Pricing and payments

When you make a purchase, you have to be clearly informed about the total price of the goods or services inclusive of all taxes and additional charges.

Pricing and payments

If a trader wishes to surcharge you for using a specific means of payment – for instance a credit card – then the fee cannot be higher than what it actually costs him to process your payment. In some countries such charges may be banned altogether.

Charges for additional services

You must give your consent to any additional payment requested by the trader, for example express delivery, gift wrapping or travel insurance. A trader is not permitted to charge you for these services unless you explicitly opted for them. Using a pre-ticked box on the trader’s website does not constitute such consent and you would be entitled to reimbursement of any payment which has been collected in such a way.

Price discrimination

As an EU national you can’t be charged a higher price when buying products or services because of your nationality or country of residence. Some price differences can however be justified, if they are based on objective criteria other than nationality.

Sometimes differences in price can be justified

Ben, from the Netherlands, visits his friend in Germany and goes to a swimming pool. He is charged a higher price than local residents, and wonders if this is unlawful price discrimination.

In this case, the price difference is justified. The swimming pool is run by the local authority and financed by local taxes, so local residents have already contributed to the running of the pool and therefore enjoy a lower entry price.