Big Difference Between Cash And Credit At Long Island Gas Stations

SMITHTOWN, NY (CBSNewYork) – You know what they say about things that are too good to be true.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

Driving along Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown last week, a Mobil gas station was spotted with a sign for $3.88 a gallon, a good ten cents cheaper than all the other stations around.

Only when WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman pulled up to the pump he realized why. That was the cash price. For credit, it was $4.78 – 90 cents more.

“There’s one guy out there who just… he has his own pricing philosophy. Let’s put it that way,” said Michael Watt, who runs the Long Island Gas Retailers Association. “I know I personally, I would never pay that. I would pull out.”

He says a 10 cent difference is reasonable.

It’s not just one guy, though

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County consumer affairs says they’ve gotten plenty of complaints about rising credit prices that you can’t see from the road.

But the thing is it’s perfectly legal.

“There’s somebody down the block looking to put that guy out of business. So you go over there and help him,” said Watt.

Sen. Charles Schumer recently wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to require both cash and credit prices on signs visible from the road.

Do you know of any stations with a huge difference between the cash and credit prices? Please list them below!

  • Dave L

    The Mobil in Smithtown on the Corner of Old Willets Path and Jericho Tpke as mentioned in the story today is $1 difference between cash & credit. I pulled in to see if my Mobil card would give me the cash price and it did, paying $3.99 for diesel instead of $4.99. Historically this stations is substancially higher than any other in the area besides the Sunoco at Rt 111 & Maple Ave in Smithtown. At $3.99 a gallon for diesel he was cheaper than the station I usually use at Jericho Tpke & Southern Blvd.

  • Tony Receniello

    The Mobile gas station on Wicks Rd. & the LIE South Service Rd. is charging almost a dollar more per gallon for credit card purchases. This is criminal & should be investigated.

  • Michael Watt

    How come Senator Schumer – or anybody else – doesn’t get upset that the banks charge service stations close to 10 cents PER GALLON to use bank cards at the pump? That’s often more per gallon than the service station earns!

  • daily driver

    I,for one, do not carry $60 in cash around with me to fill up my car, so I find stations that don’t overcharge to use a credit/debit card. Some do consider debit the same as cash, though. It’s sad that in this tough economy, instead of being honest and helping others out, gas station owners have to rip people off.

  • Milan Sivacek

    Gas stations say it’s a DISCOUNT for cash, not a credit card SURCHARGE. Huh??

  • Justice

    It is ONE dealers who ownes over 30 sites in Nassau and suffolk counties, the only way to stop him is to BOYCOTT his sites, so check the signs carefully and PULL OUT if you see a huge difference, even if you are paying cash! There are honest Gulf, Mobil and BP dealers that would love your business. Support the honest dealer and lets put this guy out of business once and for all.

  • DP

    New York State General Business Law, Article 29A, Section 518 states:

    § 518. Credit card surcharge prohibited. No seller in any sales
    transaction may impose a surcharge on a holder who elects to use a
    credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means.
    Any seller who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty
    of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars
    or a term of imprisonment up to one year, or both.

    In 2008, then Atty General Cuomo issued a press release announcing an investigation.

    But it appears they all decided NYS law doesn’t mean anything if it is too inconvenient to enforce it.

    • Michael Watt

      Service stations are not allowed to charge extra for purchases made by credit card., They are, however, allowed to give a discount to customers who pay in cash, and that is what a lot of them do.

      • DP

        Surcharge = credit cost – cash cost = discount. Playing with words does not change the meaning.

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