Senator Lee Zeldin Targets Gas Stations Providing Misleading Prices at Pump

Lee M. Zeldin

April 24, 2012

Announces Details of “Buyer Beware” Legislation to Protect Gas Station Customers

Hauppauge, NY- State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley), Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, held a press conference today detailing his legislation designed to protect consumers at the pump.

Senator Zeldin started drafting this legislation after reports surfaced across Long Island and the NYC Metro region of gas stations charging differences of at least $1, and upwards of $2, between the cash price on the street sign and the non-disclosed credit price.

“This legislation will help end the deceptive practices that some bad actors are using to lure consumers into their stations from the street using deceptive pricing schemes. Once in front of the pump, consumers then learn of the scam when they notice that non-advertised credit prices are as much as 1 to 2 dollars per gallon more,” said Senator Zeldin.

The details of the legislation, which Zeldin unveiled today, would require gas stations charging more than a 7% per gallon differential between cash and credit prices to display the higher prices on a sign visible from the road. These unscrupulous business owners will have to display the higher price for every grade of gasoline that there is more than a 7% difference between the credit and cash price.

There will also be harsh penalties for violation of this legislation, including a five hundred dollar fine in the event of non-compliance for a first offense, and a one thousand dollar fine for subsequent offenses. Upon a third offense, a business shall also be forced to shut down for a period of ten days or until the business comes within compliance, whichever is later.

Zeldin also gave examples to the media of several gas stations that are charging at least a $1 more than the advertised street sign price. They include: Gulf, 286 Express Dr S, Medford, NY 11763, Islip Mobile, 3239 Sunrise Highway, Islip Terrace, NY 11752, Gulf, 4909 Sunrise Hwy, Bohemia, NY 11716, Gulf 410 Wheeler Road, Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1395 Veterans Hwy, Islandia, NY 11788, and Mobile, 819 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787.

The legislation, which will be introduced this week, will be referred to his Consumer Protection Committee for consideration. If enacted into law, this legislation will take effect within 30 days of the Executive’s approval.

“While the majority of gas station owners and operators respect their consumers, we have an obligation to help reveal the deceptive pricing schemes of the bad actors,” concluded Senator Zeldin. “Nothing is more powerful than informed consumers deciding to either pay cash, or give their business to a different gas station. Government’s role is to pass on the tools consumers need to identify the businesses that are attempting to rip them off.”