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Domino’s responds to customer outrage over ‘double surcharge’

Australians are more focused on how much they are spending as the cost of living remains high, and a 'double surcharge' has upset some.

Signs in Domino's to notify of two different surcharges customers could be slapped with and a pizza.
Domino's put up signs to notify of two different surcharges customers could be slapped with. (Supplied/Domino's)

Rising costs have forced many Australians to pull back on even the smallest of luxuries. But an Aussie who decided to fork out for a pizza at Domino’s wasn’t pleased when they found out they’d be copping two surcharges.

Two signs were posted at the takeaway store’s counter. One advised of a 1.4 per cent EFTPOS surcharge and the other a 10 per cent addition as it was Sunday.

“We heard you loved surcharges so we put a surcharge on your surcharge,” one customer said.

The sign detailed the reason for the Sunday surcharge and it’s not new: “We apply up to a 10 per cent surcharge on all orders to allow for penalty rates for our team members.”

The sign about the EFTPOS surcharge advised this was not applicable to online purchases.

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This is because it’s a fee imposed on the business for using the EFTPOS service, which is now generally passed on to the consumer.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data shows EFTPOS transactions cost an average of 30 cents for a $100 purchase, or 0.3 per cent.

Mastercard and Visa debit transactions cost approximately 0.5 per cent, while Mastercard and Visa credit card transactions cost 0.9 per cent.

Diners and American Express cards are the most expensive networks, with average fees of around 1.3 and 1.7 per cent of the transaction value, respectively.

There is a ban on excessive surcharging in Australia, which means customers can't be charged more than the business has to pay.

But as the cost of living forces many Australians to tighten their pursestrings, it’s understandable that there’s frustration over increasing surcharges.

The RBA found a 77.5 per cent increase between 2019 and 2022 in the number of in-person payments by credit or debit card that attracted this additional fee.

Finance guru Scott Pape said card surcharges could cost the average Aussie upwards of $200 a year.

The Ombudsman said that's about $1 billion a year collectively.

Domino’s have had a Sunday surcharge in place for seven years, so a bit of time for Australians to get used to it. Some businesses do the same on public holidays.

David told Yahoo Finance he was shocked when he was charged $8.18 for a medium almond cappuccino at a cafe in East Melbourne on the King's Birthday public holiday.

But, understandably these things become more visible when budgets are under pressure.

“At Domino’s, our team members aren’t just the backbone of our operations, they are the secret sauce, and on Sundays, they receive wages that are up to 50 per cent higher than on weekdays,” a Domino’s spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

“As a result, in 2016 we introduced a small Sunday Surcharge to allow for these higher wages, which are amongst the highest in our industry, while keeping our prices lower on other days.”

The spokesperson said the majority of its 750 stores are franchises, “independently owned and operated by local community members”.

It is up to an individual franchisee to make a call on whether they will pass on the cost of EFTPOS surcharging.

“As many know, running a small business involves numerous expenses, including delivering high-quality products, convenient services and, crucially, fair compensation for dedicated team members,” the spokesperson said.

“Some franchise partners may apply a small EFTPOS surcharge to offset the costs charged by banks and card providers.

“This is managed at a store level and will always be clearly communicated, with alternative payment options like cash or ordering online readily available.”

The fast-food chain said it was committed to providing "unbeatable value".

But if that's not enough for you, some thrifty customers pointed out there’s a simple hack to reduce the cost of your take away.

"Pro tip Google 'Pizza Hut' and a Domino's ad will appear and give you 40 per cent off. Makes for a cheap $9 lunch once in a blue moon,” they said.