No gas has been sold at the Conoco gas station at the Aspen Business Center since midday Tuesday because of a technology upgrade, according to the store’s general manager, Roxie Peterson.
Six gasoline pumps — technically they are called “fuel dispensers” — are being replaced to bring them into compliance with new standards created by an alliance of credit-card companies. The transaction technology at the old pumps made it possible for thieves to steal credit- and debit-card information, she said.
The work might be finished sometime today, Peterson said, adding that the new pumps did not arrive until Thursday afternoon.
“I can’t give you a definite answer because things have been changing daily,” she said. “We should be up and running sometime Friday.”
The project has had little impact on convenience-store and car-wash operations that are part of the same business, Peterson said.
In 2006, with permission from the federal government, the credit-card companies launched the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which works to deter financial-data theft. Deadlines were set to ensure that fuel retailers with pay-at-the-pump capabilities would become “PCI compliant,” according to Wayne.com, the website of a company that designs and manufactures versions of the new high-tech pumps. Retailers that don’t become compliant can be subjected to fines by the alliance.
“Retailers that handle payment cards should be in compliance with these standards to avoid fines and to protect their customers from financial data theft,” the website says. “PCI compliance is not a law, but all merchants who accept credit, debit or any type of cardholder payment could be subject to fines from payment brands or financial institutions, particularly in the event of data theft.”
The local Conoco station, convenience store and car wash — owned by a company called Aspen Petrol LLC — faced a Dec. 31 deadline to become compliant.
Peterson said signs were placed around the store, and area hotels were notified to let residents and visitors know that the fuel operation would be affected this week.
“We’ve still been quite busy,” she said. “People come in to buy cigarettes and empanadas.”
She added that she found out about the requirement in April, and it took several months to decide which dispensers to purchase and then many weeks for the manufacturer to make and deliver them.
“They really are pretty sharp-looking,” she said. “People are going to be happy with these; the information on the pumps is much easier to read.”
Aspen Petrol LLC — the business that operates the convenience store, car wash and gas station as well as buildings on and near the Baltic Avenue location in the Aspen Business Center — has been listed for sale since August. Commercial real estate broker Karen Setterfield said that there has been some interest in the business and its buildings but no actual bids so far.