The Consumers' Foundation yesterday warned the public to be wary of travel agencies that charge extra fees when booking travel packages or airplane tickets, saying many agencies are illegally adding transaction fees of up to 3 percent to credit card transactions.
The foundation quoted a study conducted by its Consumer Report magazine last month in which 16 out of 30 travel agencies queried said they had additional transaction fees for travel package purchases. The study, to be published in this month's issue, found that 19 out of the 30 added extra fees for air ticket purchases.
"According to the Regulations Governing Institutions Engaging In Credit Card Business (信用卡業務機構管理辦法), businesses that have merchant relations with the credit card units of financial institutions are not allowed to impose added service fees," explained Christopher Kuo (郭尚義),a member of the foundation's financial panel. "If such practices are found, the financial institution should end business relations with that business."
During the study, the magazine found that businesses were unclear about the justification for the transaction fees, with several businesses stating that such fees were dependent on the type of travel package purchased or number of package clients or passengers. When magazine representatives pressed the agencies for more information, some were told the fees were negotiable, if the client introduced additional clients to the agency.
The foundation called on consumers to take appropriate measures if travel agencies insist on transaction fees by refusing to purchase from such agencies.
In other cases, foundation representatives urged consumers to keep transaction receipts or to tape-record their interactions with the agency if sales people refused to give receipts reflecting the additional charges.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,