I received several $50 gift cards for Exxon Mobil this Christmas. The cards were payed for with cash (I asked my Aunt, who gave them to me), and the card clearly states on the back “This gift card is not a credit card”. When I went to use it at my locall Mobil (Astoria Blvd in Queens, NY), they charged me the credit price! I went in to complain, but the clerk mumbled something that I couldn’t understand and I was in a hurry. Just wanted to alert your readers… Exxon Mobil gift cards are a bad deal. Cash will go further.
PS. Is is even legal to have a credit price in New York?
Nine states in addition to New York prohibit merchants from adding surcharges to credit card transactions: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas. Credit card issuers, including Visa and MasterCard, generally forbid credit card surcharges too–although they allow cash discounts.
A lot of gas stations seem to be ignorant, willfully or accidentally, about the surcharge issue. If you live in a state that forbids them, you should report the station to your attorney general’s office. If you live in another state but you think the sation is in violation of its credit card merchant agreement, you should contact the credit card company and the parent company of the gas station. And buy your gas elsewhere.
In this case, Rob, you should definitely report the station to the New York Attorney General—their consumer helpline is 1-800-771-7755.