I see a sign tonight in the local 7-11 (7-Eleven) Store bragging about the 1.6 million signatures that they got in the guise of “Stop Unfair Credit Card Fees”, but is that the whole story? Did they really do that to help their customers? Or did they do it to help themselves. In other words to shift the fees over to the customers on their debit cards … and save themselves a boat-load of money in fees … and do nothing to lower prices (as was inferred) in the long run.
You’ve seen my petition and Molly Ringwald’s petition against Bank of America regarding their plan to assess $5.00 per month on everyone’s debit card who makes ANY purchases in that month, so you can see it is happening already. The banks got legislated out of billions of dollars in transaction fees … and they want their money back.
So you can see everyone BIG is still looking for a Bail Out. It seems like 7-11 was looking for a bail out for the fees they were getting, and Bank of America wants a bail out because they lost that fee income (related to what 7-11 and whoever else did?) … and so who gets screwed? The customers. The ones that for the most part can least afford it.
The following page is an interesting read on this:
“It’s surprising that 7-Eleven, a company that prides itself on convenience, would mount such an aggressive campaign against the most convenient form of payment. Even 7-Eleven itself has said many times that accepting payment cards increases their sales, enhances safety and convenience for store operators, and improves customer satisfaction,” said McWilton.
Over the summer, 7-Eleven and other convenience store operators ran a highly questionable petition drive, encouraging their customers to support legislation that would regulate the fees merchants pay for the many benefits they receive from accepting credit and debit cards.
Recent research found, however, that many consumers may have been duped into signing the petition. While initially many consumers said they would support legislation to regulate merchant fees, that support dramatically shifts to opposition once consumers understand the truth. A full 75% of consumers said they would oppose the legislation once they understood that it would cost them more through higher fees to use their payment cards.
“When you look closely at the petition, it looks like 7-Eleven sold consumers a bill of goods by implying consumers would save money if Congress regulates merchant fees,” McWilton said. “7-Eleven never mentioned what really happens when you regulate interchange fees and consumer support for their petition evaporates once they understand its consequences. Congress should not allow 7-Eleven and other merchants to use legislation to shift their costs to consumers.”
The consumer research, which was designed to assess consumer opinion on card acceptance fees and consumer perceptions of the recent counter-top petition promoted by 7-Eleven and other convenience store operators, found that three in four consumers are opposed to being charged more for using a credit card and 73% agree that the debate over fees is really just a fight between merchants and banks.
Highlights of the research include(1):
•Even among initial supporters, three in four (75%) oppose the legislation when it would end up increasing the fees they pay for their payment cards; including 55% who strongly oppose it.
•Almost three in four (73%) say that “the cost of accepting credit card payments” is something merchants should pay as part of their costs of doing business.
•Almost three in four (71%) agree that it would not be fair for consumers to pay the merchants’ cost of operating a credit card system.
•Almost three in four (73%) agree that paying for card acceptance is a good investment for merchants because accepting credit cards helps their business.
•Support for 7-Eleven’s petition was associated with a fundamental misunderstanding of the impact of reduced merchant fees on consumers. Of those consumers who were inclined to sign the petition, 80% mistakenly believed that consumers would directly and immediately benefit from a reduction in merchant fees.
“What is clear from the results of this survey is that not only do consumers believe that merchant fees are a reasonable cost of doing business and something merchants should pay, but they also recognize that a retailer’s acceptance of payment cards is an investment in growing their business,” said Miles.
Eric Grover, a principal at Intrepid Ventures, a leading payments industry consultancy, said: “In my view 7-Elevens’s campaign was willfully deceptive. It invited unsuspecting consumers to petition for government regulation that will cause higher card fees and a reduction of the benefits they take for granted. Would people have signed a petition asking them to pay additional fees on their credit and debit cards and give up benefits so merchants could pay lower fees? I doubt it. I find it troubling that merchants want Washington to get involved in what their fees are, rather than letting competition determine them.”
7-11 CEO says THANKS … They just saved a bunch of money on their car insurance (ahem… Card Transaction Fees) by switching to “Customers” (paying the fees for them.)
I initially thought: Oh great, 7-11 is also fighting the $5.00 fees banks want to charge us on our debit cards, but then I think I just realized that this was the same old thing from 2009 … that was 7-11 going against the fees that they had to pay. Someone tell me if I’m wrong, but 7-11 is “winning” like Charlie Sheen. And their customers are not. But we helped them win. Those that signed the petition anyway.
Oh Thank Heaven for 7-Eleven (?)
… Did things just get better or worse?