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My dentist doesn't charge for using credit cards. It sounds unusual to me for a dentist to do this.
Retailers are entitled to charge you for using a card, but under new laws introduced in 2013 the charge must reflect the actual cost to the retailer of the card transaction. Typically (for a credit card) this is about 0.8%, in other words 80p for every £100.
I used a debit card, Rob,but the fee also affects credit cards
The cost to the retailer of someone using a debit card is much less than a credit card, about 0.2%. So a charge of £1 would only be reasonable if the bill was about £500. Sounds like you are being ripped off and should consider changing your dentist.
it was £19 for a check-up!
£1 charge for a debit card payment on £19 is definitely too much, I manage the finances of a private medical practice and debit card charges are nominal compared to credit cards.