Eighteen New York gas stations are charging more than $2 per gallon to process card transactions. The Suffolk County Weights and Measures Bureau has received 23 complaints regarding the issue in just a few days. County officials, however, say that the authorities cannot help, The Huffington Post reports.
“We can’t do anything in regards to the extra charging for that $2 per gallon for use of the credit card,” Director Clifford Coleman of the Suffolk County Weights and Measures Bureau said, according to The Huffington Post. “It’s not illegal.”
As a result of the Durbin Amendment, gas stations now pay less to process card transactions, which the retail industry promised would result in lower prices for consumers. Recent research by the Electronic Payments Coalition, however, shows that gas retailers are not passing these savings onto consumers, while research by Phoenix Marketing International revealed that 50 percent of all non-cash fuel payments are made using a debit card.
“Whenever Congress meddles in an industry debate over who pays what, consumers never win,” Trish Wexler, a spokeswoman for the EPC, said. “One side gets a leg up and keeps their windfall, while consumers end up footing the bill. No one is surprised to see that gas retailers are keeping billions of dollars for themselves, while their customers continue to be punished at the pump. Americans should go to their gas stations and demand what’s theirs—a discount for debit.”
New York law prohibits surcharges on credit card transactions but does allow for cash discounts. The difference between cash and credit card prices across gas retailers nationwide is regularly approximately 10 cents per gallon, though at one gas station in Long Island, the difference reached $6.19, The Huffington Post reports.
Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) is currently drafting legislation that would require gas retailers to post credit card and cash prices for gas near the curb if the price difference between the two is greater than seven percent.