State News

NC panel calls for more signs if credit gas price more than cash price

Posted August 10, 2011

— The state Board of Agriculture on Wednesday approved changes to the way North Carolina gas stations advertise the price of fuel.

The rule change is aimed at making it clear when there's a price differential between cash and credit card purchases.

Some gas stations offer a lower price on cash because they don't have to pay a credit card processing fee.

Standards Division Director Stephen Benjamin says some rural gas stations have pumps that can only calculate the cash price, even though the credit card price might be different.

Under the change, stations will have to clearly post signs to draw customers’ attention to the difference in price for credit card payments.

The change still must be approved by the state Rules Review Commission before it can take effect.


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  • Cahulawassee Aug 16, 2011

    skinnygranny, there's a slight difference between a private vendor providing merchant accounts with contractual obligations and governmental price controls, but carry on. You look great, btw.

  • skinnygranny Aug 11, 2011

    "commonsense - would you support the same type of governmental price controls for business owners who sell other products like food, books, and clothes?"

    They alreadt do, so use your COMMONSENSE.
    It's illegal to charge a card holder more for using a CC or to have a "minimum purchase" requirement to use a card. It's also against VISA and NASTERCVARD merchant agreement.
    If you are charged more for using a CC, you can contact you bank and they will chargeback the amount over the regular price.
    You see a lot of "minimum purchase" signs because consumers are too ignorant to know that it is illegal and a violation of the MA.

    "A Merchant must not directly or indirectly require any Cardholder to pay a surcharge or any part of any Merchant discount or any contemporaneous finance charge in connection with a Transaction. A Merchant may provide a discount to its customers for cash payments. A Merchant is permitted to charge a fee (such as a bona fide commission, postage, expedited service or co

  • Cahulawassee Aug 10, 2011

    commonsense - would you support the same type of governmental price controls for business owners who sell other products like food, books, and clothes? Or are you just singling out gas station owners to have their pricing managed by the government? Do you know what we call societies where all pricing is determined by the government (besides failed)?

    It's a basic economic rule that prices rise (and fall!) in anticipation of future rises and falls. This affects essentially everything with a price, including workers wages. The same rule you propose which would cap the price of gas would also prevent it from dropping and helping the consumer when oil futures drop, which does happen. Gas station owners would buy less gas so that they could manipulate their prices more frequently and pass on the costs of the extra deliveries to consumers.

    Trying to solve economic problems with big government usually backfires, particularly for the consumers.

  • CharmedLife Aug 10, 2011

    When gas is delivered, they drop each grade of gas into it's own tank. There aren't any dividers. I've signed for so many gas drops, it's pathetic!

  • reallypeoplenc Aug 10, 2011

    How about passing a law that states gas stations can't raise the price until the tanks are depleted, and they have to purchase more gas at the new "higher" price. What does it matter, people don't read the posted price anyway because if they did, they wouldn't purchase it a one station when it is 5 cents per gallon cheaper directly across the street.

  • Big Mike Aug 10, 2011

    In ground tanks are 8000 gallons and have dividers for the different octanes..

  • CharmedLife Aug 10, 2011

    Usually the store's manager will ride a certain distance (bout maybe a 5 mile radius) to check on competitor's gas prices. They then report those prices to the main office and they'll let the manager know if they need to change the prices and to what price.

  • floomamia Aug 10, 2011

    Most of the gas stations that do this are ones that have tractor trailers filling up there with there big 200-300 gallon tanks.

  • wdprice3 Aug 10, 2011

    To correct all of you people assuming stores can't offer cash discounts:

    Always treat Visa transactions like any other transaction; that is, you may not
    impose any surcharge on a Visa transaction . You may, however, offer a discount
    for cash transactions, provided that the offer is clearly disclosed to customers
    and the cash price is presented as a discount from the standard price charged
    for all other forms of payment"

  • wdprice3 Aug 10, 2011

    "It is my understanding that part of the agreement signed to allow you to accept credit cards is that you do NOT offer lower prices for cash only. They will cancel your service if they find out about something like that."

    You incorrect. The wording is the issue; look at a Visa Merchant Agreement. Retailers may offer cash discounts but may not assess a surcharge on credit card purchases. In the end, it's the same difference, but Visa, etc. care about the wording.