2012-09-14 / Community

Council Provides Consumer Friendly Gas Tips

Given the recent surge in gas prices, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, along with Councilmembers Daniel R. Garodnick and Lewis A. Fidler, announced plans for helping make sure that consumers are protected during this period. First, the Speaker and her colleagues have announced a series of tips for buying gas for the 3.4 million New York City residents with driver’s licenses. Second, they also announced that the Council Committee on Consumer Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on September 20 to review New York City gas station compliance with laws and regulations related to consumer protection as well as the Department of Consumer Affairs’ enforcement activity. Finally, the Council will consider a bill that will require gas stations to have signs clearly indicating whether it is charging different prices for credit/debit cards and cash and what those prices are. GAS BUYING TIPS:

Make sure to thoroughly read signage both on the road and over the pump relating to pricing.Many gas stations charge a discounted price for cash purchases — be aware that the road sign might reflect a discounted cash price and you will pay more for a credit and/or debit card purchase.

The following are great websites that tell consumers where the lowest priced gas is sold in their area. Plan ahead to save money: www.gasbuddy.com and www.fuelmeup.com

Additionally, the following City Law protects New Yorkers at the pump:

Local Law 38 of 2006 prohibits gas stations from raising their gasoline prices within a 24-hour period.

The Councilmembers also announced that new legislation sponsored by Councilmember Fidler will be considered that would clarify credit versus cash prices for gasoline on road signs. It would require all signs advertising the price of gasoline and/or diesel motor fuel to disclose the total selling price for cash and credit card purchases.

“The Council’s hearing will examine compliance and enforcement of gasoline price related laws and regulations,” said Quinn. “Common sense tips for buying gas along with current and proposed legislation designed to protect consumers demonstrates the Council understands that New Yorkers are facing record high prices at the pump.”

“New Yorkers are feeling considerable economic pressure these days, and now they are getting hit harder and harder at the pump,” said Garodnick, chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs. “As gas prices rise, we need to be even more vigilant to ensure that the City is protecting consumers from unknown charges or other unscrupulous practices.”

“Despite the many blessings of our mass transit system, cars are still a necessity for many of us in New York City,” said Fidler. “So, as gas prices go up, that means that all of those necessities of life – whether it’s buying groceries or picking the kids up from school – become that much more expensive and difficult for the average New Yorker. Fuel prices are a bigger problem than our City can solve by itself, but I’m proud to stand with Speaker Quinn and my fellow Councilmembers to use the power of information to reduce that burden as much as we can.”

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