Following legislation last year meaning that businesses cannot apply additional payments for credit card payments, many auction houses no longer accept this form of payment.

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Tingling with anticipation, I rang the auction house the next day to book a phone bid and obtain further information, only to be rebuffed by the receptionist who informed me they were working on a tight schedule and it was not possible for me to speak to anyone about these items.

I insisted that someone phone me back asap as I was eager to buy them. Having heard nothing from them, I phoned again six days later and expressed my keenness to purchase these items and so, after helpful discussion regarding provenance etc, I asked if I could please book a phone bid and gave my name and address.

I offered my credit card details so that if necessary the auction house could establish my bona fides. This I thought was the correct thing to do, having purchased many times in this way over many years of buying at auction. I was then informed after my lengthy enquiry that they no longer accept credit card payments.

This is not the first time this has happened to me and needless to say I was more than disappointed and so, as a parting shot, said perhaps then the company when advertising forthcoming auctions should state clearly that credit card payments are no longer acceptable.

Not very convenient

But hang on a moment: I personally know of several auction houses who over the years were happy to accept credit card payments at a time when charges from 1-3% were added for the privilege of using this facility. However, since recent legislation last year stated clearly that no additional payments could be made against credit card payments, many auction houses have decided to remove this form of payment completely.

Surely it was offered as a customer convenience, but alas now removed completely by some auction houses. What, I ask, has happened to customer service? Running a business should not be all about profit making and I would remind auction houses that without the customer they would simply not exist.

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