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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stopped at an unfamiliar gas station (Texaco) in Carlsbad because I was down to one bar and I am not as brave as DanMan to go into flash mode.

The car on the other side of the pump ran their card right there at the pump. I could not and had to go inside. I asked the guy if it was broken and he said no it was to prevent fraud. Gave him the card to run "in store" and went to pump gas. I saw 2 other vehicles come in and both paid at the pump. When I went back into the store to get my card, I signed the slip and was given back my card but never asked for an ID.

What type of fraud do you think he was trying to prevent????
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
40-50 year old guy. The pump had to be released to allow me to get the gas. Three other people paid and pumped straight without having to go in.
 

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ATM & Cards

Are you sure the other drivers weren't using ATM. Some of the stations here require you to come in if you're using credit to verify the card, but not if you're using ATM because knowing the pin sorta verifys the card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did try both a credit card and my ATM. Both are in fine shape so that was not a factor.
 

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I wouldn't make too much of it. I've had to pay at the cashier before, driving other cars. One time it was in a Honda with a asian cahier, so I don;t think there was "car profiling" there.

As I understand it some places have a random sample. Anyways, even if it was the clerk, who's to say it was the car? Could have just been a SOB looking for someone to harass.
 

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In stations around here, it depends on the "lne of sight" of the clerk. If you are at a pump where they cannot see you well to get description or tag #, you have to pay in advance. It is usually the "outer" pumps.

There are stickers on lots of our pumps saying "this pump requires pre-pay"

Get over it, the vast majority of people couldn't care less that we drive a Prius.
 

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DanMan32 said:
salsawonder said:
I am not as brave as DanMan to go into flash mode.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Hmmm, wasn't there a post or two about DanMan32, the flashing gas gauge pip, and driving past several gasoline stations?

Actually, he has made me braver, a fact which has caused considerable conflict in my marriage. My wife wants to fill up at half a tank in any car, and of course, I'm with DanMan32.

We even had to unload a 2000 Buick Regal GSE because the gas guage wasn't operating completely accurately. I tried to explain, just look at the odometer, but it didn't work. And yes, there is great irony that we bought a Prius.

Now, I can go for miles watching the blinking pip. I don't live on the wild side as much as some people though, so I only go 25 miles at most before filling up.
 

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i have been to a gas station recently where all pumps were self service. the pump i pulled up to had a sign to pay at the cashier.......i took it from there that this pump was not working correctly ......so i just jumped back into the car onto another pump........
perhaps that was the problem u experienced
 

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I doubt it was vehicle profiling. It could have been that the card reader on the pump wasn't working correctly. It could have been that you were at a special pump or one out of sight of the employee.

The truth of the matter is that magstripe cards aren't all that robust. Imaging bonding a very good quality grade of magnetic tape, like you would find in a better than average garden variety cassette, to a plastic waffer. And then take that bonded magnetic strip and bending it, rubbing it around in wallets and purses. Running it through numerous readers, some clean, but most pretty dirty and disgusting and see how well it would hold up. If you use a card heavily it usually won't last until its expiration date.

As use and swipe wear builds up on the card the magnetic strip can become hard to read for sensitive or worn readers and the strip itself can actually loose date and not be readable by any reader. Those outdoor pump readers are the most heavily used and abused readers out there. I can see it not responding to your card if your car is aged.

The clerk had either been told to tell folks that were having trouble with that pump that it was a security measure rather than just being honest and stating that the reader doesn't work. I'm sure some customers would give grief to the clerk regarding a defunct reader, but if it is a "security measure" it is something that folks will accept. But that is just conjecture.
 

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I was going to add, that it might have been the outer pump syndrome.

Otherwise, maybe the clerk liked you...if you know what I mean.

:wink:
 

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Well, the pay at pumps I don't think can be discriminated against, but can be manually controlled by clerk if there is a problem.

Problems can include:
Invalid read of card
Invalid card
Loss of satellite communications to verify the card at the pump.

I have had experienced all three at one time or another. The first can often, but not always remedied by rubbing the card magnetic strip against your pants.
The second, check that you are using the right card. I inadvertently tried using my AAA membership card, instead of my AAA credit card. Didn't figure it out until I went inside to complain. Clerk looked at me dumbfounded, which gave my brain enough time to realize my error.
The last, I discovered how pay-at-pump really worked. It was raining hard, so satellite hookup was down. Everyone had to go inside to pre-pay. There, they could authorize a fixed amount through the telephone based terminal. I had to speak to the manager a few days later over a discrepency on the matter, and he informed me that they couldn't hold a card inside anymore for a fill-up and then charge the card for the amount, as too many times he was given a bad card as 'deposit' only to find out it was bad after the presenter filled the tank and drove off.
 
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