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1% surcharge on petrol at Caltex Braddon

By toriness - 31 December 2007 15

I was en route to my millionth silly season/xmas shutdown drinks/catch-up this afternoon and had to stop by Caltex in Braddon to fill up the car, and when I got to the counter to pay I was informed there was a 1% surcharge for using my VISA. This was after I had already handed over my VISA to pay and it had been swiped through ready for my signature, although at the same time I will give SOME credit for there being a sign on the pump (which I hadn’t noticed but my partner had and pointed out to me after I returned to the car ranting and raving about it) and the counter which I also hadn’t noticed. The sign listed about 7-8 different cards (forgive me but I only recall VISA which is what I use for credit) which now will all be charged 1% surcharge for purchases.

Can other RA’ers please post whether they have noticed this at other Caltex stations in Canberra? Or any other petrol stations in Canberra? I for one will be sourcing other petrol stations who do not enforce such a fee. I DO realise that business owners cop a charge themselves for credit card purchases – but seriously, AS IF the major chains like Caltex have not already built this charge/fee into their pricing. What a joke!

I use credit for my convenience – not through necessity – so if this sort of charge becomes standard then I will just use cash for my purchases, and businesses can waste their time going to their financial institution to bank the notes instead of benefitting from use of electronic payment facilities.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
1% surcharge on petrol at Caltex Braddon
Erg0 3:44 pm 17 Nov 10

The fact that Qantas charges twice as much for two $100 tickets as for one $200 ticket would put them in the “not a shining example of a justified surcharge” category.

bundybrett 3:23 pm 17 Nov 10

i have a servo and im an independent its hard to compete with big companies and the profit in fuel for me is only 3 cents per liter and when credit cards are used i am charged 1.2% when fuel was $1.50/ ltr then 1.2% is around 2 cents that leaves me with a profit of 1 cent per liter or for every $15 of fuel sold i make about 10 cents???
Because i dont have the buying power of the big companies i cannot be competitive so if i factered in the cost on my price board i would not sell much fuel.
i believe it dose not penalise the card users but allows us to advertise cheaper fuel (by 2 cents less than it would be if the card fees where factured in) and more so reward the cash paying customers by not inflating the board price by bank fees.
Lets face it if you use your card the bank makes money dont you think they make enough?????

popgoescanberra 9:26 pm 03 Jan 08

Making everyone else wait for you? It doesn’t take that long.

Adza 1:54 pm 03 Jan 08

These surcharges have been around for years. I’ve also noticed it on petrol bowsers for years.

I thought everyone knew about them… some people must live in caves though.

sepi 5:01 pm 02 Jan 08

I don’t get it either.
I hate those people who are paying off their mortgages by putting all their pay straight in there, and then living off credit. Credit cards were never intended to be for buying a litre of milk etc, and making everyone else wait for you.

dalryk 3:54 pm 02 Jan 08

I don’t get the outrage being displayed over charging for credit cards. Some crap about how it should be ‘factored into the prices’ and/or ‘I don’t see why I should have to pay for it’.

If the cost is factored into the price, firstly you *are* paying for it, but secondly, everyone else (paying by cash or EFTPOS) is paying for it as well. Essentially, you’re expecting everyone else to subsidise your convenience, and in doing so continuing to support a system that is overly costly and inefficient, that benefits banks and credit card companies at the expense of the consumer. It’s exactly what the Reserve Bank was trying to address by making credit charges legal.

How about, you choose the payment method, you bear the cost? You value the convenience, then you pay for it.

Mr Evil 3:18 pm 02 Jan 08

JD, lots of places have this surcharge now for using a credit card – QANTAS is one that springs to mind.

JD114 2:16 pm 02 Jan 08

Thanks for the heads up. Any servo that wants to charge cc fees will be selling petrol to someone else, not me.

CCs have been around long enough and are so dominant as a form of payment that any business that hasn’t factored the cc charge into their margin by now must expect the FJ Holden to be their primary source of revenue.

I don’t have a problem with a merchant refusing to take a CC such as Amex and Diners, but I value the convenience of the CC, and knowing how much it saves a business in cash-related expenses, I don’t see why I should be expected to cover the CC percentage myself.

Perhaps a minimum fuel purchase for CC purchases of $30 or so would be fair?

groonsnout 9:24 pm 31 Dec 07

as a small (small to large) business owner I can tell you that you do not get slapped for visa/mc more any more than normal eftpos. And that’s the usual merchant fee for the unit, plus the phone call for the transaction plus the $xxx for the transaction (fixed). Where as diners/amex attract between 3.4% and 4% and take up to 8 weeks to come through on on our account once their slice has come through. We make it very clear on customers accounts that if they are paying with amex we charge the 3.4% (exactly what they charge us) and sometimes when you get a $20,000 account paid, the $680 in fees makes all the difference.

VYBerlinaV8 2:15 pm 31 Dec 07

I always pay cash for fuel anyway.

Spectra 1:22 pm 31 Dec 07

I for one will be sourcing other petrol stations who do not enforce such a fee. I DO realise that business owners cop a charge themselves for credit card purchases – but seriously, AS IF the major chains like Caltex have not already built this charge/fee into their pricing.
Naturally that’s your right as a consumer, however I’d point out that as a franchise, it’s ultimately the franchisee, quite possibly a small business owner, who would ultimately be bearing the cost. It’s not necessarily some big, faceless multi-national who is simply engaging in screwing every last cent they can out of you. Not this time, anyway 😉

paperboy 12:39 pm 31 Dec 07

A quick google search came up with an indication that lots of privately franchised Caltex Stations are starting to introduce the surcharge. This site http://www.calgraphics.com.au/documents/credit_card_surcharge.pdf
gets franchisees to download a form so that ‘calgraphics’ can make up the correct format displays for various areas (counters, pumps etc) advising of the percentage increase that applies. And it doesn’t appear that there’s a limit to the percentage surcharge, because that’s the info the franchisee has to supply.

Ozhair 12:37 pm 31 Dec 07

I noticed this at a servo last week, but can’t remember which one.

Anyone else feeling slightly cynical that these new charges have come in just as petrol prices are coming under greater scrutiny? 😛

grundy 10:04 am 31 Dec 07

I noticed the new charges on the pump at the Caltex in Lyneham yesterday. (Before I went to pay :P)

But I also noticed that of the 8 or so cards it listed, Mastercard and VISA were NOT on the list.
It only listed unusual card types like ‘Fleet’ cards.
Did you have a specific card type you used? Because it looked like generic MC and VISAs avoided the 1.5% (I’m sure it was 1.5 at Lyneham) charge.

burninator 9:45 am 31 Dec 07

In August 2002 the Reserve Bank of Australia released three credit card related reforms. One of these removed credit card rules that prevented merchants from recouping the cost of merchant service fees directly from consumers who purchased goods or services using a credit card. This means that from 1 January 2003 consumers could be charged an additional fee when they purchase goods or services with their credit card.

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/5969/fromItemId/3667

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