Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, of Montauk, has introduced legislation to require gas stations to alert customers at the terminal of how much more they will pay per gallon by using a credit or debit card and give the option to cancel the transaction.
According to Schneiderman’s office, the legislator witnessed gas stations charging nearly $1 extra per gallon for the use of a credit card rather than cash, and he was shocked.
“Typically a driver will see the large sign in front of the gas station advertising the price and think that is what they will pay at the pump or something close to it if they use a credit card,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “However, there are several stations where the price difference is substantial and the consumer gets tricked into paying $20 or more simply because they used a credit card.”
The bill called for gas terminals to display, “You will pay _________ more per gallon for this credit/debit card purchase than if you paid cash. Press yes to proceed with this transaction or no to cancel.”
Schneiderman’s office said there is no legal authority to control the pricing, but something can be done to make sure customers are fully aware of the difference.
“Consumers using their debit or credit cards should receive proper notification from retailers of the price difference of a gallon of gas between cash and credit purchases before they consent to that transaction,” the legislator said. “A hardworking resident shouldn’t be caught off guard filling up their gas tank, that’s highway robbery.”
If the bill becomes law, gas stations will have six months to make the changes to the automated pumps. After six months, any operator who violates this law would be subject to a penalty of up to $1,000.