Today we filled up our car at the Mobil in Paraparaumu and noticed that all the pumps are now pre-pay.  One can safely assume that the owners had enough of the drive-offs-without-paying and this measure is to thwart that.

But it seems plenty of customers don’t like it: the young clerk we spoke to said that some customers have been ‘seriously pissed off’ and he had been abused over it.

The company has decided that’s the way it’s going to be, and if customers don’t like it they should go to those stations where there isn’t prepay — and clearly some are doing that.  It’s no excuse for abusing the service station attendant for doing his/her job.

In America nearly all petrol (gasoline) pumps are pre-pay, except in Oregon and New Jersey where under state law you are not allowed to pump your own fuel.  You enter your credit card into a reader, get an OK and then pump.

We normally pay cash in America, however, for three reasons:  1. Some pumps ask for a zip code and if your card is issued outside America, you won’t have one; 2. Some service stations have a better rate for cash, effectively refunding the 2% (or whatever) that the credit card issuers charge them; 3. Fuel pump card readers are a prime target for criminals who insert skimmers on them to get information from cards, as the pumps are usually outside in areas where they are not well monitored.