Out in the Field with chief reporter Annemarie Field: An excuse to boost profits

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Fee fury

LIKE hundreds of others I had a great time last Friday night at the Michael Jackson Tribute Night at the Bandstand bopping along to all the hits from the late great pop star.

It was a super night out, great value for money, the outside bar served reasonably priced and acceptable wine and with the seafront lit up, it reminded me again at what a wonderful corner of the world we live in.

But when I booked the tickets earlier that day at the Tourism Information Centre and because, like the Queen, I rarely carry cash, I was charged a £1.50 processing fee because I paid using my debit card.

The lady in the TIC was lovely and very apologetic as she explained it to me and yes, I realise I could have run over to the cashpoint to get some cash out and avoided it.

But it got me thinking about the whole murky practise of companies and organisations charging consumers far too much to process card payments.

When you think it doesn’t cost more than 20p to process a debit card transaction, yet here we have the local authority, some retailers and even small corner shops using card processing costs as an excuse to boost their profits.

It would be nice if retailers – not to mention the local authority – were to absorb the small cost of processing debit card payments or at the very least the charges levied on customers should be the same as the cost to the retailer.

Pest dangers

LAST WEEK two of our foreign students were waiting at the end of our road waiting for a bus, minding their own business when a car pulled up.

The driver got out to talk to them and asked if they wanted to have sex. They are 12-year-old boys.

Needless to say I was less than impressed – in fact, horrified this had effectively soured their holiday in Eastbourne – and we promptly called the police.

In all honesty I wasn’t expecting they would or could do much but within a couple of hours I got a phone call back from the police station and on Sunday morning a lovely PC Glassock arrived on our doorstep to speak to the boys and take a description of the perpetrator/prankster/pervert.

He reassured us that if officers did catch up with the vile creep they would speak to him about his inappropriate behaviour, which is a far more lenient approach than I will take if I catch him first.