Home » Trading Standards prosecution secures £6,000 donation for food bank
Anglesey North Wales

Trading Standards prosecution secures £6,000 donation for food bank

A LOCAL businessman has agreed to make a £6,000 charitable donation after being prosecuted by Anglesey Trading Standards.

On Wednesday (March 13th), Duran Sasmaz, owner of Aran Fish and Chip Shop, Llangefni, pleaded guilty to charging customers 50p for making card payments without their knowledge.

This 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.

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

However, since January 2018 it has been illegal for retailers to make such a surcharge for the use of card payment facilities. There is no requirement for retailers to provide card payment facilities, many similar businesses operate on a cash only basis to avoid the additional overheads associated with making card payment facilities available. Alternatively, businesses can refuse to accept card payment for purchases below a minimum value, provided this is made clear to customers.

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 received that charges were being made but no signage displayed. This resulted in a final written warning was issued in September 2021, following explanation to Mr Sasmaz.

After another complaint on the 1st March 2023, a test purchase was made on the 16th March, 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.

The investigation identified, had the charge been applied to all card payments it would have been 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.

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Anglesey Council’s Chief Public Protection Officer, Trystan Owen, explained “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.”

Planning, Public Protection, Planning and Climate Change portfolio holder, Councillor Nicola Roberts, welcomed the successful prosecution, adding, “As a result of this innovative approach by our Trading Standards officers, a £3,000 cheque has already been presented to Mr Roy Fyles of the Anglesey Food Bank, with assurances that another will also be provided.”