‘Interest-free’ deals can cost 87.6 per cent

Some flexible payment options offered by major retailers can end up costing shoppers almost twice as much as the original item in hidden fees, according to an investigation by the consumer watchdog Choice who said retailers aren't giving customers adequate information about interest rates, fees and conditions.

Some deals included fees of as much as 87.6 per cent of the cost of the item, Choice found.

A Braun shaver retailing at $549.95 could end up costing close to $700 with a David Jones three-year interest free offer if paid for using the retailer's own StoreCard, and almost $1000 using the Amex David Jones card.

Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said five of the six major retailers Choice looked at gave incomplete or wrong information. Options to be wary of included buy-now-pay-later, interest free instalments, interest free minimum payment and no deposit with four years to pay.

Source: The Age