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    Would this upset you?

    Ok, so I am at the AM PM gas station today and I put a $10 bill into the machine to prepay for a bit of gas (was running low and needed enough to get to Costco to fill up all the way). The machine makes a whirring and clunking noise, then after about 20 seconds says "Bill stacking error". It displayes this for about 5 seconds then flashes back to the welcome screen saying "Please insert cash".

    I am like....wtf mate? I go inside the store and tell the cashier. She comes out and scratches her head at the bill changer and then sticks a key into some slot and says "sometimes this works". Well, it does nothing but reset the machine again. She shrugs and says "I can't refund your $10 because I did not see you put it in the machine". She gives me a form to fill out and tells me that next week when they empty the machine if it checks out to have more cash than expected they will mail me a check for the $10.

    I am pretty pissed and ask if she is at least going to put an out of order sign on that bill accepter. She says "no, it seems to mostly be working". I ask for the owner's phone number...she reluctantly gives it and I call him. It is a guy with a very strong Indian accent (no racism here, but it was hard to understand him) who tells me this thing happens all the time if next week the cash in the machine is over, they will mail me a check.

    How would you feel? On the one hand, I know it is only $10, but what if the shoe was on the other foot and I filled up with $10 gas and then drove off without paying...maybe leave a note saying when I get home if I notice I had more gas than I thought I will mail them a check or something.

    Should I have done anything else? I have the sinking feeling I will never see a dime of my poor $10.

    #2
    You can put cash into the pump to pay for gas? Can't say that I've ever encountered that.

    Anyway, I'd be pretty pissed if their pump, that they admit does that all the time, stole $10 from me. I'd make sure I knew what day they empty the machine and call or stop by that day. Don't let them "forget" that they owe you $10. If they refuse to pay you, maybe you could file a police report.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      What if this were your only 10.00 to pay for gas to get to work. This is completely unacceptable. I's at least call the better business bureau and file a complaint and maybe a police report. This is completely unacceptable.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by sarah View Post
        What if this were your only 10.00 to pay for gas to get to work. This is completely unacceptable. I's at least call the better business bureau and file a complaint and maybe a police report. This is completely unacceptable.
        Agreed!!!

        I would also send a letter to management, etc.

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          #5
          As a former cashier they do it this way because too many people are scammers. Not saying you are. This does however stink. I would complain to upper mgt though cause they could have at least put it out of order.

          Comment


            #6
            That is why I won't buy gas at AM/PM- I just don't trust those machines. I'd rather pay a cashier directly, or use a CC at the pump where that is available- which unfortunately means I'm often at more expensive stations.

            Yes, I would be angry and would follow up on it, and likely stop buying gas there if they don't come up with a refund.

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              #7
              An ATM at a gas station did this to me once. I was going to a cash-only event and stopped at a nearby station to hit the ATM. Told it to pull out $200 but it only spit on a single $20 + my card and then displayed an error message on the screen. The cashier called the number listed on the ATM machine, and they told him to give me $180 out of his drawer and the would be reimbursing the store. He took down my information from my driver's license, gave me the cash, and I never heard from them again. On my statement, the transaction went through for the whole $200, so I didn't make/lose any money on it.

              Comment


                #8
                To me, this would be a great way for the store to scam it's customers. How do you know what the expected cash balance is supposed to be in the machine? And if the store knows this regularly happens and does nothing to fix it, then to some degree there must be an incentive associated for them to not fix it. Either they aren't losing enough customer base to care, or they are making enough on the "bill stacking error" to counter the loss of customers. Either way, gas stations make a very small percentage from gas sales compared to the in store purchases. Your $10 is important to you, but small potatoes to them.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by swanson719 View Post
                  To me, this would be a great way for the store to scam it's customers. How do you know what the expected cash balance is supposed to be in the machine.
                  That's a good point. I have no idea how this machine works. I've never seen one. But if it malfunctioned, how will they know if there is $10 too much in there?
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by boosami View Post
                    An ATM at a gas station did this to me once. I was going to a cash-only event and stopped at a nearby station to hit the ATM. Told it to pull out $200 but it only spit on a single $20 + my card and then displayed an error message on the screen. The cashier called the number listed on the ATM machine, and they told him to give me $180 out of his drawer and the would be reimbursing the store. He took down my information from my driver's license, gave me the cash, and I never heard from them again. On my statement, the transaction went through for the whole $200, so I didn't make/lose any money on it.
                    I read an article once about this cracker (criminal hacker) that hacked some ATM machines to say "error" but steathily reads and record the credit card information.

                    He would then make purchases on these cards a few months later. The police didn't catch him until he ran up more than $100k, almost a year or two later.

                    Made me a lot less trusting of 3rd party ATMs (nevermind the out-of-network fees)! In fact, if I ever need an ATM, I always go out of my way to go to official ones from my credit union.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      In Virginia, our gas pumps have some sort of governmental regulations (something about calibrations to make sure the pumps are accurate). I'd bet your state has some regulatory authority you could contact to make a complaint.

                      If you're REALLY pissed, notify the news stations to do an investigative story OR stand in front of the gas station with a huge sign about their deceptive practices. Good luck!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What is so 'delightful' from their standpoint is that get your $10.00 and get to decide with biased interpretation IF you get your money back.

                        A lot of people would not bother with that amount to report or follow up on.

                        I think this is a scam. Some are too rushed or don't care to bother about the amount.

                        Mention you will be making a call to the State's Attorney General's office if this is not resolved. Someone suggested the Better Business Bureau. They might just be counting on some people not making a fuss over such a small amount of money.

                        And also if you have one, call your local consumer reporter advocate that do consumer rip off reports. You cannot be the first person this has happened to.

                        That was your $10.00 that they now have. That could have been your lunch money or your kid's lunch money. Regardless, now they are doing their little fancy accounting with the machine to find out if $10.00 extra is there and then you get refunded. All because some busy attendant did not see you put the money in there.

                        Sorry, not only does this just not add up, it is quite irritating and sounds like a scam.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                          That's a good point. I have no idea how this machine works. I've never seen one. But if it malfunctioned, how will they know if there is $10 too much in there?
                          I would suspect the machine has a talley of how much gas was sold. If over a weeks time, it gave out $2300, and when they checked it there was $2310 well there ya go. However I can not believe this is the only time it has happened. I don't show it, but just the recipt printer being out of paper ticks me off so I can just imagine the flustration.

                          I can accept them not just giving you $10 just on the face value of your claim, but they should have shut that pump down and counted the money right then. How hard would that have been?

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