Some gas stations charge more for debit

July 10, 2008 7:39:21 AM PDT
Buyer beware! The price you see at the pump may not be the price you pay.

Some gas stations can get away with charging ten, sometimes 50 cents more for a gallon of gas and it may catch you off guard.

Experts say be careful when you see cheap gas.

It may cost you more if you're paying with plastic.

Some gas stations are trying to stay afloat by advertising a cash price, but then charge you more if you pay with a credit card ant it's legal.

"You got to have a sign on the road sign telling the consumer if they pull off the road, that price they see on the sign is what they're going to pay the cash price for," Jerry Butler, N.C. Department of Agriculture, said.

Gas stations have to label the pumps if they have so-called tiered pricing. If the pumps aren't labeled, the station gets a slap on the wrist.

"We go bye, we warn them, we give them so many days to get into compliance," Butler said. "If they don't, then of course, we'll tag the pumps, take them out of order until they do get into compliance."

There are gas stations with tiered pricing in North Carolina, but experts say it's less than 10 percent and it's mostly mom and pop shops that don't make a lot of money.

Randy Rhodes has seen his funds evaporate because of what some are calling the bait and switch prices.

"If you got cash, it's probably like a 20 cent difference versus credit cards," Truck driver Bre Williams said.

There have been complaints against Triangle gas stations, but the State Department of Agriculture says it's usually technical errors and are fixed right away.

Still, drivers are outraged that one price doesn't fit all.

"Three dollars a gallon cash, it should be three dollars a gallon credit card," Rhodes said.


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