Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Be careful at the gas pump. True story.

This isn't a panic forward thing like you normally see all over facebook, or in your email, this actually happened to me this week.
My darling husband, Scott, is a gas station junkie. He loves the convenience I guess. He goes at least twice a day. Who knew Powerade had such an appeal. He went this past Sunday, and spent $10.71 (on Powerade), and put enough gas in the car for the week. Filling up the Camero would require a second job.
I checked our bank balance on Monday morning, and the 2 debits from Chevron went through, along with $120 "pending" charge per debit. First I called Scott, he said he had the receipts, in the floor board no less, and told me exactly how much he spent. I went to the Chevron in Alabaster that we went to, and the clerk told me to come back with the receipts and the bank statement. Well I knew I couldn't go get the receipts from Scott, because I was out of gas! And no way was I going to use my card in the gas pump! Plus, Chevron had all my money tied up!
I go to print off my bank statement...no go. One of the cats ate the printer cord.
*Sigh*
So I drive to the bank (on fumes) and told the very nice lady my story, she looked it up, and said it was indeed just pending, that Chevron had put a hold on it, and it should drop off in 3 days, but she couldn't print anything, because no charge was made it was just "pending".
So Scott stopped by the bank where we opened the account, he has a sweet for the lady there ;) and she told him basically the same thing, that it was just being held, and it would eventually drop, but unfortunately, our money would be tied up until then. She also said that other people had come in, and that Chevron, BP, and Texaco were all doing this, and not telling people. Normally at a gas pump they will preauthorize it for $1, before you pump gas. That is what the delay is from the time you swipe, until it tells you to pump.
This is insane to me. How can they get away with this? Granted we only had to go one day, but if our weekend debits hadn't went through already, we would've been hit hard with overdraft fees. If anyone knows me well, you KNOW I wrote Chevron an email. It says "contact us". So I did. I wasn't ugly, I even drug out the thesaurus and dictionary. I explained that it wasn't right, it was a huge inconvenience, and some families could be severely hurt by this. I sent it, it says it was received. About an hour later it was returned to my spam folder.
*sigh*
So I am just letting people know, this could happen to you. I HATE having to go in and prepay for gas, because unlike my darling husband, I like to fill my car up, and I never know how much it's going to be. But I guess I will start having to use cash. Blah. Everyone may want to start following behind me, because I end up dropping most of it on the ground....

24 comments:

QuirkiestFuzzball said...

I have gotten 2 replies so far, one saying it happened to them at a Jet Pep, and the other (an Exxon owner) saying it's been going on for a while, and to never use your debit card at a pump.

Jennifer said...

OMG the same thing JUST happened to me today. I have a pending transaction for $126 from Chevron. I had only put in $20 so I started freaking out thinking maybe I didn't hit cancel after I pumped and someone else filled up there tank right after I left on my dime. Either way, it's wrong. If Chevron IS doing this, it's not okay. I wish I was best friends with a Layer..

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am in Calif and Chevron is doing this to me too on a credit card. ty for your post I had no idea they could do this to an atm card. So wrong.. I am going to write my congress rep and see if they can force chevron to stop this practice.

Jackie said...

I JUST went through the same thing the other poster went through. I paid $15 for gas with my credit card, INSIDE. I then pumped $15, but came home to see a $126 charge!!!!! I'm furious. I hope the pending charge of $126 doesn't go through.

Dave C said...

Glad you posted this Lisa. (I found this post through a Google search) I woke up this morning to find a $128 pending charge to my Chase CC for a $40 gas purchase last night. I live in LA btw.

I assume this will get cleared up, and am mildly relieved that others have seen this too but... Chevron should IMMEDIATELY STOP this practice. Ridiculous and bad business.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, its not just Chevron, I don't use valero, but most do, anywhere between 60 to 200.... Its not bad business, its because they don't want someone with a dollar on their account pump has for 50 and they can charge them... Their a business, and driving a car is not a right. They are not trying to screw people, just protect themselves. But I but they should put a notice up to inform people that it will put that charge on their account... Just one sign at each pump... I usually go to shell and its $1 pending, so I rarely have thus issue

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me. This is ridiculous. I totally disagree that this is not "bad Business". This is "horbbile business." Especially since they took the money for the $15 gas I purchased out already, yet they are still holding the $126 fee charge. They should legally only be able to charge a percentage of the hold, and then it should come off when they get their money.

Anonymous said...

Great to see that I'm not going to have to go through and conference call the bank and the gas station. But I'm certainly calling the company and telling them that I'm not using any of their stations anymore. Plenty of other options since this is the first time I've seen such a thing.

Michael said...

I just pumped at Chevron, got $126 pending transaction as well.. that's there magic number I guess, but it better not go through as $126, why can't they be like other gas companies that have $1 pending transactions.. AVOID THEM

Anonymous said...

Guys Its a temporary auth, It does not affect your Available Credit or Balance, It Ideally just falls of as soon as the original charge posts.The Reason why its $126.00 at chevron as opposed to $1.00 at other places is coz Chevron is Preferred by most Truck drivers and at times they fill gas for more than $126.00, Incase if its holding your Available credit on the card, you may ask the Credit/Debit Card company to have the authorization removed manually. Hope this Helps.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post! I had never heard of this. Came home after pumping 28.00 worth of gas at a Chevron in San Diego. I happened to check my credit card and there was a 126.00 charge! I Googled it and found your post. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I wasn't alone, but I, too, will pay with cash from now on. Geez!

Py Chan said...

Ping Yang

I went through same thing yesterday on Sunnyvale
Chevron.I only pumped 36.81 for my small car but
I saw 126 on my pending activity on my credit card.

I called credit card company,they told me it is the
chevron policy.....

It is so ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened to me as well. I panicked so bad thinking that someone had used the pump right after I did. My temporary authorization is $126.00. I've heard about gas stations doing this already, but it is still quite a shock to see this amount of money pending in my credit card transaction list.

tonysix00 said...

crazy, just happened to me within the last 5 min... I pumped $40 gas, here in San Antonio, Texas... come home, start paying bills and see this thing... like a previous poster, I almost had a heart attack thinking someone had pumped after me. but I figured it was such a round figure it must be something else so i googled and stumbled on this. Crazy... outrageous!

tonysix00 said...

crazy, just happened to me within the last 5 min... I pumped $40 gas, here in San Antonio, Texas... come home, start paying bills and see this thing... like a previous poster, I almost had a heart attack thinking someone had pumped after me. but I figured it was such a round figure it must be something else so i googled and stumbled on this. Crazy... outrageous!

Anonymous said...

The same happened to me yesterday and I feel this is outrageous. I guess they gain two day's interest from our interest.

No more Chevron.

Arch said...

The same thing happened to me too! I called up my CC company and they said the charge should drop off soon. Chevron should not be allowed to do that! It causes too much inconvenience and confusion for us customers...

Anonymous said...

Answer for pending charges at pump...
In fact it did used to be that there was only a 1$ pre approval for pay at pump use but too many used this to their advantage pumping 100$ when in fact having only 3$ in their account and too many company's were going unpaid because of this so this is the reason for the 24hr pending insurance of payment switch at the pumps

FireflyGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Actually, it DOES effect your available credit and balance. The money hasn't been taken out of my account, but it is NOT available for my use because it is "pending" in the system, aka being held for verification. No, it will not go through and therefore I will not lose money, but the claim that it doesn't effect the usable balance is completely incorrect.
This happened to me just today and nearly gave me a heart attack! My credit union rep was knowledgeable enough to let me know that this is a complaint she hears a lot. I never go to Chevron (it's always the most expensive place) but I was running on fumes. Next time, I'll push my car to another station to avoid this. It's a pain and yes, bad business practice. If they want to do something like this, they need to make it more reasonable, like the same charge as the amount of gas you purchased. Over $100 for $20 in gas is ridiculous.

Carolyn NC said...

Happened to me at Texaco and Chevron on a CC going cross country. So I buy at Shell now and avoid the other two. And as for using a debit card, the money is instantly withdrawn, so the ping is not required. So no money should be held for verification when they already have the correct amount. That is more like robbery.

Anonymous said...

Had this happen to me today, really infuriating. Filed a complaint with the BBB , Texas Attorney General and California Attorney General.

Alex said...

This just happened to me. I have a pending bill of $126 at Chevron, even though my gas was $54. As though these oil companies aren't evil enough, they have to scare/confuse us with their billing.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a trick and they are using it to make more money