: Buying Gas in The States at the Pumps


shoe
May 28th, 2010, 09:16 AM
Anyone ever travelled to the states lately and found the "convenience" of sliding your card at the pump not so convenient when they suddenly ask you for your zip code?

At 1st I hoped it was a "where are you from survey" so 90210 :lmao: went right in but nope didnt work.

Id like to find a way around the "whole" process instead of guessing what Im going to need to fill up and getting that pre-authorized and or worse having to leave my card with them while I fill up.


Ya I guess the obvious answer is cash but who wants to carry around 300 bucks american on top of your spending money.

I wonder if i could go to shell or Exxon or who ever and get some type of debt/gift card?

SINC
May 28th, 2010, 09:54 AM
I used my CCs at the pump last summer in MT, ID, NV, AZ, UT, CO, WY and was only once asked for a zip code. Just slid it in, then out and put in $75 which was the limit. I often used a second and third CC to fill the motor home at the same pump to get around the $75 limit. (I could not use the same CC two or three times to fill.) The one time I was asked for a zip code, I pushed the speaker button and told the attendant I was Canadian and he authorized the pump manually.

Rps
May 28th, 2010, 09:54 AM
I've never had that happen. My spidey sense tells me that there is so much credit card fraud going on that it might be a good check if you are the actual owner of the card........

RunTheWorldOnMac
May 28th, 2010, 10:05 AM
You could always pay after you fill up... or am I missing something? I always fill up, and then pay.

Rps
May 28th, 2010, 10:06 AM
Not sure if this is the case, but I found many locations were pay first.

SINC
May 28th, 2010, 10:16 AM
Yes, without a credit card, you must pay first at many stations or alternately leave a cash deposit or your driver's license with the attendant. Same stupid rules apply in most BC service stations.

dona83
May 28th, 2010, 11:35 AM
I've never been asked for a zip code in the states.

SINC, BC's "stupid" rules was in response to the dragging death of a gas attendant who tried to stop a gas and dash criminal... I'm all for it if it makes the attendants' lives safer.

SINC
May 28th, 2010, 11:43 AM
I've never been asked for a zip code in the states.

SINC, BC's "stupid" rules was in response to the dragging death of a gas attendant who tried to stop a gas and dash criminal... I'm all for it if it makes the attendants' lives safer.

I'm aware of that, but when the total population is inconvenienced due to one lone incident it is overkill in the extreme. No one likes to see that type of thing happen, but to penalize everyone is, well, like I said, stupid. If a guy in BC kills someone with a bat next, should they ban all baseball?

The attendant involved in that incident should have simply called police. Had he done so, he would be alive today and those gas rules would never exist.

eMacMan
May 28th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Even cash is a pain as they want you to pre-pay. This forces you to go in, pay more than the tank will hold, insist on a written receipt (If they don't trust you you should not trust them), then come back in and get your change.

The purpose here is to force you to use a credit card. Obviously the claim that it is to prevent drive-offs is complete bull. The additional money lost to CC fees far exceeds losses to drive-offs.

I did find that getting away from the interstate and patronizing the smaller mom & pop stations solves the problem completely.

On the rare occasion when I had deal with one of these PIA stations I left the keys at the counter then come back in and pay. I also told them how much the system insults me and suggested that if they really think I am so senile that I would drive off without paying they could come out and fill the tank for me.

MLeh
May 28th, 2010, 11:49 AM
Pay at the pump options exist. I use a Shell 'Easy Pay' card. No inconvenience at all.

whatiwant
May 28th, 2010, 12:11 PM
The attendant involved in that incident should have simply called police. Had he done so, he would be alive today and those gas rules would never exist.
I'm not sure that this logic is foolproof as I'm sure the gas station/company would probably be pretty pissed that they're losing their $$$. I'm not sure the pay before you play rule exists solely to keep station attendants alive so much as it is to make sure the companies get their money. Maybe attendant's lives are just a smokescreen to a larger picture?

turbomac
May 28th, 2010, 12:18 PM
Paying at the pumps sucks, period. Especially when some of these gas stations are huge. Yall gotta walk 100 paces or so, walk back to your vehicle and then go back in to get the change, and it's -25c outside. Some of them didn't even let me buy smokes and wouldn't take my passport/drivers license too for ID. Dam American cousins....wsup with yall?? LOL.

turbomac
May 28th, 2010, 12:19 PM
Opps....I mean't pre-paying....not paying at the pumps. LOL...stupid.

FeXL
May 28th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Fueling up shouldn't be a half day ordeal...

Haven't run into the Zipcode issue (if I did, I have a shipping addy in Montana, I could just give 'em that one...), but BC's Shell's practice (don't know if the other brands are the same or not...) of only being able to put in $100 worth of gas before the pump turns off and you need to re-insert your CC, then re-insert your air miles card and then start afresh chafes my privates.

I don't stop for fuel until the damn tank is MT, which means that the 'Burb will generally take at least 150 litres. Hey, I took the time to stop here and not the other station half a block down. At least let me fill it without grief...

Talked to one of the fine barely English speaking CSR's at 1-800-SHELL once, told him that the idiot who thought that one up shoulda been given a promotion & a raise. Of course, there was no response. Very polite, that guy, but ya couldn't pry an answer outta him...

Funny, never run into that problem in Alberta.

And, if, by chance I do run across a station that is prepay (which I did near Bozeman, Montana two years ago), I move on to the next station. Apparently they don't need my business...

vfr
May 28th, 2010, 04:34 PM
In my travels through <bleepin'> Yankee-land, I found that most gas stations these days insist on prepay when it comes to cash payment. The further west you go, the more prevalent this policy. Except in Oregon, where a gas attendant has to pump the gas (state law). Boy did they get miffed when I started pumping it myself the first time I gassed up in Oregon not knowing they did things that way.

madhatress
May 28th, 2010, 06:02 PM
I ran into this issue recently at 2 gas stations in Brooklyn, NY. Resulted in a freeze being put on my corporate CC for fraud. As I didn't have any cash on me, I wound up taking it back to the rental place and paying them the extra $$ for returning it without a full tank (well, the company did).

My cousin later told me the same is true of stations in FL.

alef0
May 28th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Pay at the pump options exist. I use a Shell 'Easy Pay' card. No inconvenience at all.

You used a canadian shell card?

shoe
May 28th, 2010, 08:58 PM
My cousin later told me the same is true of stations in FL.


It happened to me in every state I stopped in on my way down to florida both along 95 and up 75 on the way home. happened at different companies so wasnt isolated to just say shell or exxon.

It didnt happen in Port Huron ( across from Sarnia) though wonder if there are so many canadians using the pumps they just said forget it. There was one station in Florida it didnt happen at as well.

tilt
May 28th, 2010, 10:42 PM
It happened to me in the LA area; and in Chicago last week. It happens only in pumps inside city limits. Once you get onto the highways the cards work properly.

The problem is that the credit card has to be an American card where the address of the card-holder has to match the zip-code entered.

I have fought with two pump-cashiers in the LA area and left un-filled and had to go to the highway; and in Chicago last week the cashier took pity on me and held onto my card while I filled up and then charged my card for the right amount.

Quite inconvenient and tourist-unfriendly.

Cheers

bsenka
May 29th, 2010, 06:01 AM
Some local stations are moving to pre-pay as well. I won't do it. I keep a mental not of the places that let me pay after I fill, and only go there.

eMacMan
May 29th, 2010, 10:24 AM
Some local stations are moving to pre-pay as well. I won't do it. I keep a mental not of the places that let me pay after I fill, and only go there.

Our local 7-11 went that route. Two other stations that charge the same price and fill your tank for you are most grateful for the additional business, as are the two that just go ahead and trust you to pay.

zlinger
May 29th, 2010, 01:04 PM
I found that most gas stations these days insist on prepay when it comes to cash payment. The further west you go, the more prevalent this policy.

I live near the border and often travel to Bellingham for gas, groceries, etc. and have noted there are actually quite a few gas stations that allow you to pump first, pay after (during daytime hours)... or at least leave drivers license with attendant.

Many places also give you a $.10 per gallon discount for paying cash. A few days ago, I paid $2.69 per gallon = $.71 per litre US or $.75 per litre CDN.

jimbotelecom
May 29th, 2010, 05:06 PM
Just returned from a trip into the south and no problem charging gas to my master card or Amex. What I was suprised by is there is no boycott of BP gas stations considering the mess in the Gulf.

Paddy
May 29th, 2010, 05:32 PM
There is only one reason that gas stations insist that you pay before you pump - it's because they get so many thieves who pump and dash without paying. It's not some heinous plot to inconvenience you or anything else - it's so that they don't lose their shirts.

Check this out: GAS THEFT.COM - vehicle and license plate database - where gas theives get caught (http://www.gastheft.com/)

Random Fact: In 2004 (on average) one in every 1,100 fill-ups was gasoline theft. At a penny per gallon profit, a retailer would need to sell an extra 4,000 gallons to offset each $40 stolen.

Profit margin is razor thin, so gas theft really does hurt: Coffee, bread are how gas stations really profit - Retail - msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23904590/)

I have a friend in MA who owned a station on the Lawrence/North Andover border and theft was a constant problem and got worse whenever gas prices went up.

As for the pumps asking for your ZIP code, this is not new and it's to validate the CC, as someone who has stolen a card isn't likely to know the rightful owner's ZIP code. As such, it's not a bad method of fraud prevention, though can be a pain for those using non-US credit cards.

ZIP code turns into a fraud deterrent - The Boston Globe (http://boston.com/business/articles/2006/03/17/zip_code_turns_into_a_fraud_deterrent/)

eMacMan
May 29th, 2010, 08:28 PM
There is only one reason that gas stations insist that you pay before you pump - it's because they get so many thieves who pump and dash without paying. It's not some heinous plot to inconvenience you or anything else - it's so that they don't lose their shirts.

Check this out: GAS THEFT.COM - vehicle and license plate database - where gas theives get caught (http://www.gastheft.com/)



Profit margin is razor thin, so gas theft really does hurt: Coffee, bread are how gas stations really profit - Retail - msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23904590/)

I have a friend in MA who owned a station on the Lawrence/North Andover border and theft was a constant problem and got worse whenever gas prices went up.

As for the pumps asking for your ZIP code, this is not new and it's to validate the CC, as someone who has stolen a card isn't likely to know the rightful owner's ZIP code. As such, it's not a bad method of fraud prevention, though can be a pain for those using non-US credit cards.

ZIP code turns into a fraud deterrent - The Boston Globe (http://boston.com/business/articles/2006/03/17/zip_code_turns_into_a_fraud_deterrent/)

Sorry math does not add up. We still have two of the regular old self-serve stations in our region. Any drive-offs are reported to the RCMP and make the local papers. Comes to a total of two or at most three drive-offs a year. Force the prepay BS and more people will use credit cards. The additional CC fees far exceed the cost of those few drive-offs. So clearly the stations do not do this voluntarily.

Obviously this is being pushed by the banksters to increase their CC profits.