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DALLAS -- In what company officials call an overwhelming referendum for Congressional action, 7-Eleven Inc. franchisees and store operators collected more than 1.6 million signatures in the "Stop Unfair Credit Card Fees" petition drive -- what the company believes is the largest number of signatures collected for a public policy issue on record.
Thousands of 7-Eleven franchisees across the country asked customers to support their neighborhood stores by signing petitions calling for Congress to pass legislation that prohibits credit card networks and card-issuing banks from charging unfair transaction fees, and the drive ran from June 22 through Aug. 10, at store counters coast to coast, the company reported.
"Consumer response to this grassroots petition drive exceeded expectations," Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven president and CEO, said in a statement. "Customers share our frustration over the hidden fees that American retailers and ultimately, consumers are forced to pay. They too, want Congress to take action to regulate these unfair fees, which are the highest in the industrialized world."
Additionally, 7-Eleven is bringing eight store operators to Washington D.C. who represent the various U.S. divisions where stores are located, so they can present nearly 15,000 petition booklets to their Congressional representative. Store managers will also participate in a press conference Sept. 30, at the U.S. Capitol.
Credit card companies typically levy more than $2 in fees for every $100 consumers charge at American businesses. Convenience stores generally have smaller purchases, which typically result in much higher rates, the company stated.
For example, with the recently published rate hike by MasterCard, if a customer uses a MasterCard Pin Debit card to make a $1 purchase at a convenience store, the charge to the merchant would be $0.20, or 20 percent of the transaction -- nearly twice the current rate, according to the company. Rules set by the card companies require retailers accept cards for all transactions, and 7-Eleven stores are not allowed to set a minimum sale amount for card use, which would help them avoid these outrageous fees, the company stated.
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