MX got to this before I blogged it.
This issue is around Myki Pass (the equivalent fare to a Metcard Monthly/Yearly, but available for any number from 28 to 365 days).
To calculate the Pass cost, you take the Myki Pass per day rate (eg zone 1 $4.02) and multiply by the number of days (eg 31). $4.02 x 31 = $124.62. This is the amount you’ll be charged if you buy the fare online using a credit card.
If you go to a Myki ticket machine however, it rounds up to the next 10 cents, eg $124.70. (Myki machines take notes, but do not accept 5 cent coins; this is permitted within the law.)
This rounding is as per the ticketing manual (page 65):
“If a myki pass fare is shown as, or is calculated to be, an amount ending in a multiple of one cent, that amount may be rounded up to the next 10 cents at the point of sale. In that case, the rounded amount is deemed to be the fare.”
Contrast this with the advice of the ACCC. I’m not clear if it’s merely a recommendation or outlining the legal position, but here it is what it says (referring, obviously, to rounding to the nearest five cents, not ten):
For cash transactions:
1 & 2 cents — rounded DOWN to the nearest 10 cents
3 & 4 cents — rounded UP to the nearest 5 cents
6 & 7 cents — rounded DOWN to the nearest 5 cents
8 & 9 cents — rounded UP to the nearest 10 cents
Rounding is on the total value of the bill. Individual items should never be rounded.
And where a consumer pays by cheque, credit card or EFTPOS there is no need to round at all.
Businesses who round prices outside these guidelines may be in breach of the consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act and State/Territory Fair Trading Acts as it suggests that items are not available for the advertised price.
So the first problem here is that Myki’s rounding is always up. This contradicts normal practice, and advice from the ACCC, which says rounding may be up or down, not always up.
The second problem is the rounding takes place if paying by credit or debit card, which again contradicts the ACCC, which says rounding should not take place unless paying cash.
Obviously it’s only a few cents each time, but could add up to a substantial amount of money given a large number of users.
Regardless of the legalities, it is clearly not in line with common retail industry practice, and is out of step with community expectations.
And there’s enough anti-Myki sentiment out there as it is without them putting even more people off-side with silly stuff like this.