January 1, 0001

— type: post layout: post meta: {} title: Pre-pay petrol pump madness tags: - D - Gripes published: true status: publish — More and more petrol stations have now converted the normal process of getting a tank of gas into something more complicated than it need be. Going to the petrol station isn’t one of those life fulfilling activites so I want to spend as little time as possible there. Needless to say I always fill my petrol tank to the very top until no more petrol can physically fit in. Now, if you want a complete tank of gas you don’t really know how much it is going to cost, especially with the fluctuating cost of petrol these days, so having to go into the petrol station before filling up is just a waste of my time - especially when the attendant gets things wrong. I went to fill up at yesterday and the only pump left was the one furthest from the pay counter. It turned out to be a pre-pay pump “for security reasons” so I went into the station to pre-pay. I said I didn’t know how much it would be because I wanted a full tank so he just asked me the leave my card, which I did. I ambled back to the car thinking how silly this was and found out that nothing had changed. I clicked on the “Fill” button a few times but nothing worked. At this stage I was just a bit fed up and thought about just going to the next station. However, they had my card so I’d have to go back and I just couldn’t be bothered. In the meantime someone else had left so I just moved the car across to one of the normal pumps. Then last night Shelly also needed petrol. We had a 6c/l off voucher from Countdown to use at Gull so we went to the closest one of those near New Lynn. ALL of the pumps there were prepay and one was out of order because it had a cone in front of it. Shelly went inside to ask what on earth we did since we had the voucher. The attendant said to use the non-pre pay pump. Shelly then asked which one that was because we didn’t see one and he said “the one with the cone in front of it”, quickly followed by “we put the cone in front of it so that people can’t use it”. Now this seems pretty silly to us since we always thought that a cone meant that the pump was out of order. Anyway, long story short, all the faffing around at Gull with their moronic cone solution only saved \$2.80 so next time were just going somewhere that doesn’t have pre-pay! Surely they can come up with a better solution than having everyone pre-pay to prevent people leaving without paying. For example, they could put a light above each pump that turns red once you start putting in petrol and then turns green once the account has been paid. That way it is completely obvious to the whole world when someone tries to skip out without paying the bill. This should prevent all but those people that simply don’t care from leaving without paying. Every single petrol station already has cameras in place to track what cars are at what pump, but I guess this still isn’t deterrent enough and the costs of tracking the people down eat into their margins too much. At least the red light/green light solution makes that fact that you are leaving without paying visible to something more obvious than a video recorder.

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