Wednesday 25 July 2018
Europcar Australia acknowledges the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) announcement today to institute civil proceedings against Europcar Australia relating to allegations that Europcar contravened the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 by unintentional overcharging of debit card fees in the period between July 2017 and 5 November 2017.
Europcar can confirm that customers who paid by debit card in the two month period from 1 September 2017 to 5 November 2017 were unintentionally overcharged and were fully refunded the difference in credit and debit card fees as soon as the data was available to identify and correct this issue.
This impacted 22,602 customers who were overcharged by a total of $20,294. The amounts refunded ranged from $0.01 to $18.33, with an average of 89 cents per customer.
With regards to the ACCC allegations relating to the period July to August 2017, we believe that we complied with the Reserve Bank Standard in relation to that period and will be taking this into account as part of our review of the claims made against Europcar.
We have fully co-operated with the ACCC since it commenced its investigation in October 2017. At every step we have sought to not only do the right thing by our customers but to also work openly, cooperatively and transparently with the ACCC to identify and correct this issue and to ensure the best possible outcome for all of our customers.
Europcar has worked closely with its financial institution and the regulator to ensure that its systems are compliant with changes to the rules relating to surcharge rates on debit and credit card transactions and that any modifications were fully implemented. We conducted our own thorough analysis to assist in ensuring compliance with these changed rules.
Unfortunately, the data available to us at the time and the global reservations system we had in place meant we unintentionally overcharged customers who paid via debit cards in the two month period from 1 September 2017 to 5 November 2017. Once this issue was identified and the data from our financial institution was available, we were able to identify and correct instances where this had occurred, Europcar immediately refunded those customers impacted.
While this action by the ACCC is disappointing given we have been transparent with the ACCC on this issue and promptly refunded all impacted customers, we remain absolutely committed to delivering the best value experience for our customers and as such, we look forward to presenting our defence in this case.
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