Conveniently Out of Order

The local gas station near my home. I’ve been going here for years, mainly because the pump is meant to be operated by an attendant; therefore, it has the device that lets you lock the pump handle so you can fill up without having to hold the trigger. But the attendants are happy to let you operate the pump by yourself, which makes it marginally quicker than going to other stations. I always use my debit card. Haven’t paid with paper cash in years. If you look carefully you can see the giant price on the board is for “cash.”

I’ve been going here for years. I’ve been overpaying, probably for years! Last week I pulled up, unholstered my debit card and shoved it into the pump. I selected “Debit card” as the payment option and the pump would not activate. Repeat. No luck. Repeat. No joy. Now the attendant  shows up. He says “the debit card reader doesn’t work, you have to select ‘Credit Card’ as the payment option.” That’s right, I remember being told that a long time ago.

Maybe you see where this is going. I didn’t but that’s because I don’t pay enough attention to daily transactions like this.

As I was struggling with the pump, my wife  pulled into the pump behind me. When we got back home she inquired about the nature of my issue at the pump and I related the “debit card not working” story. She told me it hasn’t been working for well over a year. “Yeah,” I said, “I just sort of forgot about that.”

My wife then pointed out that when you select the credit card payment method, you get to pay about 9 cents more per gallon! WTF!!! And, of course, the pay-with-credit-card price is NOT posted in bold numbers on the sign. Shame on me. Let this be a lesson: know what the real price of the gas is and whether it is dependent on payment method. There’s another gas station 1000 feet away from this one which charges 2 cents more per gallon but it’s debit card scanner works properly.

Guess who just lost a customer.


About robertkerner

Educator, registered nurse, attorney, inquisitive mind
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