried this, just gift shops catering to tourists.
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Old Jan 30, 09, 5:01 pm   #2
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Originally Posted by gil123 View Post
I feel I should do so just on principle.
Do it--there's no better pleasure to know that the original merchant will have to pay $25 or more in fees because of your dispute.

Revenge can be sweet!
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Old Jan 31, 09, 3:53 pm   #3
 
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I mark through and write "I demand to be charged in Euros, no conversion authorized." I mark out anything else on the receipt and sign it. If it comes in any other way I charge it back. If enough of us do it, they will stop the crap. You should do it and so should everyone else so that they get tired of charge backs and stop this practice.

If it doesn't cost them more than they profit from it, then they will continue to do it.
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Old Feb 2, 09, 5:53 pm   #4
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Absolutely dispute it.

Visa requires you to be given a "meaningful choice".

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What is dynamic currency conversion?
Some merchants now offer to convert your purchase into your home currency. This is called dynamic currency conversion and means the merchant—and not Visa—is converting the currency. As a consumer, you may value knowing the exact price in your home currency at the point of sale, but you should be aware that you may be charged extra for this service by the merchant. Visa requires that you be provided a meaningful choice at the point of sale and you have the right to buy your purchase in the local currency to avoid any additional fees the merchant may assess. Visa also requires merchants offering this service inform you of the exchange rate, including any applicable commission being charged.
http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_v....html#anchor_4
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Old Feb 3, 09, 5:49 am   #5
 
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I recommend disputing it too. Unfortunately, this seems the only way to stop or slow down DCC-it will tie the merchant up in paperwork and maybe at the end of enough chargebacks, they'll stop using processors who do this.
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Old Feb 3, 09, 5:00 pm   #6
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Is there anyway for the merchant to force the credit card processing machine not to use DCC? I ran into this a few times in Ireland 4 years ago and in every case the merchant had no clue how to override DCC.
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Old Feb 3, 09, 5:08 pm   #7
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Is there anyway for the merchant to force the credit card processing machine not to use DCC? I ran into this a few times in Ireland 4 years ago and in every case the merchant had no clue how to override DCC.
They are supposed to have to select DCC or not for *each* individual transaction.
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Old Feb 3, 09, 5:11 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
Do it--there's no better pleasure to know that the original merchant will have to pay $25 or more in fees because of your dispute.

Revenge can be sweet!
But is it the original merchant who is making the markup, the issuing bank, a foreign bank or Visa?
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Old Feb 3, 09, 5:12 pm   #9
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But is it the original merchant who is making the markup, the issuing bank, a foreign bank or Visa?
DCC benefits the merchant and their processor.

The merchant, if they aren't giving you a 'meaningful choice', has violated the rules.
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Old Jul 5, 09, 1:55 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
Absolutely dispute it.

Visa requires you to be given a "meaningful choice".

http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_v....html#anchor_4
Is there a place to report to Visa merchants who do not provide a choice and rather charge without asking?
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Old Jul 5, 09, 4:15 am   #11
 
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IMHO best thing to do is to dispute via letter to special billing error address on your bill. This brings into effect consumer protections of Fair Credit Billing Act. You have 60 days from date of mailing of bill with disputed charge.

A phone dispute or an email will not protect you.

A letter to your Congressional rep is not a bad idea, either.
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Old Jul 5, 09, 11:47 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
IMHO best thing to do is to dispute via letter to special billing error address on your bill. This brings into effect consumer protections of Fair Credit Billing Act. You have 60 days from date of mailing of bill with disputed charge.

A phone dispute or an email will not protect you.

A letter to your Congressional rep is not a bad idea, either.
Yea, makes sense. I just didn't know if there was a way to report a specific merchant or perhaps a user-run database of places that do DCC without asking. I had it forced on me a few times, but I finally convinced them to cancel the charge and run it in the local currency.
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Old Jul 5, 09, 1:46 pm   #13
 
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yeah I have been there too, but I have learned something, before I give my card I now always say I am paying in the local currency, eg. I am paying in Euro, Dollars, Thai Baht and so on.
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Old Jul 5, 09, 2:01 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by bjerregaard View Post
yeah I have been there too, but I have learned something, before I give my card I now always say I am paying in the local currency, eg. I am paying in Euro, Dollars, Thai Baht and so on.
Yea, thats kind of a pain though. Although if there was a list of known places that force DCC on you, then we would know where to make sure we specify it (or just pay in cash).
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Old Jul 5, 09, 2:49 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by superflush View Post
Yea, thats kind of a pain though. Although if there was a list of known places that force DCC on you, then we would know where to make sure we specify it (or just pay in cash).
To be honest it is a pain, and to be more honest I am not always saying in what currency I want to pay. But if I have any bad experience with DCC in the area where I am travelling, I will do it.
I think most tourist travelling will just say how smart, I can see the bill in my own currency, I have done it too, stupied me:
"They didn't understand why I was angry and had no way to overriide it-- said it was a function of the banks not them, showed me a pile of receipts from other tourists who paid in other currencies."
The problem with DCC is that most people are "ripped-off" without knowing it. Even if people are asked what way they want to pay, they have no idea on the difference.

Last edited by bjerregaard; Jul 5, 09 at 4:31 pm.
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