KENNER, La. - When you pull up to the gas pump, you assume the price for a gallon of regular unleaded is what's at the top of the sign, right?
Well, that's not necessarily the case at one gas station in Kenner and it has some customers saying they feel misled.
“I was like, well, ok that is a good price,” thought Doris Martin when she went to gas up at the Shell Station at the intersection of Williams Boulevard and 32nd Street.
She said Wednesday that she felt she was going to get a good deal, and that’s why she stopped. Martin thought she would pay $3.29 for a gallon of regular unleaded. But after paying at the pump with a credit card, her receipt showed she was charged $3.45 a gallon.
“I was like, oh my gosh. That's not the price what was advertised,” Martin said.
Turns out, the “cash” and “credit” prices were posted on the digital sign along Williams Boulevard. But some customers said they thought the two prices were for regular and premium, not cash and credit.
“It's very misleading because the larger sign has the lesser amount so you would think that's what you would be paying for regular gas, but it's actually not,” said customer Michelle Roop, after Katie Moore pointed out to her the actual price she paid using a credit card.
“We understand that a gas station is allowed to charge two different prices, one for cash and one for credit. So, they're really not doing anything wrong when it comes to that,” said Better Business Bureau Vice President Cynthia Albert.
But she said many people don't know that.
The La. Department of Agriculture, which regulates gas stations, says the price also needs to appear correctly on the pump itself.
The owner of the Shell at Williams and 32nd, Abe Doumani, said the per-gallon price changes based on the payment method customers choose. Doumani told us on the phone that he's trying to offset credit card fees and that, "The sign is very clear with a cash price and a credit price."
He said other gas stations use a similar pricing structure in Louisiana and other states and that customers are responsible for paying attention. Louisiana regulators say they’ve only seen it used on diesel fuel at truck stops, not for regular unleaded, but it’s not violating any laws.
“I was just so mad,” Martin said.
You can bet customers like her won't make that mistake twice.