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Thread: Store charging a fee if you don't use cash?

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    L8 Nosey spoofee member Mrseric's Avatar
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    Store charging a fee if you don't use cash?

    good morn!

    Does anybody know the anwser to this, it's been bugging me all morning.

    Long story short, I was charged a fee at a gas station I have never been to today, when I didn't have cash. I used my Visa debit card and they charged me a buck when I went inside to pay. The amount isn't the issue, I'm not being petty, the whole "fee if not paying in cash" thing threw me off. Is this even still allowed?? Maybe it is and I just have not come across it, but the clerk (whom I believe is the owner of the business) said to me "Our fees are way too high, that is why you pay a fee".....

  2. #2
    It's like déj- vu again spazntwitch's Avatar
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    They are not allowed to do it according to their merchant agreement. Does your card have a Visa or Mastercard logo on it? If so, call up the 800 number on the back to complain. They should remove that fee.

    By the way, any store that charges a fee for using a card is in violation of their merchant agreement. The fee could be a minimum charge (such as must purchase at least $10 worth of goods to use card), a per gallon fee (5 cents per gallon for fuel), or any other type of fee that charges you more than the cash price. (The only exception to this rule is something I see in Utah: if you go to a computer parts store they offer one price. But if you pay by cash, they reduce it by 3%.)
    Last edited by spazntwitch; 08-02-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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    Goody 2 Shoes Goddess TY precocious's Avatar
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    It's very common in New Jersey to see a "Cash" price and a ~.10 cent more "Credit" price per gallon of gas. I've seen it in other states as well.

    Yup, I don't like it as well, I don't carry much cash around.
    Dr. Preco, I hold a license to practice on Uranus.

    Anyone seen my pen?

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    L8 Nosey spoofee member Mrseric's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both!
    I did call the 800 number on the back of my Visa debit card, like Spaz suggested. Spoke to a woman who didn;t know the correct answer so she eventually put her supervisor on the line. Told her I wasn't arguing the amount, just needed to know if they were allowed to do that. She told me that it's perfectly legal for them to charge me a fee as long as they told me about it before they swiped my card. (I had already got gas in my truck and in a gas can for the lawnmower, I had to say yes to pay for it?!) Anywho...won't be going back there anytime in the near future! Again, thanks for the info

    Same here, preco, I never have more than $6-8 cash...I use my debit everywhere.
    Last edited by Mrseric; 08-02-2011 at 09:40 AM. Reason: typo

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    ever present Birdhunter_007's Avatar
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    The place I work at has an employee discount of cost + 10% for cash, or cost + 13% if paid by card.........
    If you choose not to decide,you have still made a choice........

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    Lets' go Yankees! JerryP's Avatar
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    Does this apply to places that have a sign up that says, "minimum credit card use $7.00" or whatever $ amount?

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    It's like déj- vu again spazntwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryP View Post
    Does this apply to places that have a sign up that says, "minimum credit card use $7.00" or whatever $ amount?
    That is also against the merchant agreement. They should not be able to do that. (This said, however, it appears that credit card companies are now turning a blind eye to the practice.)
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    L8 Nosey spoofee member Mrseric's Avatar
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    Most of the smaller private owned gas stations down here (NC) have signs up stating they have a minimum for debit/cc use, most are like $5.00 minimum. I had never been charged a fee though, to use my debit, except at certain ATM machines that are not affiliated with my bank.

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    L8 Nosey spoofee member Mrseric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazntwitch View Post
    That is also against the merchant agreement. They should not be able to do that. (This said, however, it appears that credit card companies are now turning a blind eye to the practice.)
    Technically, there is nothing that can be done, though...right? I mean, wouldn't you have to alert the company they use for their credit card machine?

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    It's like déj- vu again spazntwitch's Avatar
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    Yes and no. When you alert your bank (the number on your 800 card) then they should dispute the charge(s) on your behalf. I am sorry to hear that your bank did not do so.

    I had several issues back in 2009 with charges like this. I finally contact the Chevron Consumer Affairs Group ([email protected]) because it was a Chevron gas station. This was their reply to me on October 2, 2009 (and yes, I do save ALL my e-mails and other correspondence).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevron Consumer Affairs Group

    FILE NUMBER: 00xxxxx - xxxx

    Hi xxxxx,

    Thank you for taking time to contact Chevron Corporate regarding your concern. I apologized for all the inconveniences. About your concern for the credit card surcharge, according to (MS- 128 Guide), the Chevron or Texaco's card acceptance policies and procedures #2 Any Chevron or Texaco station whether it is a corporate station, or a Retailer - owned and operated station do not impose a surcharge, service charge, or require a minimum charge amount for any credit card or ATM/debit card transaction.

    This will be escalated to the proper channel and we will now start to course your concern. You will receive updates either via email or a phone call.

    We appreciate the time you have taken to contact us and welcome the opportunity to respond to your concern.


    Sincerely,

    Maria Teresa Palma
    Consumer Connection Specialist
    Consumer Connection Center
    Chevron Products Company
    PO Box 4000
    Bellaire, TX 77402-4000
    Attention: Consumer Connection Center
    Phone Number: 1 800 962-1223
    Fax Number: 1 866 756-1522
    Email: [email protected]
    In short, you can still fight, but whether it is worth the money is up to you.
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    It's like déj- vu again spazntwitch's Avatar
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    As a sidenote, I fought because it amounted to several dollars over many months. The owner of the facility refused when I asked him to not charge on a single purchase I had made; he wouldn't play nice with a small purchase so I gathered all my receipts for Chevron corporate. The station owner's attitude was actually quite aggressive and offensive, and when his station finally closed, I knew that he had run all of the customers off with that same behavior.
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    L0 N00b wvchica's Avatar
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    Gas Stations

    In my area, gas stations will typically charge $1 to make sure the card is valid. At least, this is what I have been told. In my experience, the $1 fee will disappear from the account and you will be charged the proper amount.

  13. #13
    Lets' go Yankees! JerryP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrseric View Post
    down here (NC) have signs up stating they have a minimum for debit/cc use, most are like $5.00 minimum.
    In New York City the "lowest minimum" I've seen is $7.00. Everything is more expensive here, even getting bad service.

  14. #14
    L8 Nosey spoofee member Mrseric's Avatar
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    Wow, this is all interesting. It amazes me how little by little (even in the tiniest increments) your money "can be" filtered away from you when you don't even realize it, or , when you let it be.
    This was definitely a learning experience and I do thank you for sharing your own with me!

  15. #15
    It's like déj- vu again spazntwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvchica View Post
    In my area, gas stations will typically charge $1 to make sure the card is valid. At least, this is what I have been told. In my experience, the $1 fee will disappear from the account and you will be charged the proper amount.
    This is simply an authorization, and not a true fee, per se. They do this because they don't know how much to charge your card initially, but as you state to ensure the card is valid. Once you finish pumping gas then they charge the full amount and the $1 authorization charge disappears.

    And you are welcome Mrseric. Good luck to you!
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