CHICAGO (CBS) — Gasoline prices are at record levels in Chicago, and now some drivers are being charged extra just for using a credit card.
It’s happening at a BP gas station in south suburban Matteson. And it’s a big violation of credit card rules
CBS2’s Dorothy Tucker checked out an e-mail complaint that came from a viewer.
In her email, the woman explained how she needed some gas, but only wanted to put $5 in her tank.
“When I stated to the attendant that I wanted $5, she stated that any amount of gas purchased under $10, one must pay a 25 cent fee,” she wrote.
The BP station sits on the corner of Crawford and Governors Highway in Matteson. Gas is advertised as $4.46 a gallon for regular. There were no visible signs that said the station would charge a fee for gasoline credit card purchases under $10.
CBS 2 went inside to put $5 in the tank, the clerk warned we would have to pay 25 cents extra to use a credit card.
Cordell Rush got the same warning.
“I don’t think that’s fair at all. Most people don’t have much to pay extra for gas.” Rush said.
The station said he’d call the owner for a comment about the fee, but instead called the police.
We left and called the two biggest credit card companies. According to both Visa and MasterCard it’s against their rules.
Visa spells it out: “A checkout fee, or payment card surcharge, is an unfair surprise fee.”
“They should take his credit card machine.” said Ash Zayed, owner of the Citgo station at Vollmer and Cicero in Matteson.
Ash Zayed is the competition. He owns the Citgo station down the road. He lists two prices: $4.45 if you pay cash, $4.55 if you use your credit card.
Credit card companies say this is acceptable because the merchant is offering you a discount for paying cash. Zayed believe most merchants know it’s a violation to offer one price, but charge a fee for credit.
They do it anyway, Zayed said.
“With gas prices so high merchants get greedy.” he said.