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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Credit Card Fraud 

Bet you didn't know this one... use a credit card to pay for gas, and the credit card company gets a big chunk per gallon. Not a percentage of the sale, like they do in every other retail segment, but per gallon. Effectively, then, it's a private gas tax, and it's a lot more than you'd think, according to this article:
(Service-station owner Paul O'Connell) said credit-card companies have increased fees for gas stations that allow customers to use credit cards to pay for gasoline.

O'Connell said when gasoline cost $1.50, credit-card companies charged roughly 45 cents per gallon. But companies have pushed that fee up to 9 cents for every gallon sold.
So, tell me -- how is this legal? Forty-five cents on a buck fifty is thirty percent. True, at three bucks a gallon, the percentage is less usurious; "only" eighteen percent. But it's still theft, and I don't know where the credit card companies get off with this kind of armed robbery.

Oh wait. Yes I do. It's because your Congresspeople regularly bend over and take it up the ass from these robber barons. If they had any balls, they'd change the law regarding what credit card companies can charge -- say three percent over prime rate, no exceptions. But, as I've ranted before here, I don't see how any company charging a thirty percent interest rate on anything isn't brought to charges for usuary -- defined as charging excessive rates of interest on money.

So, next time you're filling up at the pump, don't bitch at the station owner. They have no control over their prices. But remember that you're paying about thirty-some odd cents per gallon in taxes, plus sales tax, plus half a buck to your credit card company, should you choose to buy your gas that way.

Meaning, in reality, that if you're buying your $3 a gallon gas in California, you should really only be paying $1.90 or so. And, at fifty bucks a barrel, the gas company only paid 70 cents a gallon.

Hm. Somebody is getting reamed with a gas pump here. The consumers and the franchisees who own the stations...

Comments:
I believe it's a decimal mark that's MIA. It's rather obvious that it's a 4.5 cent charge per gallon being raised to 9 cent a gallon. So the premise for your rant flies out the window. 45 cents a gallon! For goodness sake, is this the level of critical thought that goes into the all information you process?
 
Point taken, but there's still some shoddy reporting going on in there, and no correction to the original article yet. Still, since the credit card companies make plenty of money of the outrageous interest rates they charge consumers, they have no business double-dipping by charging retailers for the "privilege" of accepting their cards.
 
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