Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced this week that he would ask the legislature to take action to prevent gas stations from posting low cash prices for gas while charging sharply higher amounts for those who use credit cards. In some cases, the difference is more than a dollar a gallon, Mr. Schneiderman stated in a press release.
Under a bill he has sponsored, the county would require that gas stations display the elevated credit card price at least as prominently as the discounted cash price for gasoline.
“Drivers are lured into the gas station by the large signs along the road displaying the price per gallon, only to discover that the price at the pump is significantly higher if they don’t pay cash,” he said. “This practice is deceptive and inconveniences drivers who will either pay the additional fee or have to get back on the highway to find another more affordable station.”
Earlier this year, Mr. Schneiderman sought to require these stations to alert consumers at the point of sale by including an electronic prompt at the credit card terminal warning the purchaser of the additional credit card charges. Gas retailers opposed the regulation claiming it was not possible for them to change the programming of the pump terminal in this way.
“Current gas prices are the highest we have seen in some time,” said Mr. Schneiderman. “More than ever, we need to protect consumers from additional fees that can be avoided.”
The legislation will come before the Government Operations, Personnel, Housing & Consumer Protection Committee on July 23.