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Trading Standards secures £6,000 donation for local food bank.

20 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Aran Fish and Chip Shop in Llangefni. Photo via Google

A successful Trading Standards prosecution has secured a £6,000 donation for a local food bank.

A local businessman agreed to make the donation after being prosecuted by Anglesey Trading Standards.

Duran Sasmaz, owner of Aran Fish and Chip Shop in Llangefni, pleaded guilty to charging customers 50p for making card payments without their knowledge.

This hidden charge was a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations 2008 and Mr Sasmaz was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling of £1,512.

He also agreed to make a donation to the Anglesey Food Bank – after a suggestion from Trading Standards officers – as it was not possible to identify every victim.

Reasonable charges

Before 2018, retailers were allowed to make reasonable charges to reflect the cost they incurred for taking card payments – provided this was communicated to customers in advance.

However, since January 2018 it has been illegal for retailers to charge extra for card payment.

Caernarfon Magistrates Court heard that complaints were received by Anglesey Trading Standards in 2019 that Aran Fish and Chip shop was charging 50p per card payment and had a poster on the wall advising this.

The business was issued with guidance and advised that surcharges were no longer permitted and that the costs could not be recouped from customers paying by card.

Further complaints were subsequently received but no signs were displayed.

This resulted in a final written warning was issued in September 2021 to Mr Sasmaz.

After another complaint in March last year, a test purchase was made where a card payment was charged 50p more than the till receipt.

Mr Sasmaz claimed he had reintroduced the charge again due to increasing costs but only made the charge on payments under £15.

He also claimed that he would always tell customers he served, however admitted that he rarely served customers as he was usually cooking.

Financial gain

The investigation concluded that, had the charge been applied to all card payments, it would have resulted in a financial gain in the region of £12,000.

As it was not possible to identify the value of individual card payments to only include charges for card payments under £15, both parties agreed to value the gain at £6,100.

Anglesey Council’s Chief Public Protection Officer, Trystan Owen said: “Where we have a successful prosecution involving a victim with a quantifiable loss, it is common practice to request that the Court consider issuing a compensation order so that the ill-gotten gains are returned to the victim.

“However, on this occasion we were unable to identify individual victims, as such it was suggested by Trading Standards officers that a remorseful Mr Sasmaz may wish to consider a donation to the local Food Bank as a goodwill gesture, to be taken into consideration at court.”

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