November 10, 2005


To all of you people who think that the gas station is trying to rip you off because you see $0.03 on the pump when you start pumping:

That's happening because when you squeeze the handle before your pay-at-the-pump credit card swipe has gone through, you're draining the hose. Nothing shows up on the display yet, because the pump is still talking to the bank's computer. Then, sometime after you've stopped futily trying to get gas and let go of the handle, the transaction finally goes through. The pump will re-charge the hose at this point, since you are determined to be able to pay for your gas. And since you're no longer holding the pump handle, SURPRISE, you see that you've been robbed! Of 3 cents!

It's actually in your car already!!!!!!!!!

Either that, or the last person to use the pump figured out how to turn off the pump while the nozzle is still in his or her car and stole the three cents. But no matter what, the gas station did not.

Gas stations have their pumps checked every year by the Department of Weights and Measures. At great expense to the station, I might add. And are in fact, completely unable to modify any of the dispensing or measuring equipment.

And since they're only making about 6 cents a gallon (About 2.5 cents per dollar) and your credit card company is charging them up to 4 cents on the dollar for the transaction (after you factor in the per transaction charge of 15 to 20 cents), please don't hang the pump up and demand your 3 cents. Doing so costs the station a lot, and makes the person behind the counter (if it's not some pimply faced kid who doesn't care if the business goes under) very annoyed. If you're nice about it, they will usually hand you the 3 cents over the counter when you're done pumping. With a smile.

But don't come in all self-righteous about 3 or 4 cents. You'll look like an idiot. And yes, they will talk about you after you leave.


Posted by GEBIV at November 10, 2005 07:49 PM | TrackBack

Are you kidding me? You actually have people that do that? First I assume the pumps all over the country are pretty much the same. In Illinois they can't physically add a sir charge... even for 3 cents... it's based on fluid pumped, as you said.

but also it's only 3 cents!!!! Seriously, the next 100 people that complain about it, tell them to send me a self addressed stamped envelope and I'll mail them three cents.

Posted by: Contagion at November 11, 2005 08:38 AM
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