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Shoppers should check for fee

Purchased a deal voucher from discount voucher site Groupon? You might want to check your credit card statement to see if you were pinged with an overseas transaction fee by your credit card provider.

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Late last year Groupon Australia said its customers could avoid this fee, which some were being charged when purchasing deals from its website in Australian dollars.

Australian customers were being hit with an overseas transaction fee of between 1.5 and 3 percent by their credit card provider because Groupon’s payment gateway was outside Australia. Groupon was in talks with a local payment gateway to remedy this.

New Zealand Groupon customers shouldn’t be charged the fee when they buy deals from the New Zealand website. We contacted the major banks here and they told us transactions in New Zealand dollars wouldn’t attract a fee even though Groupon’s payment gateway is overseas. We still think it would be wise to check.

A Groupon spokesperson, Amy Glancey, said that as in Australia the company was looking for a local payment gateway. In the meantime Groupon will refund the fee if customers contact them.

But customers may not be aware they could be charged, or that a refund is possible. The information about the fee and the refund policy are only stated in the terms and conditions and FAQs, not on the payment page.

If you’ve been charged an overseas transaction or currency conversion fee by your credit card provider, get in touch with Groupon and ask for a refund.

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