Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    9:24 AM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Suggest a GasBuddy improvement > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: Flag stations that upcharge for Credit Cards Back to Topics
rastadok

Veteran Author
Florida

Posts:290
Points:13,295
Joined:Oct 2012
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 4:30:13 PM

Some stations advertise one price, but it's only for cash or for holders of their proprietary credit card. They upcharge for VISA or M.C. It would help to level the playing field for us drivers.
REPLIES (newest first) Topic is locked
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 3:25:51 PM

phleagles writes: "The credit price should be used as the standard."

That makes little sense. When stations are dual priced they post the CASH price on the street sign. Most prices are posted from the street sign as most do not drive in and fill up at many stations in a day (an many don't in a week).

msjohndeere writes "when I imput a price and see that there is a difference I post the credit price, who carries cash anymore? "

Well, I am like you can carry and pay by credit. BUT, more and more folks are carrying cash these days (those that did not know how to properly use Credit Cards and got burned, or used DEBIT cards and caught by holds due to not having a financial buffer). BUT, the FACT is that the FAQ was changed by the OWNERS of the site to require CASH to be posted when there is a difference. As much as I hate the fact that the CASH price is posted, it makes sense - See my response above to phleagles.

Now many are asking for fields for both cash and credit. That is fine and dandy, but WON'T solve the problem. Unless the stations are required (like apparently in CA)BOTH prices street side, we will have pricing confusion.

Therefore, I am suggesting as a short term improvement to the situation that the PTB at GasBuddy consider putting a DURABLE flag on stations that are DUAL PRICED at the MSL level that shows on the price board.
Profile Pic
msjohndeere39
Rookie Author Tampa

Posts:4
Points:30,370
Joined:Nov 2012
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 10:55:46 AM

when I imput a price and see that there is a difference I post the credit price, who carries cash anymore?
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,324
Points:4,013,405
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 2:57:01 AM

phleagles writes,
> The credit price should be used as the standard.

That discussion has been had several times already, with individuals on each side of the argument, and the GasBuddy organization currently not on your side. If you want your statement to be taken seriously, you'll need a stronger argument than "should be".
Profile Pic
phleagles
Rookie Author Reading

Posts:12
Points:386,465
Joined:Mar 2012
Message Posted: Dec 7, 2012 12:16:28 AM

The credit price should be used as the standard.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 7:57:04 PM

@ Scoutmaster - What can I say - it's name says it all!

@ Crap - Upcharge for credit/ discount for cash - all the same thing. The OP just wants a flag to level the playing ground so those that do use credit can best figure out where to buy gas to THEIR best advantage.

With a flag, when I see a station with 3.35 with a flag, and one with 3.37 without a flag, I will go to the one without the flag if planning on paying with plastic. Since there are no dual price fields* a flag is what will let the CC user have knowledge to help them find the BEST PRICE for them.

It has nothing to do with the decision of the station to dual price, and everything to do with the consumer having as much info as possible to make the best decision for THEM.

* Even with two sets of fields for cash and for credit, the problem will come from those that report off the sign and not know if cash or credit and put it in the wrong fields. So, the flag would still have value for the user of CC/DC for those stations.



[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/26/2012 7:58:19 PM EST]
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 26, 2012 8:23:27 AM

Has anyone else noticed Crapulent is all over the board? Pick a side man!
Profile Pic
Snowchoux
Champion Author Missouri

Posts:1,003
Points:145,635
Joined:Sep 2012
Message Posted: Nov 25, 2012 1:13:51 PM

I didn't know stations still did that.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 25, 2012 12:11:38 PM

Crapulent - you seem to take the term "flag" as a negative, as in flag them to not use them. That is not the intent at all.

The flag is to provide the most information to the consumer as possible for the consumer to make the best decision for them - not for you, not for the bank, not for the station, not for the card processor, but for the individual buyer.

There are many reasons some may chose to pay by cash (pricing only being part of it, but the fear, or inability to properly use or obtain a credit card may also play a role for some people). For others, they may use a credit card for many reasons as well, such as convenience, using an employer supplied card for work, or using a card to track reimbursement for work related travel. Personally, when I travel for work, I don't want to carry excessive amounts of cash, but prefer to use the credit card.

As for the stations, they must, as I have said before chose the best model for them. There are many cost factors besides the simple swipe fee, such as loss of business, staffing to handle more inside payments. Each station must due that analysis themselves looking at their distinct business model and circumstances.

Around me, I would say the dual priced stations are <25% of the stations, and to date, in MY area, I can find cleaner, more convenient single mode stations whose posted price is the same or less than most of the dual priced stations - BEFORE adding in my 5% cash back.

The reason for posting CASH price goes beyond just the CASH VS CREDIT, but is because the CASH price is usually the lower price, and in places where (apparently unlike CA) they are not REQUIRED to post both cash and credit, it will be the CASH price posted at the CURB, which is where >50% of prices are probably posted from. I don't know about you, but I post what I see on the SIGN for most of my prices except when filling up every 1 - 1.5 weeks and I actually drive up to the PUMPS.

The flag is NOT about restricting the gas stations from dual pricing, and I have never supported that sort of restriction. It is ALL about knowledge - giving the consumer the most information/knowledge to make the most informed decision they can.

[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/25/2012 12:13:53 PM EST]
Profile Pic
Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

Posts:58,744
Points:2,432,720
Joined:Nov 2005
Message Posted: Nov 25, 2012 4:49:00 AM

Around here, usually the stations that have a two-tier pricing plan charge what other stations of the same brand charge for credit card purchases for cash, and charge extra for credit cards. They are doing you no favor. Not only that, you can almost always beat their cash discount with a rebate-paying credit card.
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,324
Points:4,013,405
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 25, 2012 2:15:28 AM

Customer A only buys (using cash) at stations that are dual-priced, because he doesn't want to be subsidizing the credit-using customers. Customer B only buys (using credit) at stations that are single-priced, because he doesn't want to be paying more for using his card.

You know what? They're both right. The free market price might well be something like "3.55 cash, 3.59 credit" and "3.57, cash or credit" for a given station, and they have to decide which model to go with. Feel free to make your own decision about it. Don't get angry at anybody who makes the opposite decision. Let's have a group hug.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 24, 2012 8:21:48 AM

So Crapulent you think credit card companies should let merchants accept their products for free?
Profile Pic
NYCmob79
Rookie Author Long Island

Posts:21
Points:4,350
Joined:Apr 2012
Message Posted: Nov 19, 2012 10:47:43 AM

I have a few suggestions:

1. Make it part of the Station Master feature set. (what would Canada & rest of the people not having this different cash/credit stations care then?)

2. Flag it, I don't know how, be creative :)
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 17, 2012 10:29:42 AM

scoutmaster "Thanks for the feedback Don. I understand what you are saying but the current site does allow for each area to post what is common for their area which does allow each site to have their own posting method. This can be communicated via the stick topic in the forums of each site."

The only problem with this is those traveling having to stop and look up rules every time the pass from one site to another.

I still say at least a dual price flag, and another would be to make the comments durable - when entered they stay until someone blanks them out or over-writes them. But, that also has some downsides.

Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 17, 2012 7:53:05 AM

Thanks for the feedback Don. I understand what you are saying but the current site does allow for each area to post what is common for their area which does allow each site to have their own posting method. This can be communicated via the stick topic in the forums of each site.
Profile Pic
dk50b
Rookie Author New Jersey

Posts:29
Points:183,405
Joined:Jun 2004
Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 8:36:51 PM

I was called out a while back for posting the cash price and noting the credit price. Since then I have been posting credit price and noting discount for cash. The change in posting procedure took me completely by surprise, and I am guilty of correcting members posting the cash prices. If any of you are reading this, sorry!

As for the cash/credit issue, there should also be a requirement to note there is a cash/credit difference everywhere a member is aware that one exists. Posting the cash discount would be optional.

Here in New Jersey, cash discounts are now more common than single pricing. Every station must post both prices on the street price signs. Since I rarely pay cash, I try to confirm the entered price is good for credit. Today, for example, I made a trip to where there were several stations where gas was .25/gal cheaper than where I live, and most did not have a credit surcharge. Since I wanted to gas up before getting on the highway, I also checked the stations at that location. The prices were the same, and no one had noted a credit surcharge. When I got to those stations, every one had a $.10-.15 surcharge. Had I known, I would have filled up earlier.

I think posting only the cash price without any indication the credit price is higher deprives us credit using people of the ability to make an informed decision. Credit surcharges here are generally $.10/gal, but I've seen as high as .25/gal.

Profile Pic
Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 3:42:32 PM

scoutmaster,

"I feel the cash/credit posting should be based on the area."

Many would agree, but because there are so many of them, the sites are all designed on the same 'base code', there are virtually no differences in each site's design. There are a large number of areas where cash/credit prices do not exist, no matter what prices are displayed. That's a large factor when considering why a cash/credit system has not yet been implemented. Another way to look at it, we show Regular, Midgrade, Premium, and Diesel as reportable fuel types because these are available pretty much everywhere.

"In my area, there are very few dual priced and cash only stations. We still post the credit price and notate the cash discount in the comments."

I would strongly recommend that you and other users in your area then refer to the local area level price posting guidelines and the FAQ on how to properly report cash and credit prices on GasBuddy.

Thanks for your feedback.

-Don
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 7:31:19 AM

Scout - In most areas they do not put both cash and credit on the street signs. Most folks don't pull in to check the pump unless they are actually filling their vehicle or buying stuff in the store (I sure hope most people aren't paying premium in these stores for routine purchases). So, I suspect that MOST prices are posted from the sign (evidenced by often only one price updated as more and more stations only post Regular, or Regular and Diesel at the curb).

I suspect that was part of the decision to change back to cash. As I understand it, cash was originally what was in the FAQ, then it changed to credit and now changed back to cash.

For that reason, I suggested the durable flag. These dual priced stations will always have a risk of different prices being posted by posters (visitors included), and one (except I understand in California), will never know for sure if it is the cash or credit price or what the markup for credit is at said station.

I avoid the brands I know that tend to be dual priced, especially at night when in my area it is hard to see the "Cash" hang tag on the side of the Street Board. I chose the closest priced station that I know is NOT dual priced and can usually beat or meet the cash price even w/out my CB on my CC.
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 6:56:52 AM

Don,

When I joined GB posting the credit price and notating the cash discount in the comments was the way to post. Now that has changed to posting the cash price and notating the credit price in the comments. In my area, there are very few dual priced and cash only stations. We still post the credit price and notate the cash discount in the comments.

I feel the cash/credit posting should be based on the area. If cash and/or dual priced stations are the norm, then post the cash price and notate the credit price in the comments. If there are few dual priced/cash only stations, post the credit price and notate the cash discount in the comments.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:04:52 PM

Don, when GB was developed, your system worked. But, with the increase in price and increased number of stations with dual pricing, and the number of people that use plastic for various reason, it would be very beneficial to have a flag to indicate those stations that have dual pricing.

I have never disagreed with the change of the FAQ back to posting cash prices and have often explained the logic to those that say we should be posting the credit price. BUT, the fact is that many folks do not like to carry large amounts of cash when traveling, and business folks often put things on the card for tracking expenses easier for reimbursement/taxes.

With the number of cards (general cards, not club cards) out there that offer a cash back/reward, the lowest price is NOT always the cash price.

For me, the station that is 2 cents higher than the "CASH discount" priced station is less expensive than paying cash or credit at the dual priced station.

I know most of the stations around me that are dual priced, but when I leave my normal routes, I don't know - especially when traveling beyond my own county.

The reason for reporting CASH price is really not as much about reporting the LOWEST price, but the most accurate price - which is the price on the sign. I have yet to see a dual priced station post the higher credit price.

Please, please consider a flag. I feel it is of more value than offering two sets of fields just because of accuracy since most states do not require both to be posted curbside on the big sign (except California).
Profile Pic
NYCmob79
Rookie Author Long Island

Posts:21
Points:4,350
Joined:Apr 2012
Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 6:56:24 PM

So without getting off topic then the best course of action if possible by GasBuddy would be to add to the list of features a gas station has: Different Cash/Credit.

I've noticed three different type of models:

Same CASH/DEBIT/CREDIT
Higher price on DEBIT/CREDIT
same price on CASH/DEBIT, higher on CREDIT (Very few)

Thanks.
Profile Pic
Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 11:47:21 AM

GasBuddy was originally developed to help users share the lowest fuel prices in their community. With this in mind it was decided the cash price should be reported over the credit price, this is because in areas where cash/credit prices are applicable, the cash price is the lowest price available to everyone (outside of club cards, memberships, and other discounts).

You can find more info in your local area level price posting guidelines or the FAQ for more info.

-Don


[Edited by: Don at 11/15/2012 11:48:59 AM EST]
Profile Pic
rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

Posts:24,862
Points:3,793,750
Joined:Oct 2002
Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 7:52:09 AM

Dollarama takes debit cards, because it is a flat fee, likely 12 cents depending on who their contract is with, they do NOT take credit cards.
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,324
Points:4,013,405
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 7:05:07 AM

bmcrobOH writes,
> Nothing is more irritating then to pull into a gas station that advertises a low price to find out that is the price for cash only

Oh yeah? How about when you're hiking in the woods and you need to pee and it turns out that the location you picked is home to a nest of bees? I bet that's more irritating. Wait, did I go off topic again?
Profile Pic
bmcrobOH
Champion Author Toledo

Posts:2,677
Points:578,700
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 7:42:07 AM

Nothing is more irritating then to pull into a gas station that advertises a low price to find out that is the price for cash only and there is another price for charge cards. I'm beginning to see more stations post both prices on their signage, so the customer can see in advance. They must be getting tired of getting yelled at about the issue. Again I agree we need some kind of flag on stations that have the different prices.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 7:16:00 AM

I never said it was fair or that I liked the business model for swipe fees, but as long as businesses accept that model, it will remain.

Funny thing - around here, the cash discount places are not the lowest price - they may be among the lower priced stations, but there are plenty that match them.

Would I prefer that the card processing was a flat fee? Probably - but there might be other consequences and shifting of fees if mandated by law.

Still, got to wonder why the Dollar Trees and Dollar whatever stores are now taking cards when they never used to take them.

YMMV.

The more regulations force no fees/less fees in one area, the higher they go in other areas.

Still - the topic is a flag to identify the dual priced stations - and I have been advocating for a durable flag for quite some time on the forums.



[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/14/2012 7:18:19 AM EST]
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 7:11:13 AM

Actually, it's the credit card companies not the banks who are charging a transaction fee for credit cards.
Profile Pic
rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

Posts:24,862
Points:3,793,750
Joined:Oct 2002
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2012 2:14:44 AM

A bank does little to warrant a percentage of all transactions WITH NO LIMIT. It costs no more for a computer to process a $100 fill than it does for a $50 fill, so banks have been making out like bandits every time the price of gasoline goes up.
Yet, when I use my debit card, whether I am buying $10 or $50, the station, using the same network that carries a credit transaction, bills the station about 12 cents.
I repeat, the banks are the reason some stations offer a discount for cash transactions, and SOME stations, as well as some stores, take no credit cards at all.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2012 10:52:11 PM

Rumbleseat - My response was to your statement "Why do people not insist on going after the banks who are actually the ones who charge for credit card use? Why villify station owners/managers who have no choice but to incur these charges?"

I was giving my input as why not to "villify" the station owners/managers or the banks. The banks offer a service. The stations can buy that service or not and can decide on their best pricing model for THEIR business. If the banks start losing too much business, they can chose to lower their swipe fees or stop offering the service.

As for the customers, they can decide which stations provide the best value (which may not equate to price), and buy their gas at those stations, be it cash only station, dual priced, or single priced.

I have been suggesting a durable flag for dual priced stations for some time, and have been supportive of the rights of the stations that decide it is their business model to charge the dual prices.
Profile Pic
rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

Posts:24,862
Points:3,793,750
Joined:Oct 2002
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2012 10:08:18 PM

TXJeans, my reply concerning a flag was to the ORIGINAL POST.
"Topic: Flag stations that upcharge for Credit Cards".
Profile Pic
CityCouponer
Champion Author New Orleans

Posts:2,129
Points:440,850
Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2012 8:17:17 PM

Dual pricing should be clearly indicated on signs listing prices. Stations should be required to post prices for all grades (not just regular).
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2012 7:46:12 AM

People don't realize this is the cost of doing business.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2012 7:24:31 AM

Rumbleseats - the merchant signs the agreement with the CCCs. They must consider that in the cost of business. They have a choice of not accepting debit and / or credit cards, or doing the "dual pricing" or single pricing. Just the same, the customer has a choice of which form of payment they use and which type of station they use.

It is not a blame game. And, the flag is not for a "cash discount" or a "credit surcharge". It is a flag indicating that the station has a dual pricing mode. Especially - since posting of prices is supposed to be the price on the sign (cash, or cash/credit) at the curb.

Around me, the dual priced stations do not offer a significant price incentive to pay cash, so I continue to pay credit at the single priced stations and with my cash back card, I beat their cash price or within a penny. The stations I go to are easier access, and cleaner, newer and better lit than most of the dual priced stations (except one Shell that is not convenient for me to stop at).

I shop for value. IF cash becomes enough cheaper, to move the value point for me, I will pay cash. In the meantime, I like to know if the price I see is cash only so I can make better informed decisions knowing that around me the differential has not been more than 10 cents a gallon. I want to know when on the highway if I have a bird in the hand at 3.XX for a single priced vs 3.XX + credit differential at the next exit down the expressway.

Simple.

[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/13/2012 7:25:23 AM EST]
Profile Pic
Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:16,300
Points:2,694,220
Joined:Sep 2006
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2012 12:09:11 AM

Whether or not the fault lies with the station owner or the credit card company seems irrelevant. It would be nice easily see if a station is dual priced. If it is, one who has a credit card that offers a rebate should be skeptical of a low price posted for such a station.
Profile Pic
rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

Posts:24,862
Points:3,793,750
Joined:Oct 2002
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 10:52:00 PM

Considering stations can't surcharge for credit card, it would have to be a flag for stations that offer a discount for cash to the customers that are considerate enough to keep the stations from incurring the charges from their banks.
Why do people not insist on going after the banks who are actually the ones who charge for credit card use? Why villify station owners/managers who have no choice but to incur these charges?
And before anybody says it is the same thing, read an agreement that has to be signed before ANY merchant can accept credit cards. Pick any provider you wish, all merchant agreements have similar clauses.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 11/12/2012 10:55:30 PM EST]
Profile Pic
maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

Posts:20,826
Points:1,145,970
Joined:Feb 2011
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 8:08:59 PM

The durable flag is an idea that TxJeans suggested some time ago and would allow users to know that a stationed used a dual pricing strategy.

[Edited by: maxstar at 11/12/2012 8:11:34 PM EST]
Profile Pic
scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,213
Points:3,590,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 7:37:43 PM

CK adds everything to the list no one ever reads.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,133
Points:635,810
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 7:05:38 PM

CK - this has been suggested many times as a durable flag that indicates it is a dual mode station so when traveling you don't go for the extra cent or two down the road at a dual flagged station when you plan on using a CB Credit Card and there is a station almost as good w/out the flag.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:11,527
Points:1,844,065
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 5:35:15 PM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new topic on an existing subject.

This suggestion is sort of a stripped-down version from past ideas. He is suggesting only that a cash-credit price differential's existence be noted (vs. indicating the amount). By "flag" it would seem that he is requesting a check box or something similar.
Profile Pic
chambleetiger
Sophomore Author Atlanta

Posts:227
Points:453,625
Joined:Aug 2008
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2012 4:48:57 PM

How would you propose doing this? in the comments section? this is a common practice in SC - with super low gas prices but not her in GA
Topic is locked Back to Topics