From: in2dadark on
Friday, 10/02/09

7-Eleven® Store Operators Deliver Record-Breaking Petition to Congress
on Credit Card Fees

Leaders Call on Congress to Pass Legislation that Stops Unfair and Non-
negotiable Credit Cards Fees

Washington, DC – Today, in an unprecedented call for urgent
Congressional action, 7-Eleven® CEO Joe DePinto and 7-Eleven® store
franchisees from around the country presented more than 1.66 million
customer signatures to Congress collected during its “Stop Unfair
Credit Card Fees” petition drive. The 1.66 million signatures are
believed to be the largest number of signatures collected for a public
policy issue on record, beating a health care reform petition
submitted to Congress earlier this year with 1.3 million signatures.

“Consumer response to this grassroots petition drive exceeded
expectations,” said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven® president and CEO.
“Customers share our frustration over the hidden fees that American
retailers and, ultimately, consumers are forced to pay. They, too,
want Congress to take action to regulate these unfair fees, which are
the highest in the industrialized world.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Peter
Welch (D-VT), who have both sponsored legislation addressing the
issue, offered their support for the petition delivery event.

“I commend the 1.6 million 7-Eleven customers who delivered petitions
to Congress today,” said Chairman Conyers. “In 2008, the average U.S.
family paid an estimated $427 in interchange fees, nearly triple the
amount they paid in 2001. With consumers being squeezed from all
sides, and big banks receiving federal bailouts, it is time that banks
and merchants come together to negotiate fair interchange rates. My
legislation, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009, will return
fairness to the setting of interchange rates and level the playing
field for merchants and consumers. I hope these petitions provide the
momentum necessary to address this important issue.”

“Vermont’s country stores and ‘mom and pop’ shops have been unfairly
penalized for years by large banks and credit card companies seeking
to make a quick buck. Swipe fees rip off small businesses and the
consumers who end up paying the price,” said Congressman Welch. “The
franchise owners here today and the millions of signatures they have
gathered are a testament to the importance of ending this unfair

Thousands of 7-Eleven® franchisees across the country asked customers
to support their neighborhood stores by signing petitions calling for
Congress to pass legislation that prohibits credit card networks and
card-issuing banks from charging unfair transaction fees. The
signature drive ran from June 22 through Aug. 10 at store counters
coast to coast.

Leaders, flanked by boxes containing 14,000 petition pads, called on
Congress to pass legislation that stops credit card companies from
charging unfair, non-negotiated transaction fees. Interchange fees
aren’t transparent to the consumer and are assessed to store owners
every time a consumer uses a credit card. These charges result in
higher prices, which are borne by all consumers, whether or not
customers use a card or cash.

In 2008 alone, these fees cost American businesses and their customers
$48 billion. According to the National Association of Convenience
Stores (NACS) 2008 State of the Industry data, on average, an American
convenience store owner paid 63 percent more in transaction fees than
they earned in profits.

The 7-Eleven franchisees in attendance include the eight of the most
successful signature-gatherers among 7-Eleven’s 6,300 participating
stores. Following the press conference, the franchisees will
personally deliver petitions to their Members of Congress.

Contact: Taylor West

September 30,