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Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) [2014-2016]

Old Jan 18, 2014, 10:10 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: emilio911
What is it?

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is a "service" some merchants and ATM operators offer that will charge a cardholder in the native currency of the card rather than the local currency. A more complete definition and examples are available via this Wikipedia article on DCC. While sold as a convenience to cardholders traveling outside of their home country, it is a pure profit play by the merchants. You may end up paying a fee of up to 8% over the purchase price for accepting DCC. Always decline DCC and asked to be billed in the local currency!



Where will I see it?

You can be hit with DCC anywhere there is a difference between your debit or credit card's denominated currency and the currency of the location where you're trying to use the card. The most common example will be at a merchant overseas, but now some ATMs are offering the service too. While many US cardholders complain about getting tricked into accepting DCC overseas, some merchants in the US have started to use DCC as well.

What is the issue?

Unless you're the merchant or ATM operator, there isn't much benefit to using DCC. Some customers say they prefer knowing exactly how much they'll be charged in their home currency or may not know the exchange rate of the place where they are visiting. For example, if you are in Prague for two days and you don't know how much the Czech Koruna is worth relative to the US Dollar, you might feel more comfortable knowing that you're buying an item for $205.00 versus 4000 CZK. However, the real exchange rate as of January 18, 2014 would place 4000 CZK at $197.18. You just paid an extra $7.82 for the "convenience" of knowing how much you'd be charged!

DCC often charges about a 4% premium over the true exchange rate. The problems don't stop there since many US banks still charge a 3% foreign transaction fee (FTF) for purchases made outside of the US. Not only would you get hit with the $205.00 charge, you could also find yourself facing a total charge of $211.15 if your card has a 3% FTF.

This is a pure money grab from the merchants, and it's billed as an easy way to squeeze additional revenue out of the transaction. Numerous [1, 2] articles have talked about DCC duping many consumers. Discover even has a warning about being tricked into DCC when using a card abroad.

For example, this FlyerTalk member reported that Avis charged his Saudi credit card in Saudi riyals instead of USD for a car rental in Florida without his consent. This has also been a trend for hotels, particularly large chains as indicated here and here.

DCC is simply not worth it for the consumer. Unless you like paying a convenience fee of up to 5% of the total transaction just to know how much you will be billed, you should always decline DCC and ask to be billed in local currency when handing over your card.

Furthermore, it is in your interest to obtain a card that has a 0% FTF. FlyerTalk member kebosabi maintains a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet of EMV-enabled cards ideal for overseas travel, many of which offer a low or 0% FTF as a feature. There is also a wiki at FlyerGuide of various FTF of debit and credit cards.

What can I do to avoid DCC?

American Express currently does not support DCC on its network, so you are safe from DCC if using an American Express card. However, Visa and MasterCard card networks can support DCC, so be vigilant when purchasing abroad with a Visa or MasterCard branded card. There have been reports of being charged DCC with a Discover card in China [citation needed], but primarily the issue is happening with Visa and MasterCard cards.

Before handing your card to the merchant, always specify clearly that you want to be charged in the local currency and that you do not want DCC. For some transactions, you retain control of your card as you dip it into a chip reader and can view on a screen to select which currency you want to use for the transaction. Always select the local currencyto get the best exchange rate. Do not select the card's native currency!

Similarly, for ATM withdrawals, make sure you decline any kind of conversions. Some good examples of what to look for when using an ATM overseas are here and here. You're probably coming off of a long flight and fatigued, but educating yourself beforehand can save you from getting ripped off. The user interfaces on almost all of these ATMs are set up to encourage you to take the bait, and you have to be extremely vigilant not to fall for it.

If you are doing a PIN-based transaction, you should have the opportunity to review the total amount and denomination of the transaction before entering your PIN. If you are doing a signature transaction and the merchant has processed your transaction with DCC, cross out the amount and write "DCC refused" on the receipt. Do not sign the receipt, and demand that the merchant reverse the transaction and run it in the local currency. If no verification is required due to a small purchase amount, ask the merchant to reverse the charge and repeat the transaction using local currency. If all else fails, file a dispute with your card issuer when you return home. Even if it's immaterial, the banks will get the message like they did with EMV.

Some merchants will claim that their systems have to bill you in your native currency. This is a complete lie. But just like a mag stripe only card, this is battle where you have to be prepared. Don't settle for merchants claiming that "it has to be done this way" or "pay cash if you don't want this". Be prepared to walk away, and, if you must complete the transaction, write "DCC refused & merchant didn't give a choice" on the receipt and cross out the amount. Let the merchant know that you will be filing a dispute with your bank.

Disabling DCC

Disabling DCC on ANZ terminals in Australia

ANZ markets DCC as Customer Preferred Currency (CPC). Terminal operators can contact ANZ Merchant Services at 1800 039 025 to have this feature disabled. Currently, your Visa or MasterCard will be subjected to DCC if denominated in: CAD, CHF, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, MYR, NOK, NZD, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, or ZAR. All DCC transactions on ANZ will cause a 2.5% markup. Steps to avoid DCC:
  1. Insert, swipe, or tap your payment card
  2. Have the cashier select credit (CR)
  3. The terminal will display CREDIT ACCOUNT
  4. If applicable, enter your PIN
  5. The terminal will display PROCESSING \ PLEASE WAIT
  6. The terminal will display EXCH <exchange rate> \ <currency> <amount> \ ACCEPT RATE? \ ENTER=YES CLR=NO
  7. Instruct the cashier to press the yellow CLEAR (CLR) button (If entering a PIN, you can retain the terminal to perform this step yourself. If entering a signature, you can ask for the terminal to control this process, not indicating that it's a chip-and-signature card.)
  8. The transaction should now process without DCC

If you see a signature slip with DCC verbiage and a checkbox indicating a currency selection, kindly ask the merchant to void the transaction. If it's a PIN-based transaction, you have an additional opportunity to cancel the transaction because it will ask for your PIN a second time. For instance, if you see "EUR 17.29 KEY PIN" refuse to enter your PIN and start again.

Disabling DCC in China

There are many reports of forced DCC in China, and there is a great thread [closed to new posts] on DCC in China on the the China Destinations forum.

Disabling DCC on Bankcomm terminals in Beijing http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...p?id=12272&p=2 #19

jair101's DCC instructions of March 2011 http://www.etveg.com/misc/DCC_China.pdf

Disabling DCC in Eurozone and UK

DCC offered in tourist traps (Harrods Knightsbridge/Galleries Lafayette Montparnesse/El Cortes Ingles Grand Via Madrid)

Unlike the rest of the world, Visa Europe does not require merchants to collect a ticked box on the slip (presumably because merchants there don't keep signed slips under Chip-and-PIN)
El Cortes Ingles collects a signature electronically and the DCC selection is made on the signature pad - the choice is respected.
Harrods and GL rely on cashier input in the POS for the currency choice - the cashier may forget to ask. The POS do not offer voiding (only refunds), but since you're given a slip to sign the best thing to do is to deface it before signing and submit chargeback request to issuer bank on return home.

There may be smaller merchants who also collect DCC but I seemed to have pre-empted most of them by saying "charge Euros (Pounds) please"

In Spain all merchants by law are required to provide you with a complaint form called an hoja de reclamaciones if requested. The form has two carbon copies. The customer retains one copy as a record of the complaint. The merchant maintains another copy, and the third is sent to the local consumer protection bureau. Merchants are also required to post a sign conspicuously informing the customer of the right to complain (usually in Spanish and English). Do not accept the lie that they don't have any forms. This is illegal, and you are able to call the police if the merchant refuses to provide you with this official form. It's interesting to see merchants start to squirm when you know the rules, and most merchants will start to be accommodating after you mention it. (Please still fill out the form even if the merchant cooperates after mentioning it because these are likely the merchants who won't otherwise change their behavior.)

Disabling DCC in Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau can get as non-compliant as China, possibly because many acquirers have cross-border operations and know they can get away with non-compliant firmware and procedures.

In practice, if you are given a DCC slip, and the cashier has not taken a choice before giving you your copy, the slip will be processed in your home currency - be prepared to dispute.

Unable to disable Global Payments DCC in Hong Kong instance #1, instance #2

Unable to disable DBS DCC in Fortress Electronics HK

Unable to disable BoC DCC in Free Duty HK

Disabling DCC in Japan and Korea

Japan's just starting out http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/japan...ing-japan.html and http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...p?id=3939&p=17 #168 but there are no reports I know of where cardholders are compelled to use DCC against their will.

Korea is also not much affected by DCC but where offered, trying to opt out is harder than Japan due to the language barrier (both verbal and written)
http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...hp?id=4303&p=3 #23
http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...p?id=12272&p=2 #11

Disabling DCC in the Maldives

Disabling DCC on Global Payment terminals in the Maldives

Disabling DCC in Thailand and Taiwan

DCC present but generally not an issue. Cashier will generate quote slip is usually generated and pass to cardholder. When cardholder refuses, a verbage-free slip denominated in THB/TWD will be produced.

Certain Taiwan hotels may take deposits in cardholder currency. But these are only pre-authorisations and can be voided in full for TWD-only final checkout payments.

Disabling DCC on Websites

Airbnb - (Since the "loophole" seem not to work anymore, please report if you chargeback the DCC. )
Hotwire - You need to select your preferred currency before making a search.
PayPal - The instructions to stop the DCC on a recurring charge are here.

I got duped by DCC already before I found this thread. Is there anything I can do?

If you've been hit with DCC and the merchant did not follow the Visa/MC rules, you should file a dispute with your card issuer. Even if the transaction is a small amount, it's worth it to dispute the charge on principle. Do not let merchants get away with this scam uncontested!

If you were not clearly given a choice of currencies and did not specifically communicate a preference to be billed in your card's native currency - if you did not accept DCC - then you have recourse when filing a dispute with your card issuer. The Visa Product and Service Rules clearly state (p 339):
  • Merchants that offer DCC must be compliant with the regulations
  • Inform the cardholder that DCC is optional
  • Not impose any additional requirements to use local currency
  • Not use any language or procedures that may cause the cardholder to choose DCC by default
  • Not convert a transaction in the local currency to the card's billing currency after the transaction has completed
  • Ensure that the cardholder expressly agrees to DCC

You can even use terminology from Visa Product and Service Rules when filing the dispute, giving Reason Code 76: Incorrect Currency or Transaction Code. Reason Code 76 is used when the transaction was processed with an incorrect transaction code, or an incorrect currency code, or one of the following:
  • Merchant did not deposit a transaction receipt in the country where the transaction occurred
  • Cardholder was not advised that Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) would occur
  • Cardholder was refused the choice of paying in the merchant’s local currency
  • Merchant processed a credit refund and did not process a reversal or adjustment within 30 calendar days for a transaction receipt processed in error

MasterCard's rules also clearly state that the POI Currency Conversion must be decided by both the merchant and customer. When filing a dispute with a MasterCard, list chargeback Reason Code 4846 from the MasterCard Chargeback Guide, which covers POI currency conversion disputes in the following circumstances:
  • The cardholder states that he or she was not given the opportunity to choose the desired currency in which the transactions was completed or did not agree to the currency of the transaction, or
  • POI currency conversion took place into a currency that is not the cardholder's billing currency, or
  • POI currency conversion took place when the goods or services were priced in the cardholder's billing currency, or
  • POI currency conversion took place when cash was disbursed in the cardholdeer's billing currency.

You do have a choice of currencies. Exercise that choice!

Do not get taken by surprise when faced with DCC, and know your options. As Visa/MC purport, you do have a choice of currencies, but you need to make that choice heard! Don't be complacent in this sneaky tactic by some merchants to pad revenues.

Before going to a different country, get educated. Understand the exchange rate relative to your native currency. Know how to recognize when the merchant is trying to force DCC on the transaction, and pull out all of the stops to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

If you have a chip-and-PIN credit card, it's easier to control the transaction to try to prevent DCC. With chip-and-signature, if you get an uncooperative merchant, deface the merchant's copy of the receipt. Write LOCAL OPTION NOT OFFERED, cross out the DCC currency amount, and sign the receipt.

This will give additional evidence when filing a dispute to get the DCC charges refunded. When filing the dispute, you can use the Visa Exchange Rate Calculator or MasterCard's Currency Conversion Tool to determine the Visa or MasterCard exchange rate on the date the transaction posted to your credit card. Compare this to the DCC value to figure out the amount by which the merchant overcharged you. Don't forget to add in any Foreign Transaction Fee if your card has one. (If it does, you should really consider finding a card for use overseas without a FTF. )

Example Images (click for a larger image)

Hotel receipts in China, the Netherlands, and Dubai respectively:



Purchase receipts in China and Korea:




Cancelled translation in Hong Kong:



Novotel in Shenzen:

Print Wikipost

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) [2014-2016]

Old Apr 21, 2014, 2:02 am
  #301  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
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Posts: 19,784
moondog: Mastercard started foreign transaction (without conversion) fees around 2004-5 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2900927_2.html . Visa also did in April 2004 but rescinded it in June 2004.
percysmith is online now  
Old Apr 21, 2014, 2:30 am
  #302  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,762
Let's face it and be realistic. Banks are always looking for ways to squeeze their customers to maximize their profits even if it means being innovative in fees. As an example, for many years New York State law prohibited banks from charging annual fees for credit cards. So Citibank came up with a novel interpretation. They couldn't charge an annual fee so they charged you the minimum finance charge (which was 50˘ at the time) on every statement that had a balance. (This was rendered moot when the US Supreme Court ruled the laws of the state where the credit card operation was situated governed all fees and interest rates instead of banks having different fee structures and interest rates for customers in various states. So states such as South Dakota and Delaware made sure they had laws allowing annual fees and citibank moved its credit card operations for a while to South Dakota). The foreign transaction fee, indeed all fees regarding foreign purchases whether applied to the foreign currency conversion or any foreign transaction are simply ways to make money as foreign currency conversions are done by the network and foreign transaction fee are just plain greed. And of course the definition of a foreign transaction fee is another asinine interpretation. By British Airways tickets from a travel agency or indeed on the British Airways USA web site is a transaction that never leaves the USA (assuming your credit card is from the USA and denominated in US dollars) and charges a ftf. You get charged the fee as British Airways processes its credit card sales through a bank in Britain. Many consumers discover that the hard way when they buy 3 round trips using one of the Citi or Chase cards with the ftf of $800 each and see on their credit card statement a ftf of $72 and they blame the airline (or their travel agent if bought through a travel agency such as Orbitz or the like). Most of us here know the perils of using credit cards with ftf's for foreign airline tickets but a family making its first trip overseas probably doesn't.

Then of course, the lies by merchants trying to get you to agree to be a scamee of dcc. One of the liesis well you lock in the rate as the rate could change in the next couple of days (presuming the rate would become worse for the customers; of course it could also get better). And I've stood in the mall at Blarney Castle listening to the clerks pushing dcc on their unsuspecting customers urging them it is better to lock in the rate or tell them about fees that don't exist if they agree to dcc or tell them what a gret rate they're being given (which they compare to the posted bank rate for cash which of course is much much worse than the rate used by mc/visa. And sucker after sucker is taken in by it. Many years ago when I first ran into this garbage, another of the lies used when I refused to go along with the scam i.e. the clerk rang up the sales in USD without asking me was that the amount shown in USD was there as a courtesy that indeed I was being billed in punts (pre Euro). When I pointed out the statement on the salws slip (that I was offered the choice of paying in local currency and the converson rate is final), they switched tactics and told me they had no control over it that the terminal did it automatically and that sorry but it's too late (of course every terminal has to have provision for voiding a transaction; after all sometimes accidentally on purpose the wrong amount can be entered). Invariably this led to a disagreement, with calling over the manager who sometimes tried the same lies but more usually knew exactly how to void the transaction. At least in Ireland, there is no language problem (as I've yet to run into a prson in Ireland who doesn't speak English even though Gaelic might be the preferred language). But that problem is somewhat more apparent when they pull this garbage in Spain (France I can handle as I speak enough French).

However, if you ever read some of the literature, you will see how they consider dcc to be a service to the customers who now knows exactly how much something costs in a currency they understand. And how wonderful it is for somebody on an expense account n submitting his or her diary for reimbursment. And finally it is now dcc that's scamming the populace. It's a serve and it's the greedy banks who now charge the 3% ftf that are the scammers.
JEFFJAGUAR is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2014, 2:57 am
  #303  
 
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Posts: 664
Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR
Let's face it and be realistic. Banks are always looking for ways to squeeze their customers to maximize their profits even if it means being innovative in fees. As an example, for many years New York State law prohibited banks from charging annual fees for credit cards. So Citibank came up with a novel interpretation. They couldn't charge an annual fee so they charged you the minimum finance charge (which was 50˘ at the time) on every statement that had a balance. (This was rendered moot when the US Supreme Court ruled the laws of the state where the credit card operation was situated governed all fees and interest rates instead of banks having different fee structures and interest rates for customers in various states. So states such as South Dakota and Delaware made sure they had laws allowing annual fees and citibank moved its credit card operations for a while to South Dakota). The foreign transaction fee, indeed all fees regarding foreign purchases whether applied to the foreign currency conversion or any foreign transaction are simply ways to make money as foreign currency conversions are done by the network and foreign transaction fee are just plain greed. And of course the definition of a foreign transaction fee is another asinine interpretation. By British Airways tickets from a travel agency or indeed on the British Airways USA web site is a transaction that never leaves the USA (assuming your credit card is from the USA and denominated in US dollars) and charges a ftf. You get charged the fee as British Airways processes its credit card sales through a bank in Britain. Many consumers discover that the hard way when they buy 3 round trips using one of the Citi or Chase cards with the ftf of $800 each and see on their credit card statement a ftf of $72 and they blame the airline (or their travel agent if bought through a travel agency such as Orbitz or the like). Most of us here know the perils of using credit cards with ftf's for foreign airline tickets but a family making its first trip overseas probably doesn't.

Then of course, the lies by merchants trying to get you to agree to be a scamee of dcc. One of the liesis well you lock in the rate as the rate could change in the next couple of days (presuming the rate would become worse for the customers; of course it could also get better). And I've stood in the mall at Blarney Castle listening to the clerks pushing dcc on their unsuspecting customers urging them it is better to lock in the rate or tell them about fees that don't exist if they agree to dcc or tell them what a gret rate they're being given (which they compare to the posted bank rate for cash which of course is much much worse than the rate used by mc/visa. And sucker after sucker is taken in by it. Many years ago when I first ran into this garbage, another of the lies used when I refused to go along with the scam i.e. the clerk rang up the sales in USD without asking me was that the amount shown in USD was there as a courtesy that indeed I was being billed in punts (pre Euro). When I pointed out the statement on the salws slip (that I was offered the choice of paying in local currency and the converson rate is final), they switched tactics and told me they had no control over it that the terminal did it automatically and that sorry but it's too late (of course every terminal has to have provision for voiding a transaction; after all sometimes accidentally on purpose the wrong amount can be entered). Invariably this led to a disagreement, with calling over the manager who sometimes tried the same lies but more usually knew exactly how to void the transaction. At least in Ireland, there is no language problem (as I've yet to run into a prson in Ireland who doesn't speak English even though Gaelic might be the preferred language). But that problem is somewhat more apparent when they pull this garbage in Spain (France I can handle as I speak enough French).

However, if you ever read some of the literature, you will see how they consider dcc to be a service to the customers who now knows exactly how much something costs in a currency they understand. And how wonderful it is for somebody on an expense account n submitting his or her diary for reimbursment. And finally it is now dcc that's scamming the populace. It's a serve and it's the greedy banks who now charge the 3% ftf that are the scammers.
Next time I am in France or Spain, I will print out statements in French and Spanish saying "The merchant agrees to bill me in Euro. If not, I will dispute the charge, and it will be ugly." I will let them sign before the purchase. If they won't, they get no me money! I HATE SCAMMERS!

I don't believe there is anything that I HAVE to buy outside USA.
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 3:40 am
  #304  
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR
However, if you ever read some of the literature, you will see how they consider dcc to be a service to the customers who now knows exactly how much something costs in a currency they understand. And how wonderful it is for somebody on an expense account n submitting his or her diary for reimbursment. And finally it is now dcc that's scamming the populace. It's a serve and it's the greedy banks who now charge the 3% ftf that are the scammers.
The reimbursement case is the only case where DCC might be helpful. Otherwise it's as useful as useful as spam is to email.

One of the things really helping DCC is people not knowing where their exchange rates come from anyway. Even if DCCed, few realise it and think (in the HK case) that it's their HK issuer bank to blame.

Coincidentally it really helps one of the business mainland China is really trying to push down our throat - Unionpay. Unionpay has none of the DCC crap and has nil foreign currency conversion fee (even if its exchange rate is not nearly as good as Visa's) (the HK variant of Unionpay cannot be used without card being present so there is no foreign transaction fee to speak of). So thank you Visa and MC, you've just made us accept the warm (smothering) embrace of our mother country whenever we go abroad.


Foreign transaction fee (without conversion) is another bank rape. We're starting to feel the pain here - not only Mastercard (where it is a reimbursement of a Mastercard association fee) but for Visa as well (which is pure bank profit).

I've set up a foreign merchants list on hongkongcard.com to identify which merchants charge offshore, such as BA Avios redemption GB http://www.hongkongcard.com/forum/fo...w.php?id=11968
percysmith is online now  
Old Apr 21, 2014, 5:25 am
  #305  
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR
You get charged the fee as British Airways processes its credit card sales through a bank in Britain. Many consumers discover that the hard way when they buy 3 round trips using one of the Citi or Chase cards with the ftf of $800 each and see on their credit card statement a ftf of $72 and they blame the airline (or their travel agent if bought through a travel agency such as Orbitz or the like). Most of us here know the perils of using credit cards with ftf's for foreign airline tickets but a family making its first trip overseas probably doesn't.
I found this one out the hard way back in the days before I discovered FlyerTalk when I had booked two round trips for a friend and myself. I was livid that the charge showed USD the whole time and then Chase dinged me with a 3% FTF. I forget how the exchange rate compared with the real rate, but I might have gotten hit from both ends.

As an off topic aside, this was also back when I thought because an airline was in the same alliance that you'd get miles for the flight. (This was before ATI between AA and BA, so I didn't get any miles.) Furthermore, this was back in late 2009 when BA was threatening to strike. My friend and I had made alternate flight arrangements with a close in booking on AA because BA had a travel waiver in place. However, by the time we got the AA ticket issued BA said the mater had been resolved and had completely scrubbed all mention of the strike and travel waiver from its website. After calling in, the agent confirmed that the travel waiver was no longer in place. At this point I was furious, and of course not being FlyerTalk savvy I blindly trusted what the agent said. I remember calling back in a huff just saying, "I don't care how little money I get back. I want to cancel this ticket right now!" Fortunately the second agent said that the travel waiver was still in place and couldn't possibly understand why we wanted to cancel our tickets. We ended up rebooking for travel six months later, but it was a long time before I ever threw any business BA's way again. As a final insult, when we did eventually make the rebooked trip, I was dismissed by the lounge dragon for trying to use my father's card to get into the lounge. What can I say? I have a boyish face.
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 9:54 am
  #306  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR
Let's face it and be realistic. Banks are always looking for ways to squeeze their customers to maximize their profits
To be fair, banks go after profits like any other profit seeking corporation in the world because it pleases their shareholders. If you or I owned stocks in BofA, Chase, Citi, VISA or MC, we both will be singing kumbaya because the banks are our friends in making our stock portfolio rise.

That being said, if we all hated DCC fees that much, we could also band together like a "FT consumer union" or so, everyone pitch in $100, and buy a portfolio of BofA, Chase, Citi, VISA or MC stocks and go to their shareholders meetings to try to stop DCC. But frankly, whose stupid enough to buy stock and promote something that will make our stock value drop?

Last edited by kebosabi; Apr 21, 2014 at 10:09 am
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 11:43 am
  #307  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 46
I got DCCed again today. The Spar mini-mart at the Stuttgart train station here in Germany. I saw the clerk swipe my card and then hit a green button & out comes my receipt in USD with the fine print saying that I've been offered a choice of currencies & that I accept the final amount with a 3.5% markup (thanks to "Elavon Merchant Services"). I complained to the clerk & he assured me over and over that the charge was in Euros, but my Chase online account is now showing the exact USD transaction as pending vs the lower EUR amount ($12.41 vs $11.80/8.56EUR). I crossed out the DCC fine print & circled the EUR amount before signing, so hopefully that will help with my upcoming dispute. It seems this problem of "forced DCC" is becoming more widespread in Europe.
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 12:00 pm
  #308  
 
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Originally Posted by Newark7
It seems this problem of "forced DCC" is becoming more widespread in Europe.
More reason why people should get a portable stamp that reads along the lines of "Choice of currency was not offered by the merchant and was unable to decline Dynamic Currency Conversion."

If forced DCC is becoming the norm, then we need to arm ourselves with the necessary tools to make it more easier to say no. Arguing about it with a low key minimum wage cashier or talking to the manager who have no control over corporate decision makers ain't gonna do nothing. So is spending your time writing the same thing over and over again. If they're forcing DCC systematically, we should be saying no to it systematically as well.

Got a forced DCC receipt?
Stamp it.
Create a template letter to your bank, attached scanned copy of forced DCC receipt with stamp.
Send it off (e-mail, fax, snail mail, etc)

The more banks get overwhelmed by this, the more they'll realize that their labor costs involved in reversing DCC isn't worth it.

Last edited by kebosabi; Apr 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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Old Apr 21, 2014, 1:28 pm
  #309  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 46
Originally Posted by kebosabi
More reason why people should get a portable stamp that reads along the lines of "Choice of currency was not offered by the merchant and was unable to decline Dynamic Currency Conversion."

If forced DCC is becoming the norm, then we need to arm ourselves with the necessary tools to make it more easier to say no. Arguing about it with a low key minimum wage cashier or talking to the manager who have no control over corporate decision makers ain't gonna do nothing. So is spending your time writing the same thing over and over again. If they're forcing DCC systematically, we should be saying no to it systematically as well.

Got a forced DCC receipt?
Stamp it.
Create a template letter to your bank, attached scanned copy of forced DCC receipt with stamp.
Send it off (e-mail, fax, snail mail, etc)

The more banks get overwhelmed by this, the more they'll realize that their labor costs involved in reversing DCC isn't worth it.
I definitely think forced DCC is becoming an epidemic in certain countries & in this case, the minimum-wage worker at this German train station mini-mart just swiped my card, hit the green button and then DCC/USD receipt came out (he probably just thinks the green button just processes the transaction, but in reality he's accepting the DCC charges on my behalf). Maybe someone can create & sell such a stamp on eBay and make a little profit for themselves, while helping us int'l travelers fight these continued DCC injustices.
Newark7 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2014, 4:15 pm
  #310  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,762
Originally Posted by Newark7
I got DCCed again today. The Spar mini-mart at the Stuttgart train station here in Germany. I saw the clerk swipe my card and then hit a green button & out comes my receipt in USD with the fine print saying that I've been offered a choice of currencies & that I accept the final amount with a 3.5% markup (thanks to "Elavon Merchant Services"). I complained to the clerk & he assured me over and over that the charge was in Euros, but my Chase online account is now showing the exact USD transaction as pending vs the lower EUR amount ($12.41 vs $11.80/8.56EUR). I crossed out the DCC fine print & circled the EUR amount before signing, so hopefully that will help with my upcoming dispute. It seems this problem of "forced DCC" is becoming more widespread in Europe.
That's one of the great lies about dcc ("The amount in USD is only shown for your convenience. You are being charged in euro." Of course it might be unfair to blame either the cashier, probably some 18 year old student who doesn't know better or even the manager who might be 19 years old. This is the policy but you did right. But our pal kebosabi san is absolutely right. We ought to be able to produce a stamp with a red ink pad satating local currency option not offered as well as a template for a form letter in Microsoft word where we simply fill in the date, the oanda.com rate and what the amount should be and request the charge be charged back with a paragraph that we requested the charge be written up in local currency and the merchant refused to abide by the merchant's agreement to give you the choice of currency.

I don't think in this instance of "forced" dcc the banks are the guilty parties. I remember reading of a decision by an Australian court prohibiting the banks from prohibiting the use of dcc. And a always, one must continue to understand that the vast majority of people who travels don't know the difference (otherwise they wouldnt be using a credit card with a ftf or allow themselves to be dcc'd. As a matter of fact, many probaly think of how nice it is they don't have to whip out a calculator to figure out what the item cost in their currency and what a neat service the merchant is providing and even if you tell them they're being ripped off, they really don't care and throw out some trash like "I'm spending hundreds (or thousands) for this trip of a lifetime and what's another $50 or $100 for the convenience and peace of mind of knowing what I'm spending. If it weren't for that, dcc would have dbeen stillborn years ago.
JEFFJAGUAR is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2014, 10:47 am
  #311  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 46
Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR
That's one of the great lies about dcc ("The amount in USD is only shown for your convenience. You are being charged in euro." Of course it might be unfair to blame either the cashier, probably some 18 year old student who doesn't know better or even the manager who might be 19 years old. This is the policy but you did right. But our pal kebosabi san is absolutely right. We ought to be able to produce a stamp with a red ink pad satating local currency option not offered as well as a template for a form letter in Microsoft word where we simply fill in the date, the oanda.com rate and what the amount should be and request the charge be charged back with a paragraph that we requested the charge be written up in local currency and the merchant refused to abide by the merchant's agreement to give you the choice of currency.

I don't think in this instance of "forced" dcc the banks are the guilty parties. I remember reading of a decision by an Australian court prohibiting the banks from prohibiting the use of dcc. And a always, one must continue to understand that the vast majority of people who travels don't know the difference (otherwise they wouldnt be using a credit card with a ftf or allow themselves to be dcc'd. As a matter of fact, many probaly think of how nice it is they don't have to whip out a calculator to figure out what the item cost in their currency and what a neat service the merchant is providing and even if you tell them they're being ripped off, they really don't care and throw out some trash like "I'm spending hundreds (or thousands) for this trip of a lifetime and what's another $50 or $100 for the convenience and peace of mind of knowing what I'm spending. If it weren't for that, dcc would have dbeen stillborn years ago.
The Chase dispute rep quickly credited me the 61 cent overcharge, but wanted nothing to do with pushing the DCC issue any further (i.e. officially dispute the charge, chargeback, etc). Obviously 61 cents is hardly worth fighting over, but the principle remains & non-consentual DCC keeps happening. Now I always say "charge me in Euros, not dollars" when I had my card over to somebody here, but I usually get a blank stare back with a "what are you talking about?" look on their face (since most places in Germany don't DCC customers, however you don't know until you get the receipt).
Newark7 is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:53 am
  #312  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SJC
Programs: AA, AS, Marriott
Posts: 6,057
Originally Posted by Newark7
Now I always say "charge me in Euros, not dollars" when I had my card over to somebody here, but I usually get a blank stare back with a "what are you talking about?" look on their face (since most places in Germany don't DCC customers, however you don't know until you get the receipt).
I now say something similar too like, "Please charge me in euros/local currency." Many times I've gotten the look from the cashier that had the undertones of "What currency did you think we were going to charge you in?" I do question how many of the merchants are familiar with DCC versus those who are just mindlessly pressing the green OK button the cc terminal. If you're in a non-touristy area, you might rarely see a non-euro denominated card. Large department stores and hotels are wise to this though. I've only gotten hit with DCC twice, and one time was at the Frankfurt Marriott. Large American hotels seem to be particularly bad about forcing unwanted DCC charges on their customers.
Majuki is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2014, 12:16 pm
  #313  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Miami, Nice
Programs: Marriott Titanium, AA Concierge Key, Delta, United, Emorates, and others
Posts: 4,694
Originally Posted by Majuki
I now say something similar too like, "Please charge me in euros/local currency." Many times I've gotten the look from the cashier that had the undertones of "What currency did you think we were going to charge you in?" I do question how many of the merchants are familiar with DCC versus those who are just mindlessly pressing the green OK button the cc terminal. If you're in a non-touristy area, you might rarely see a non-euro denominated card. Large department stores and hotels are wise to this though. I've only gotten hit with DCC twice, and one time was at the Frankfurt Marriott. Large American hotels seem to be particularly bad about forcing unwanted DCC charges on their customers.
Try any US Marriott-owned property with a non-US$ card. Marriott seems to be a past master at rip-offs, very carefully stated to be a derive to their valued customers. I quit using Marriott in protest over their UK practices. Only later i found out they do the same thing in the US. Bluntly, I'll not patronise them because of that.
jbcarioca is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2014, 12:40 pm
  #314  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
Programs: BA Gold (OWE), Star Alliance Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,194
Originally Posted by jbcarioca
Try any US Marriott-owned property with a non-US$ card. Marriott seems to be a past master at rip-offs, very carefully stated to be a derive to their valued customers. I quit using Marriott in protest over their UK practices. Only later i found out they do the same thing in the US. Bluntly, I'll not patronise them because of that.
I've pretty much given up on Visa and MasterCard for US transactions. I just use my forex free Amex, sick of DCC.
reclusive46 is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2014, 2:21 pm
  #315  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: LAX
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Posts: 7,161
Originally Posted by Majuki
I now say something similar too like, "Please charge me in euros/local currency." Many times I've gotten the look from the cashier that had the undertones of "What currency did you think we were going to charge you in?"
Of course, as with the EMV issue, that only works if you and the cashier speaks and able to argue in the same language.
kebosabi is offline  

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