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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had been charged a cash advance fee when I used my MBNA Mastercard for playing a charity Lottery. The fee was a significant some, being £3 on top of a £10 payment to playmonday. I promised an update so here it is.
When I contacted Play Monday they said that it was nothing to do with them, but it was the Credit Card company that had made the charge. So I first tried writing to MBNA Europe, who just sent a letter back saying I needed to phone them. When I called MBNA customer services I was told that somewhere in my terms and conditions (the pages of tiny writing that you are provided with when you sign up), it said that there would be a fee for gambling and lottery payments.
My question was why wasn't I made aware of this before I used my card; I had other debit or credit cards that I could have used that would not have incurred this charge. The first person I spoke to accepted that you cannot memorise all the terms and conditions of everything you ever sign, but was unable to refund this. I eventually got through to someone from the department they call "card loyalty", or something similar, but is the department that tries to convince you not to cancel your credit card. This is something the clearly failed to do as the person on the phone had the attitude that it was in my terms and conditions so was clearly my fault. I told them to stop trying to quote my terms and conditions and I cancelled my card. I have the very small consolation in knowing that they have lost far more than the £3 in the fact that I won't be using their card ever again. Unfortunately as it is a charity credit card, it also means that the charity will no longer receive any money through the use of the card, although I don't think they got that much anyway.
So far neither play monday nor the MBNA have been willing to tackle my original question which is "why did it not tell me at the time of the transaction that I would be charged?". If I had been told about this charge when making the transaction then I would have used my debit card, not have been charged and would still have the credit card in my wallet. It could be that Play Monday didn't want to publicise it in case it turned some customers away, but I'd think it far more likely that cutomers will never go back if they find that they have been charged a fee on top of their transfer costs (which could be up to 60% of the cost of playing the lottery in the first place). Especially as if I had been told I would have just used a different card. I also think that the credit card company should make it mandatory that lottery sites display that information when you make a payment. The national lottery (lotto) doesn't have this problem as they will not accept any cards for payment of lottery tickets. I do not find it acceptable that I can get charged a fee when using my credit card without it being made clear (which doesn't include it being in the small print of the terms and conditions).
I am going to continue with play monday as I agree with their charity policy, but I've now cancelled my MBNA Mastercard.