Petrol pumps refusing credit cards: report

Ministry of Economy says accepting credit cards is not mandatory

Many petrol stations in the UAE are refusing to accept credit cards from customers and insist that they must pay cash in their purchase deals, a newspaper reported on Wednesday, quoting clients.

While some of the stations accept visa cards, others refuse to sell petrol unless the customers pay cash on the grounds there are no official regulations compelling them to deal in credit cards, Emirat Alyoum said.

It quoted customers as saying the Ministry of Economy, which is responsible for consumers’ affairs, should intervene to force petrol pumps to accept credit cards following its decision allowing the stations to take Dhtwo commission on cards.

But the paper quoted Ministry officials as saying some petrol stations may not have credit card handling machines or are simply told by their suppliers to accept only cash, adding that there are no rules forcing them to accept credit cards.

“I went to fill my car at an ENOC station in Our Maitha in Dubai last week but the worker there said no credit cards are accepted on the grounds they do not have a machine,” Muheeb Ghassan told the paper.

“The worker told me that he has no idea about the recent decision by the consumers protection committee about the Dhtwo credit card fee at petrol pumps…I then went to some other stations but they all refused…it was very embarrassing for me as I had no cash and my car tank was almost empty.”

The paper quoted another customer, Omar Hussein, as saying he was also rebuffed at some petro pumps in Dubai.

“I went to an Emirates petrol station in Sheikh Zayed Rd to fill my tank but the worker told me he has instructions not to accept visa cards…I then went to an EPPCO station near Safa Bridge but was told the same…I thought these rules are in Dubai stations but I faced the same situation in Sharjah stations.”

Two other men said they could not use their credit cards at petrol stations in Qusais and the Silicon Valley area after they were told no machines were available there. They said workers there appeared to be unaware of Ministry of Economy regulations about the use of credit cards at petrol stations.

“The use of credit cards at petrol stations is not mandatory but an optional process,” the paper said, quoting Ministry of Economy Undersecretary Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehi.

“We have received reports about the refusal of credit cards by some petrol stations….but it is clear that this is because they do not have the proper machines or their machines are not ready yet.”

He said instructions had been sent to all petrol stations in the UAE to accept credit cards and deduct Dhtwo fee in every transaction.

“We urge all stations to install those machines quickly to make it easy for the consumers and tourists….the Ministry’s decision about credit cards is intended to benefit those stations as it will increase their income.”

 

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