Thursday, September 8, 2011

RV fuel problem

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have a problem with trust. I trust my wife, I trust my dog, but I can't bring myself to trust gas station attendants that don't trust me first. I know I should be setting an example for them, but it makes me nervous. Let me explain. I pull the motorhome up to a gas pump in small town America. I get out and the first thing I am greeted with is a sign that says, "Prepay before you pump." I don't use credit cards, so I have to go into the cashier and hand he or she a hundred dollar bill. Nine times out of ten I don't get a receipt unless I ask. When I ask they look at me like I'm a pain in the keester' or that I don't trust them, which I don't. But remember, first they think I am going to fill my motorhome with gas and make a run for it. Am I being unreasonable? Should I chill out, or at least act cool about the whole thing? Should I be optimistic that I won't get ripped off? Should I have more faith in my fellow human beings even if they have pierced lips and a tattoo that says, "KILL"on the fingers of the hand that takes my money?
--Kill Bill in Cody


Dear Bill:
If you have a motorhome, you are surely going to kill most or all of that bill if you fill up today. I know it doesn't seem right or good business to not get a receipt when you hand the clerk a C note. Most large chains automatically give you a receipt to bring back for change, if there is any. You have every right to ask for and receive a receipt if you want to hassle with that. Most people would gamble on the fact that they are going to use most of it in the form of gas. That way if you ever do have a problem with retrieving your change, most of the bill went for the fill. I understand you do not use credit, but you might want to consider a debit card. It works the same way, saves you a trip in to meet the clerk and leaves you a track record of where you've been and what you spent. If you continue with the cash dash, do whatever makes you happy. You should not take a guilt trip every time you ask for a receipt before you pump. It is, in fact, the right way to do business and maybe you are teaching management a valuable lesson in customer relations.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

22 comments:

JRR said...

I stopped using TA (Truck Stops of America) for just that reason. They use that systen even with credit cards. I got tired of standing in line to give my funds then standing in line to pay for same, usually without a smile, thankyou, OR KMA, then you have to remind them how much you gave them.
So much friendler and simple at flying J. (PLUS CLEANER)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, $100 for gas? Are you towing a pop-up with a half-ton pick-up??

Trust may be an issue for the questioner, but drive-offs are a big problem for a small business. Pre-payment is not a personal comment on anyone's honesty.

Anonymous said...

A receipt also gives you proof of purchase if you get bad fuel. I allways get a receipt and retain it untill the next fillup.

Anonymous said...

I have an old credit card which expired years ago that I give them. When I'm finished, I go in and use my current credit card. So far, only one station tried to run the card and confronted me that it had expired. I called the manager over and had him explain why they tried to use my card when I wan't finished and he had no answer. I reported them to the BBB and found lots of complaints and bad charges.

They don't trust me and I don't trust them either.

Anonymous said...

I question the advice to use a debit card as I am told debt card use involves a higher risk than a credit card. If anyone gets your pin number on a debit card, they can clean out all accounts tied to that card. If a credit card is stolen or used unlawfully, the owner is responsible for only the first $50.

Anonymous said...

If you carry only cash with you, you are just begging to get mugged then you'll have nothing. I carry only about $40 cash on me so if I ever did get robbed they won't get much instead of several hundred dollars that I assume you are carrying.

retiredhappy said...

DON'T ever use a debit card. Many gas stations put a larger hold on funds than your actual gas cost and this will tie up your money till the hold is released. I also don't like leaving my money without a receipt cause when you go to pay,you often don't get the same clerk

Anonymous said...

We are from B.C. and travel through the States on our way to and from Mazatlan every winter. Because we have an alpha numeric postal code in Canada we cannot use our credit cards at the pumps in the US where a numeric only "zip code" is required. Solution; my good wife and navigator goes in... with a credit card and pump number and stays with the card until the transaction is complete. A bit inconvenient but safe for everybody.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous from BC. Next time try putting in the three numbers of your postal code number and then two zeros to make up the five numbers.eg V1C 4F6 is 14600. I've found this to work most of the time and so I can pay at the pump and don't have to have anybody holding my card without my being there or standing in line twice.

Anonymous said...

Yes you CAN USE your CANADIAN card in the USA. We do it all the time. Just enter the numbers from your card in order and add zeros to make up enough numbers for the US zip.

So if your PC is K1C 1S4 you enter 11400. Works every time.

Anonymous said...

I resent having to go in and pay, then go out and pump gas. I live in the North midwest...and in winter it is cold, bad enough to have to do the pumping. When on a trip I keep track of mileage and gasoline. I write the miles on the gas receipt. I do not know how much gas it is going to take to fill it. So it shuts off 3 or 4 gal short of full...so I am not going back in to pay more then back out to finish filling. I do not like to use credit cards or my debit card for the same reason. To easy for others to steal your numbers.I have prepaid and not gotten receipts...when I went back in to get my change...a different person on at the till. She would not take my word for it so I MADE them go find the gal that I gave my money to. They have camera's at the pumps and can watch you from inside...why isn't that good enough?

Lyrx said...

Wow, who's traveling around in an expensive motorhome without a decent credit card? Why not just pay at the pump with your credit card? What's with all the paying in cash? Honestly, I don't know anyone who pays in cash. What century are you guys from?

Lyrx said...

Who is traveling around in an expensive motorhome and doesn't have a decent credit card? I don't know anyone who uses cash anymore for anything in the last 10years? Pay at the pump with your debit or credit card and quit finding an excuse to b.... about something. 18 wheelers charge up much more than most motorhomes. If there is a problem, they would be out of business.

Anonymous said...

When asked to leave a credit card with the clerk I refuse. Several have asked "don't you trust me"? My stock answer is "you don't trust me with $100 gas purchase and you want me to trust you with a CC and $5,000 limit?" I don't leave anything with a clerk and when in that situation the better half will either pump the gas or remain at the counter with the cash. Don't expect trust if you don't give it.
There are no issues like this in Canada.

Anonymous said...

For the traveler from BC, or any one with a Canadian postal code, the way around the requirement for a numeric zip code is as follows:

take the numbers from your postal code and add two zeros to the end and use this.

For example if your postal code is V6B 4A2 the numeric 'zip code' would be 64200. I have used this method for several years now and have had no problems.

Anonymous said...

Just so everyone is aware....whether it be a Debit or Credit card the rules are the same. Visa is Visa whether debit or credit just as with Mastercard. The gas hold is the same with both but remember with credit cards it is just a line of credit being held and with debit it is real cash. When it comes to disputing charges on either the rules are the same, whether credit or debit. I use both depending on where I am and what I am doing, I very rarely use cash or even have it on me.

Anonymous said...

bothers me when they place "pending" charge on credit card, then have to post actual charge and retract the "pending" charge. Makes me nervous. Have to keep close eye on credit card charges.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm .. trust the clerk ... NEVER. I left my cash with a clerk the very first time while travelling through the states and had to fight to get my change back. A complaint to the management finally got me refund. Since then I have gotten a receipt. I never leave my credit card either as there is no record of transactions (while my back is turned) for up to 1 month.

Anonymous said...

I've asked for a receipt with the comment, "it's to help me keep track of expenses", and I've never had a problem SO far. : )

PapPappy said...

I pay at the pump with a gas card. It's only got a $500 limit, and if nobody else touches it, I feel somewhat safe. I can go on-line and pay the bill while I'm on the road, so there is money available during the trip, and I am protected, if something happens to the card.

Only hassle is that most pumps will cut off at $100., so I have to reset and continue to pump, if I need more fuel. Solution to this, is to try and keep the tank at least half-full. :-)

Anonymous said...

I always initial large bills so if there is a question about me paying I have proof that the $100 in the drawer is mine. I witnessed a restaurant return a $100 to a customer once claiming the bill was counterfeit. The restraunt had taken a bad bill from a previous customer and was trying to pass it off on him. He called the police and explained to the officer that his bill, with his initials, was in the register. It was.

Anonymous said...

to the person from BC. talk to your bank and tell them you travel in the USA and they can attach a Zip code to your Credit card which eliminates the hassel. My biggest problem is with the $75.00 dollar limit when you put in $300. You just keep entering your card. Some security. Only once have I been challenged.