samosa and sweet factory toronto

Toronto restaurant getting bombed with one-star reviews for credit card surcharges

A Toronto sweets shop and restaurant has come under fire for something lots of businesses are doing right now: passing on credit card surcharge fees to customers.

New rules about credit card charges for Canadians came into effect recently, meaning charges from credit card companies that businesses previously had to pay can now be passed on to customers as the discretion of each vendor.

Samosa and Sweet Factory on Albion Rd. has chosen to make the change, and people have become outraged, attacking them online with bad one-star reviews. Some people are concerned that their surcharge is more than a maximum 2.4 per cent surcharge cap.

There's even a Reddit thread showing their sign in the window informing people of charges for paying by debit, Visa or Mastercard, with a note that credit cards would be charged 3 per cent extra for orders of $10 or more. For orders less than $10 or debit, the charge is listed at 25 cents.

People are pointing out the cap on surcharges in the Reddit thread, one person saying a receipt with a 3 per cent charge should be shown to credit companies. Other people also point out that debit charges aren't necessarily new.

The one-star Google reviews, however, are more brief, and angrier.

"3% surcharge on credit card payment is insane," says one person. "Charging a fee to use debit or credit; take your business to a place where your money is actually valued," wrote another.

Another person pointed out that they thought the charges felt shady, with a side of some bullying about their food:

"I will get my samosa's else where [sic] from now on, food isnt [sic] that great," they wrote. "Plus they're double dipping on credit and DEBIT card fees. Wants to charge an extra 2-3%."

samosa and sweet factory toronto"They are breaking the laws and charging more than the fees from CC," wrote someone else. "They are charging for debit that [sic] not allow  [sic] either.  Avoid companies like this.  Shame really."

"Double dipping credit card fees. The costs have always been factored into the price of food, and now they want to charge another 3% on top because the feds allow them to," someone wrote in another one-star review.

"Charging 3% for Visa when the federal cap is 2.4%. Cheap money grabbing. Don't go here," yet another person wrote.

Whether they're allowed to be doing this or not, the move is losing the business customers.

"Crazy fee for using credit card. Left without purchasing anything and will not return," someone said.

"Went in to get some sweets, saw the line, saw the sign that indicates an upcharge [sic] for using credit cards or even debit, and walked out," wrote someone else.

samosa and sweet factory toronto

Local food writer Suresh Doss did come to the defence of Samosa and Sweet Factory on Instagram in a story that's now gone, saying, "Re: the new credit card surcharges now in effect. Regardless of how you feel about it, it shouldn't result in review bombing small businesses."

Director of retail operations at Samosa and Sweet Factory Manraj Sandhu says that the surcharge is actually only 2.4% and that they have posted  a print out of the surcharge rules from the Canadian government website.

"We have also followed up with our payment provider to ensure that it is allowed however are facing some backlash about the surcharge," Sandhu tells blogTO.

"There comes a time with any business when certain decisions must be made especially during a time where we are facing price increases in all direction from raw materials to freight and even higher payment processing fees."

He also points out that there are different fees that apply per transaction based on what type of card is used that are charged back to the business.

"Rather than building these fees in to our product cost, we decided to pass the savings on to the customers who choose to pay by cash or debit and place this 2.4 per cent surcharge on credit card transactions only," says Sandhu.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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