FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2018
Contact: Scott Alonso, 925-957-8638
Chevron to Pay $100,000 in Civil Penalties for Failing to Comply with State’s Gift Card Redemption Laws
Martinez, Calif. – The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced today that its Consumer Protection Unit joined with the District Attorneys of Riverside, Yolo and Santa Cruz Counties in a civil law enforcement action against Chevron U.S.A. Inc. for failing to fully comply with California’s gift card redemption laws. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. is an international corporation with its headquarters located in San Ramon, California.
The civil action was based, in part, upon undercover District Attorney Inspectors randomly surveying 55 Chevron Stations throughout the state to determine whether they were in compliance with the law that requires card issuers, like Chevron, to pay gift cardholders in cash or check when the balance on the card dips below $10.00.
Additionally, at stations that charge different prices for a cash purchases versus a credit card purchases, District Attorney Inspectors were tasked with determining whether the stations were appropriately charging the cash price when a gift card is used for the purchase. The law requires that stations charge the cash price when a gift card is used for the purchase. In several instances, some Chevron stations failed to charge the cash price.
Without admitting wrongdoing, Chevron agreed to pay $141,000 in civil penalties, restitution and costs. The judgment also prohibits violating applicable laws and requires Chevron to institute a compliance program. That program includes procedures to ensure that store personnel, both corporate employees and independent retailers using the Chevron logo, are advised to instruct gift cardholders with balances under $10.00 on the mechanism for redeeming these gift cards for cash or check and signs to that effect must be posted at the point of sale, on the Internet and on the back of the gift cards.
Once these violations were called to the attention of Chevron management, Chevron has been extremely cooperative in working out a resolution.