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This and That

On Pre-paying at the Pump

I have been meaning to comment on this whole business. We’re on day 4 of BC’s new Pay-At-The-Pump Law. I know pre-pay stations have been around for a while and I have used them before, but admittedly much less since I moved to my smaller city. We only have one gas station, that I know of, here in Nelson that has the pre-pay pumps. The rest are old school “lift and flip nozzle” types.  So I pretty much always have to go in. And now I have to go in twice. A quick stop for fuel just turned into a 10 minute affair.

Of course, just to clarify… what happened with Grant was awful and horrible and I applaud the work that the family has done to bring about this change. Even if it comes with inconvenience to poor little old me.

1. Say you want $40.00 of gas, you want to pay with cash and you’re at an old school station… you pull up, go in and pay, come back out, pump, dig through your change cup, go back in and give the attendant .03 cents because you went over.

2. Say you want $40.00 of gas, you want to pay with your debit card and you’re at an old school station again… you pull up, go in and drop your debit card off, come back out, pump, go back in and pay.

3. Say you want to fill up your car, you want to pay with cash and you’re at any type of station… you pull up, go in and pre-pay for $40 worth of fuel, come back out, pump, go back in and get $3.24 back because you pre-paid too much.

I could go on and on with different scenarios, but either way, without a pre-pay pump, you have to go into the store twice, which is a bit of a pain in the ass. A classic example of how some idiots can ruin things for the general public. BUT… I guess for safety’s sake we can all learn to adopt new ways.

The other day when I put gas in my car, I was at a station that had actually put a cap on the pump to give me the exact amount of fuel that I had pre-paid for. I felt REALLY WIERD just pulling away after I was done. I actually took a few steps towards the building after I hung up the nozzle, forgetting that I had already paid and could just go.

Yes, there are a few people out there who dine and dash at restaurants and there are a few people who gas and dash at gas stations. Servers having to pay for a meal eaten by untrustworthy patrons and gas stations losing thousands of dollars of fuel in unpaid fill-ups, this may not be the same thing but it happens all the time. A gas attendant being dragged for 7 kilometres beneath a vehicle for a measly $12.00 of gas was much rarer. In any case, stupid people will always be around. And they will always find new ways to rip others off or get away with immoral acts of dumbness.

“How does anyone know I just found this debit card sitting in a wallet that I just stole. Maybe I’ll just take that debit card to the gas station, drop it off, fill my car up and get the hell out of there. While I’m at it, I might as well make sure I’ve got something over top of both of my license plates in the front and back of my BC car, just in case.”

But this new regulation isn’t about ripping of gas stations or the general public, it’s about making the workplace safer. At least that’s what the media is saying. As inconvenient as it is, I’ll oblige mostly because I have to now. But it is a pain in the ass because I’m never going to gas and dash, nor am I ever going to run a gas attendant over and drag him under my car. I’m all for making the workplace a safer place, but what about the safety of the patrons? What about the old guy who is going slip and fall walking into the store? What about the single mother of two who has to traipse her kids in and out of the store twice just to get some gas? What if, in the height of summer, she’s in a hurry and leaves her kids in the car for just a second while she runs into the store twice and gets locked out while her kids are locked in? What if you forget to lock your car and the car thief that is hanging around the side of the building steals your car right out from under your nose? I know, lot’s of ifs. But still.

Perhaps there was a better way to get to the final destination.

Bars have to make changes to accommodate new non-smoking rules. Gas stations should have to make changes to their pumps to help out with this inconvenience to their patrons. As in… giving the gas stations an appropriate time limit to make pre-pay pumps a standard.

Discussion

2 Responses to “On Pre-paying at the Pump”

  1. Hey you!! Long time no “see.” Yeah, I’ve moved around a bit and drafted half the old posts, too much unpleasant, unnecessary stuff laying around. Looks like I have a bit of catching up to do here, too!

    Posted by Nikki | February 5, 2008, 7:38 am
  2. Oh such a sad thing to have happen to that attendant. Here we have mostly pay at the pump stations. And I have no idea what I would have done in the old days when you had to bring your kids in.

    I hate filling up with gas. I open the window closest to the tank so I can talk to the kids. I lock them in for fear of someone trying to carjack my car (not that this happens often but i think about it). And I am constantly checking over my shoulder to make sure I am not mugged (again, doesn’t happen often but, it has happened and you are a sitting duck while pumping gas). I try to get Hubby to fill her up for me but, it doesn’t always go my way.

    Posted by BeachMama | February 6, 2008, 6:14 pm

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