LOL @ you
ing about merchants "violating the MS agreement" and then lying to get what you want. Clearly integrity is huge for you.
There is a fundamental pricing question that faces all businesses. Spreading costs over all customers vs charging individual customers for the specific costs incurred doing business with them. There is no absolutely correct answer.
But what you're advocating is that ALL customers bear the costs the business incurs by accepting plastic from SOME customers. That sounds great when you're a plastic user, but not so great when you're a cash user.
Airlines face it all the time. They can raise ticket prices for everyone, or they can charge more to those that cost the airline more by charging for checked bags, oversize luggage, two seats for humongous passengers, etc.
Would you suggest that all octanes of gas cost the same? I mean, the cost of all the product should just be factored into the price, right?
Before you say "they're different", the real answer is "what is the customer willing to pay for?". Sometimes it's tangible, sometimes it's not. In the case of higher octane gas, the customer is willing to pay for the different product. In the case of paying by plastic, the customer is willing to pay for the convenience/security of not carrying cash. In the case of tipping the doorman to bypass the line at the club, the customer is willing to pay to get in earlier.
Now, having said all that, I dealt with plenty of business owners/managers who IMHO consistently underestimated the costs involved in cash simply because they didn't see an invoice for it. But cash has to be counted into the drawer, change counted out of the drawer, the drawer has to be balanced at EOD, the drawer has to be counted into the safe, big bills have to be exchanged for small bills and coin, the safe has to be counted, deposits have to be compiled, deposits have to be picked up by armor or taken to the bank. Cash is easily stolen, easily miscounted, people pass counterfeits,
So I personally think many merchants aren't being realistic when they charge more to accept plastic. If they really looked hard at the hard and soft costs involved with cash handling, I think they'd see it was costing them about the same % as taking plastic (accounting for fees and losses).
BUT, having said that, I'm all for allowing the merchants, banks, merchant service providers and customers have it out without the govt coming in and mandating minutiae.
You said it violates banking laws. Please cite the laws.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which See.
Merchants lose chargeback disputes ALL THE TIME because it boils down to one thing. The issuing bank KNOWS it would be virtutally impossible for the merchant to stop accepting plastic from a certain bank, but they know it would virtually effortless for the cardholder to close their account at the issuing bank and move their business elsewhere.
So the merchant gets stuck with chargebacks frequently,
even if they did everything right.
I've been through those disputes as a merchant, and as a retail banker.
Which would trigger an audit from your Processor, and would result in procedures put in place to eliminate the chargebacks. As a retail banker, you should be aware no one... not the bank, not the Processor (usually two different entities, by the way), and for sure not the Merchant... wants chargebacks on an ongoing basis. If it happens frequently, the Merchant is usually at fault, due to inattention, not adhering to their Agreements, or outright fraud.