What is a 'Government Related Payment'? - for credit card spend

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I am currently in 'discussions' with Westpac about what is a government related payment. I am trying to get my bonus points for my credit card spend.
Their T&C state
----A Purchase from or payment to a local, state or federal government or government related agency, including to the Australian Tax Office, Australia Post or to motor vehicle registries. We classify transactions using information provided to us by the card scheme (Visa or Mastercard), which tells us the main type of business conducted by the Merchant. We will treat any transaction that the card scheme tells us is government related as a Government Related Payment---

It doesn't really go into a huge amount of detail. I get the ATO, motor vehicle but what about other things?

What about my water bills? That has all been privatized
Local council rates/charges?
Gas or electricity?

It doesn't really spell it out.. In the past I have always known that ATO was not included but the rest??? I have never seen motor vehicle registries included.

Can someone shed some light on this. Am I just fighting a losing battle with them?
 
AMX001595_Travel-Insider_1100x260
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I am uncertain exactly what they are claiming is a government related charge but I am planning to dispute

Water bills
Gas & Electricity Bills
Vic Roads - Car License
Council services - fees for maintenance / cleaning
IP Australia (trademark license fee)

These seem to be 100% no
Council rates
Car regos
Although i didn't realize that council rates would not be a part of the count towards my spend at the time
 

Rich

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I am uncertain exactly what they are claiming is a government related charge but I am planning to dispute

Water bills
Gas & Electricity Bills
Vic Roads - Car License
Council services - fees for maintenance / cleaning
IP Australia (trademark license fee)

These seem to be 100% no
Council rates
Car regos
Although i didn't realize that council rates would not be a part of the count towards my spend at the time
I think you are mostly on a losing battle. IMO utilities are not government related but the rest are.
My Amex Ultimate says lower points for "government bodies" but it was fine for my water bill paid via AusPost. Rather than ask, I plan to just put a small amount through for any bill I am unsure of, check points, then pay the balance with accordingly.
 

Daver6

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I think you are mostly on a losing battle. IMO utilities are not government related but the rest are.
My Amex Ultimate says lower points for "government bodies" but it was fine for my water bill paid via AusPost. Rather than ask, I plan to just put a small amount through for any bill I am unsure of, check points, then pay the balance with accordingly.

I guess where it gets tricky is in WA utilities like water and electricity are state government. So it isn't quite as clear cut as that. Also, what is AusPost? That's a government owned entity.
 

oz_mark

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Shouldn't it be up to the bank to actually spell things out a little bit more?

The problem is that it is not the bank that decides to categorise a merchant as government or not. They say about as much as they can say really.
 

dajop

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I guess where it gets tricky is in WA utilities like water and electricity are state government. So it isn't quite as clear cut as that. Also, what is AusPost? That's a government owned entity.

I've seen a number of T&C that specifically exclude government spend and utilities. Not just government spend, but both. A bank can easily do that to remove ambiguity around private vs public ownership of utilities. For those banks that choose not to word their T&C like this they should be held to account. How is the average consumer supposed to work out that their privatised electricity company is categorised as "government spend"? If the words "utilities" was there fine, much easier to work out that their privatised electricity company is a "utility" . IMHO this is all on Westpac.
 

wxxnxs

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From what I can tell is any government body related should have a domain name ends up with ".gov", Utilities & Auspost don't have "gov" in the end, so banks put them in separate to mention.
 

Daver6

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The problem here is in the same basket as spending in AUD with an overseas merchant. How on earth is the poor consumer meant to have any idea?
 
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I have put in an official complaint and i have escalated the issue. I think it is misleading. Westpac should actually spell it out. How can a customer just guess what this all means? I think it is ambiguous and not good enough. They calculated my spend and halved what they said was relevant. I even asked them to spell it out, how did they come to this? Nothing.... Not good enough
 

Rich

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I guess where it gets tricky is in WA utilities like water and electricity are state government. So it isn't quite as clear cut as that. Also, what is AusPost? That's a government owned entity.
Good point. I didn't realise all states had yet to enjoy the benefit of privatised water delivery!

I was pleased to discover this other thread Pay through Auspost bpay towards amex? Most report they still get full Amex points.
 
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