Visa no longer everywhere Flying J wants to be

| 5/18/2007

Beginning in late May, it seems customers will no longer be able to use Visa credit cards at Flying J outlets, a Utah-based truck stop chain which Forbes Magazine recently dubbed “the largest retail distributor of diesel fuel in North America.”

Last week, truckers reported to Land Line Magazine they had seen signs at Flying J pumps saying Visa would no longer be accepted.

A customer service employee for a local Flying J confirmed to Land Line that the new rule will take effect on Friday, May 25.

However, the credit card company is not aware of the truck stop chain’s decision to not accept Visa cards, said Visa spokeswoman Randa Ghnaim.

Ghnaim told Land Line that any move to keep Visa users from paying at the pump could be bad for all parties because truck stop sales are driven partially by convenience.

“Any form of electronic payment in our eyes is definitely a good thing because it’s helping consumers and businesses make more efficient payments and faster payments,” Ghnaim said. “When was the last time you filled up at the pump and actually had to walk in to pay your bill?”

A Land Line reporter called a Kansas City-area Flying J location and was forwarded to a customer service receptionist. The receptionist – who would only identify herself as Tori – told Land Line on Tuesday, May 15, that the decision to ban Visa cards was made “to continue to provide for our professional drivers with the most competitive fuel prices nationwide.”

Virginia Parker, a Flying J spokeswoman in Ogden, UT, said the company was crafting a response to questions posed by Land Line and declined to directly confirm whether Visa would be accepted at fuel pumps. Parker said the Visa issue was “complicated.”

Ghnaim said she didn’t remember the last time a major retailer banned use of Visa cards.

“Any merchant has the choice of accepting Visa or not accepting,” Ghnaim said. “I’m assuming you’re calling me because customers like using our cards at truck stops… We’re really out to help people use more convenient forms of payment versus cash and checks.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer