“We’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore”
7-Eleven Inc. said Thursday that its franchisees and store operators have collected 1.6 million signatures nationwide in its petition drive against what it calls unfair credit card fees.
The Dallas-based convenience store chain held the signature drive from June 22 through Aug. 10 at store counters across the country. The petition calls for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits credit card networks and card-issuing banks from charging “unfair” transaction fees.
“Consumer response to this grassroots petition drive exceeded expectations,” said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Customers share our frustration over the hidden fees that American retailers and, ultimately, consumers are forced to pay.”
The fees aren’t transparent and are assessed to store owners every time a customer uses a credit card, 7-Eleven said. The chain said fees cost American businesses and their customers $48 billion in 2008.
According to a 2008 study by the National Association of Convenience Stores, the average American convenience store owner paid 63 percent more in transaction fees than they earned in profits.
7-Eleven said convenience stores are unfairly hit because they generally have smaller purchases, which typically result in much higher rates.