Netflix subscription fees ++

For those with Netflix, or possibly any iTunes subscriptions or app purchases, that pay for them with a Standard Bank credit card - take note.

I noticed my Netflix subscription, which has been happily going off as a charge on my Standard Bank card since inception last year at R129.99, suddenly jumped to R133.56 last month. I called Standard bank to query the increase as my invoice from Apple was R129.99 as always.

Bank said that the amount that went off was what was taken by the merchant, no added fees, so I should call them. I duly called Apple who within a couple hours came back to me with the query escalated to their billing dept which confirmed they had only taken R129.99, and to please contact the bank to check if any fees had been deducted. I felt a vicious circle coming on…

Contact the card division. This time I hit the “fraud” dept as I know these guys jump when suspicious transactions are happening. Explained the story again, and was told to complete a “Statement of Dispute” form so that they can contact the vendor directly and sort it out. Did that. Response from that dept via email a couple days later was that the vendor got R129.99 and the extra R3.57 is a currency settlement amount.

So they WERE adding a fee, but bundling it with the transaction amount, even though first contact at the bank said the only way to attract extra fees was to swipe my card overseas and/or have a transaction go off in a foreign currency - which would then vary according to exchange rates and attract bank charges (understandably).

Netflix SA invoices are however in Rands, with VAT and has been since day 1, so why the sudden change in November that attracts this fee - I ask in reply to this email re the dispute. They can’t answer that, I have to call card division. Again.

3rd call to the bank. First explanation I get is that it was a system error and that it was rectified in November so I’m now being charged what I should have been all along. In the nicest possible way, I say “Bollocks”. Then I’m put on hold while she consults higher powers who she says might be able to help me understand better!!?!? Then I’m told that it is a 2.75% fee that is charged for a transaction by a foreign vendor. Again, in the nicest possible way I say “Bollocks”. The invoice is in Rands and has been charged to my card at the exact invoice amount every month - until now. Where in their pricing guide is this stated, I ask? Please hold while I check she says. I’m reading it while I wait. Only charge of 2.75% I see is labelled a “foreign currency conversion fee”. I highlight, yet again, that the invoice is in Rands not a foreign currency. Please hold, again.

A while later, I’m thanked profusely for my patience and my “query” is being investigated as they can see that “the wording isn’t quite clear”. Gosh, you’ve run out of excuses and now you’re blaming the brochure! I will be emailed they say once they’ve got feedback, as I made it very clear I want it on record from them why I was suddenly charged a fee that is not applicable on a transaction they denied several times of attaching any fees to. Shame on you Standard Bank.

ps, I have checked with at least one other person who’s Netflix subscription comes off a Nedbank credit card, and no such charge is added.

TL;DR: If your Netflix or iTunes subscriptions are coming off a Standard Bank credit card, check your statement carefully for random increases due to incorrect bank fees being charged.


Very interesting. Standard bank are a bunch of sharks if you ask me.
My bank account is slowly draining due to the huge fees they charge me every month, and they’ve just had the cheek to bump up the fees by a fairly large amount too.

I’m just waiting for them to freeze my account because I am no longer able to FICA with them.

My account fee has skyrocketed to R195.00 per month :persevere:

Yup, same.

Downgraded my account on Saturday, it’s now half the price with the same features less personal banker. (with a capital W)

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They keep on trying to sell me up to the package with personal banker blah blah, but I’m not paying double for the “pleasure” of having a personal banker which I might see maybe once every two years. oooh and don’t forget the preferential rates on forex. What a joke

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Yeah you don’t get preferential rates on forex. At least, if the rates I got were supposedly preferential, then they’re DEFINITELY taking advantage.

For those that may be interested in the end of this saga… This eventually went to the Banking Ombudsman.

After several weeks at the Banking Ombud, they too didn’t get very far with the Bank and in the end also belched out all kinds of besides-the-point explanations for just about everything under the sun and sort of shrugged and said they can’t find any maladministration on the Bank’s part, and yet completely failed to answer my core issue - “a currency conversion fee” charged when there was no currency conversion.

I eventually got a considered non-copy-and-paste response from the Ombud. The Bank has basically changed the name - and by extension the criteria - for a fee to encompass far more international transactions without informing their clients, hence the sudden extra bit being added from Nov 2017:

1. The fee in question which is renamed “ International transaction fee” with effect April 2018 has always reflected on the pricing guide and was charged as part of the transaction amount, the fee was not charged separately, it was included in the transaction amount. With effect April 2018, the fee was charged separately from the converted transaction amount which enabled the account holder to easily reconcile their spend. Prior to November 2017, the fee was only charged where there was a currency conversion transaction (transactions performed in foreign currencies).
_ _
2. With effect November 2017, the fee is now charged in line with Cross-border transactions rules (MasterCard and Visa). This is a mandate given by the card schemes Both MasterCard and Visa stating that “If a Merchant’s country code is different to a Cardholder’s country code, then Cross-border fees will apply”. While the complainant’s invoice may be in rand value, the fee will be applicable where the merchant store or service provider resides in a country different to that of the cardholders bank. As mentioned above the fee is no longer called “currency conversation fee”

Actually, it is still called an ‘International Currency Conversion Fee’ in their corporate credit card price brochure.

Bottom line, the Bank can pretty much make up and change the criteria for a fee as they go along, call it whatever they like - the fee description can be a recipe for chocolate cake and it wouldn’t make a difference - not tell anybody, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Except of course close the account, which I will duly be doing.

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Yup. I’m going to be closing my account with them as soon as tax season is done.
My bank balance is slowly being drained by their huge monthly charges. It’s ridiculous.

My AU bank account has had 0 fees since I opened it, and I have better features than I get from std bunk.
Even when I do start accumulating fees, it will be about $12 a month, if that.