Flying J Story Nets National Notice for Enterprise Reporting

Three recent issues of national convenience store industry trade papers quoted The Mountain Enterprise this week for its page one investigative story last week about Pilot Flying J’s alleged loss of $400,000 per month in California due to credit card fraud.

On September 17 and 18, the Convenience Store News carried two major stories about our reporting, as did CS

Our interview with Mitch Steenrod, the Knoxville, Tennessee- based chief financial officer for the largest travel center chain in North America, appeared to attract speedy attention from the industry and from Flying J’s headquarters.

Steenrod told Editor Patric Hedlund of The Mountain Enterprise that the loss was due to the "messed up" California legislature, while Enterprise Publisher Gary Meyer sat in on the interview.

When Hedlund researched Steenrod’s claim, she found that a California Supreme Court ruling was really the source of a temporary problem in asking for zip codes at outside pumps as a means of intervening in credit card fraud.

The California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown’s office took quick action to make it legal to continue the practice at outdoor pumps, with AB 1219.

But it appears that two years later Pilot Flying J still had not gotten that message… until The Mountain Enterprise wrote about the situation.

We’ll carry more reporting on this subject, and Pilot Flying J’s response, in an upcoming issue.

–The Mountain Enterprise staff

This is part of the September 21, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.