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consumer alert! use your debit card for fuel!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tango3, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer


    N.C gas stations are putting $75and $90 holds on accounts,folks are being fined for insufficient funds:

    <table style="table-layout: fixed;" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td valign="top" width="85%" height="100%">God
    I hate big business

    Consumer Alert: Gas Stations Placing Large Holds
    by Alfonso Nevarez
    Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 08:33:13 AM PST
    While looking up my checking account balance to determine whether I could afford lunch today, I noticed that I had been hit with a $30 NSF fee, even though the history showed that I had sufficient funds. I called my credit union to determine why my account had gone under. I was shocked to learn that the reason my account went under was because the local Sunoco had placed a $75 hold on a $10 gas purchase from the weekend. They did this without even notifying me that it was going to happen.

    My credit union is pretty awesome. Once I brought this to their attention, they refunded the fee, and refunded a fee from earlier this month where I actually did go under by .54 cents (times are tough). The banker I spoke with was even more outraged than I was, but indicated the situation was out of their control. While I'm glad to have netted $30 from the ordeal, I'm still pretty freaked out by the ability of a business to place holds on my account for amounts greater than the purchase price.

    Come to morelandia to see what teh Google returned when I entered "gas station hold fee".

    Alfonso Nevarez's diary :: ::
    This story from Consumerist.com (you have to scroll down some) really got my blood boiling. I think I would have blown a fuse had I been the author of it. This hold led to the bouncing of this individual's rent check. Irate, the author phoned Acree Oil Co, which then lied and claimed the bank was placing the hold. Talk about insult to injury. Consumerist.com responded to the story with the following:

    The Charlotte Observer explains:

    A debit-card transaction might be rejected even though drivers have enough money in their accounts for the gas they want to purchase. "They have enough money for the gas, but not for the hold," he said.

    The holds can tie up cash that can't be used for at least a few hours. Unsuspecting consumers might have other transactions declined because the holds are in place.

    And there's a danger that the holds can stay on for longer than a few hours, causing other transactions to cause an account to be overdrawn, triggering fees.

    Tothrow said the credit union has received complaints about excessive holds. The bank investigated and found several gas stations were freezing $75 and $90. Most still froze only $1, he said.

    "For a lot of folks, a $90 unexpected hold can cause a problem," he said. "I really don't like that they are doing it to our members."

    What can you do about it? Not much. The NC Attorney General's office says to "use the debit card with a gas station attendant and enter your PIN number because there are no holds involved and the account is charged immediately for the exact amount." Of course, some banks still charge a fee for using PINs instead of signatures, so keep that in mind.

    Of course, the problem with paying inside is that most gas stations tack on a surcharge of $0.50-1.00.

    The bottom line? If you're in danger of a hold like this causing you to bounce your rent check— be safe and use cash.

    KMBC of Kansas City reports below:

    I am filing a report with the BBB. I'm also writing a letter to my Rep and Senators. With more and more people hovering just above $0 week to week, the last thing people need right now is to see an increase of these abusive business practices.

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="smalltext" valign="bottom" width="85%"> <table style="table-layout: fixed;" width="100%" border="0"><tbody><tr> <td colspan="2" class="smalltext" width="100%">
    </td> </tr><tr> <td class="smalltext" id="modified_561080" valign="bottom">
    </td> <td class="smalltext" valign="bottom" align="right"> Report to moderator [​IMG] Logged </td> </tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table style="table-layout: fixed;" width="100%" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td rowspan="2" style="overflow: hidden;" valign="top" width="16%"> mtlouie Hero Member
    Posts: 4613


    Who's your farmer?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    </td> <td valign="top" width="85%" height="100%"> <table width="100%" border="0"><tbody><tr> <td valign="middle">[​IMG]</td> <td valign="middle"> Re: Consumer Alert
    « Reply #1 on: Today at 12:59:07 PM »
    </td> <td style="font-size: smaller;" valign="bottom" align="right" height="20" nowrap="nowrap"> [​IMG] </td> </tr></tbody></table> <hr class="hrcolor" size="1" width="100%"> Oh, yeah, they've been doing this for quite awhile.
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Re: consumeralert! user your debit card for fuel!

    Interesting. I've never heard of such a thing.
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