California has a law that makes it illegal for any place that accepts
credit or charge cards to either have a minimum charge or to charge a fee for
credit card use. Some stores or restaurants owners a dumb enough to actually
post this policy (which is also separately illegal, in of itself). But more
savvy owners will simply notify you of their fee when you try to use your
credit/charge card for an amount below their supposed minimum. Either way, it's
still illegal for them to do so.
If these places are encountered, simply
refuse to pay the fee or refuse to accept their minimum. Remind then that they
are breaking the law. Remind them that you are not in their place of business as
a slave, but there as the customer. You don't need their produce, but they need
your money. They don't need the trouble you can stir up by contacting the Better
Business Bureau or class action lawsuits can come up from this sort of thing.
Ask them if all that is really worth the 25, 50 or 75 cent fee. Don't be afraid
to make a big scene out of it.
Some of these store owners are under the
strange impression that they deserve your money simply because you come into
their store. They just need to be reminded that they have to earn the right to
get your money.