If plastic is your preferred method of payment for gas, then be prepared to cough up almost $1 more per gallon at a local Smithtown Mobil station.
Readers alerted Patch that Mobil gas station on Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown, off Old Willets Path, is charging customers paying with cash $3.88 per gallon for regular gasoline. The gas station's price increases to $4.78 per gallon for credit, a nearly $1 difference.
Customers looking for full-service at this station face an even steeper price. Customers here will pay almost $1 more, $4.79 per gallon of regular, to have it pumped for them and $5.69 per gallon to drivers paying for full service with plastic.
An employee of the Mobil gas station said the nearly $1 price difference between cash and credit was not a mistake, but an intentional decision by the station's management. He could not explain the reason for the surcharge, and managers were unavailable Friday morning.
A spokeswoman for Long Island Gas Retailers Association said gas station owners have the right to set a different price for customers paying with debit/credit, instead of cash.
A Wave gas station at 278 West Main Street, Smithtown, roughly 1.8 miles from the Mobile gas station, has a price of $4.03 per gallon cash and $4.13 per gallon paid by credit. Wave is a full-service gas station with no extra service charge.
Similarly, charges $3.96 per gallon of regular for customers paying cash and $4.06 per gallon credit. According to a handwritten sign at the pump, that price also includes a free coffee.
Tell us, would you use a station charging a $1 difference between its cash and credit prices, or is this price gouging?