Woman paying at counter

A surcharge reminder for Easter

If you see a restaurant blaming its Easter Sunday surcharge on the day being a public holiday, don’t believe it. The only public holidays over the long weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday.

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Eateries can ultimately charge what they like for a product or service, but to add a surcharge legally they need to let you know before you agree to eat there. That’s so you have the opportunity to decide if you are willing to pay the extra cost.

Commerce Commissioner Anna Rawlings said businesses sometimes use surcharges to offset the cost of having staff working on a public holiday.

“However, it is important consumers are made aware of a business’s intention to add a surcharge upfront, so they can make a decision about whether they are prepared to pay it or buy elsewhere,” she said.

Ms Rawlings said businesses also need to be careful not to mislead customers about the reasons for the surcharge.

Been misled?

If you feel like you’ve been misled about a surcharge over the long weekend, you can contact the Commerce Commission on 0800 943 600. Consumer NZ members are also welcome to contact our Consumer Advice Line with inquiries.

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