GEORGE TOWN: Motorists here are fuming over the sudden move by petrol stations here as well as Kedah and Perlis to refuse payment by credit and fleet cards.
The decision was made following a meeting in Butterworth at 3.30pm yesterday to discuss a circular by the Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia, which had sent out a notice to 3,200 members nationwide advising them to refuse all cards.
More than 400 stations in the northern region decided to enforce the move and started refusing the payment from midnight.
In the meeting, Mobil Stations Malaysia deputy president Roslan Jamaludin said petrol station operators could no longer shoulder the burden of the card charges.
“We lose nearly 50% of our profit to card transactions. How are we going to cut costs if everyone uses cards for their purchase?” he asked.
He added that operators agreed to this “business decision” for “long-term survival” and to highlight their plight to the Government.
Motorist Zafran Zakri Mohamad, 37, said the petrol station operators should not be heartless.
“We are struggling to cope with the recent increase in fuel price. We thought we could depend on credit cards when we run out of cash.
“But now we cannot not even use credit cards. And to impose such a ruling at a time of month when most people are running out of cash is really unacceptable,” said an irate Zafran.
Car rental agent Kintan Natasuri Aziz, 40, who uses the fleet card, said the new ruling would pose much inconvenience to him, as he has to travel outstation to send and pick up cars for rental.
“We also do not carry much cash,” he said.
Another motorist, Maisarah Khairul Anuar, 27, said that if petrol station operators were unhappy with the interest imposed by the banks then they should take it up with banks.
“They should not make consumers suffer,” she said.
Ryan Tang, 31, a graphic designer, said it was not right to immediately implement such decision without giving prior notice to customers.
“What if we run out of petrol after midnight when the ATMs are closed and we cannot withdraw money?” said Tang.
– The Star