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View Full Version : Pre-pay Gas... a sign of the times?


tk13
08-24-2005, 05:12 PM
I've seen a ton of stories about this on the news lately... seems like many stations are now going to prepay because their losses on drive-offs is going into the thousands....

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/08/23/gas.rage.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Observers fear thefts, violence to rise with gas prices

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- The death of an Alabama service station owner illustrates the point that a gasoline industry group makes over and over to its members: Losing money during a drive-off isn't worth losing your life.

Husain "Tony" Caddi, 54, died Friday after being run over by a driver who police believe wasn't going to pay for $52 worth of fuel. Police are searching for the driver of the gold or tan Jeep-style SUV.

With gasoline prices soaring, industry experts predict the number of drive-offs -- and violence -- will increase.

"It's a very difficult situation, and you're never sure how people are going to react," said Sam Turner, president of Calfee Co. of Dalton, Georgia, which operates 114 Favorite Markets convenience stores in the South.

"It's something on everybody's mind right now because it's a commodity that virtually everybody uses. You're talking about a heck of an impact to their billfold."

The Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama tells gas retailers to never take action themselves during robberies and drive-offs, said Arleen Alexander, the group's executive director.

"But I can understand why someone would want to fight for their property," Alexander said. "Fifty-two dollars doesn't sound like that much, but with the little they're making these days that's a lot."

On average, one in every 1,100 fill-ups was a gas theft last year, the National Association of Convenience Stores said. With about a penny per gallon as profit, a retailer would have to sell an extra 3,000 gallons to offset each $30 stolen, said Jeff Lenard, a spokesman for the group. Caddi would have had to pump an extra 5,200 gallons to make up for the $52 drive-off.

Gasoline theft cost retailers nationwide $237 million in 2004 -- more than twice the $112 million loss in 2003, according to NACS. Gas prices have jumped this summer by as much as 18 cents to an average of $2.55 a gallon nationally.

"As the price of gas climbs, people's values decline," Lenard said.

Lenard and Turner said safety and theft concerns have pushed most gas stations in the region to shift to a prepay policy, but even that is not a perfect solution. A prepay policy cuts down on browsing and buying in gas station stores -- a big chunk of owners' profits.

"We're in uncharted territory. We're seeing more people going to prepay than ever before," Lenard said. "I think we'll look back on 2005 and say, 'Remember when we used to be trusted to pay for our gas?"'

milkman
08-24-2005, 05:15 PM
Hell, I can't remember the last time I didn't have to prepay.

beavis
08-24-2005, 05:15 PM
The station I frequent next to my house was one of the few that didn't require pre-pay up until last week. I got to talking with the cashier, and apparently the losses just got to be too much. He said they had lost $180 in one day due to drive offs. He also said the police aren't helping anything, as they rarely do anything to pursue them.

unlurking
08-24-2005, 05:18 PM
Hell, I can't remember the last time I didn't have to prepay.
Me either, but then again, I don't remember the last time I didn't just use pay-at-the-pump either, so I probably never notice.

Phobia
08-24-2005, 05:19 PM
I think the honor system on gas is naive anyway. Not in 2005. I don't mind prepaying because I pay at the pump 90% of the time anyway. I don't wanna go in and look at all that tobacco beckoning to me.

Deberg_1990
08-24-2005, 05:41 PM
I hate to say it, but with gas prices being what they are these days, i cant blame these people for driving off. Why give more $$$$ to Bush and his cronies?

stevieray
08-24-2005, 05:52 PM
I hate to say it, but with gas prices being what they are these days, i cant blame these people for driving off.

I'd hate to say that, too.

KCChiefsFan88
08-24-2005, 06:58 PM
I actually prefer pre-pay. Beats having to go inside, and wait in line to pay.

milkman
08-24-2005, 07:02 PM
Me either, but then again, I don't remember the last time I didn't just use pay-at-the-pump either, so I probably never notice.

I always, and have for years, used pay at the pump.

But I can't remember the last time I went to a gas station that didn't have a sign on the pumps that tells you that you have to pay first.

Might have been when I was in Phoenix about 8 years ago.

morphius
08-24-2005, 07:08 PM
I don't know, at QT I haven't had to prepay. But really, stealing from the pump is going to net you more then grabbing the stuff out of the register late at night anyway.

Tinlar
08-24-2005, 07:10 PM
I hate to say it, but with gas prices being what they are these days, i cant blame these people for driving off. Why give more $$$$ to Bush and his cronies?

Wow ... <insert response about ignorance> ...

papasmurf
08-24-2005, 07:48 PM
I went to the game Sat. Had too fill up. Sign on the pump to prepay.

Shit if they are going to make me prepay then spend the dam money to take my credit card at the pump.

dtebbe
08-24-2005, 08:27 PM
Retards who whine about gas prices crack me up. The government takes 1/2 thier paycheck in taxes and they don't say shit, and keep voting for the same sorry assholes. BUT, let gas prices go up .50 and it's the end of the world.

Personally, I hope gas prices keep going up, then maybe the sorry assholes who can't afford insurance won't be able to afford gas either.

As for prepay, it's called a credit card, get one.

DT

dtebbe
08-24-2005, 08:29 PM
I hate to say it, but with gas prices being what they are these days, i cant blame these people for driving off. Why give more $$$$ to Bush and his cronies?

Funny, my 5 year old made the same comment this AM over his bowl of fruit loops.

:p

DT

KChiefs1
08-24-2005, 08:42 PM
I haven't went in a convenience store in years now....I always just pay outside with a credit card. If I was an owner I'd without a doubt I'd go strictly pre-pay.

Coach
08-24-2005, 08:49 PM
I'm not suprised that it was happening. Damned fools driving off without paying for it. It won't be long before the driving off laws will get more tougher and stricter perhaps.

ROYC75
08-24-2005, 08:50 PM
It's the sign of the times ? Has been for 10 years in the bigger cities. Small town USA is still on the honor system, we have less crooks.

I usually use cash........unless traveling on trips, then we hit the prepay pumps. It's a pain in the ass when you are not use to it.

ChiefsCountry
08-24-2005, 08:52 PM
Prepay is pretty dumb for gas stations considering they make the most money not off the gas like most people think instead its the soda, candy, chips etc where the money is at.

kcfanintitanhell
08-24-2005, 09:57 PM
I just wish someone would come up with a pre-pay drive-off credit card.

Saulbadguy
08-24-2005, 10:03 PM
I always use a debit/credit card. I don't like to carry around cash.

tk13
08-24-2005, 10:06 PM
Prepay is pretty dumb for gas stations considering they make the most money not off the gas like most people think instead its the soda, candy, chips etc where the money is at.
There was one story on TV today that talked about that. I don't know if it's true or not, I guess some gas station owners seemed to believe people bought more stuff in the store (which as you said is the most important) if they didn't prepay. I don't have any idea how factual that is. I wouldn't think it makes sense ...but then again, when I think about the times I've had to prepay for gas, I don't think I've bought much in the store. Couldn't tell you why.

ENDelt260
08-24-2005, 10:18 PM
I worked at a gas station in college (had a Conoco shirt w/ my name stitched on it and everything). Had one driveoff while I worked there. Had a busy couple of minutes, and when I got done taking care of everyone in line I noticed the blinking light on the register that indicated pump whatever was done fueling. Looked out, no car. Bout a half hour later a dude comes in the store, "I got home and realized I forgot to pay for my gas. Here, I had $XX dollars on pump #."

Course, that was in Rolla.

dtebbe
08-24-2005, 10:53 PM
I'm not suprised that it was happening. Damned fools driving off without paying for it. It won't be long before the driving off laws will get more tougher and stricter perhaps.

If you do it in GA and get caught, they suspend your license. There are stickers with a big dufus State Trooper on all the pumps holding a drivers license. Dumbasses still drive off.

DT

Vegas_Dave
08-25-2005, 12:09 AM
Wow,

I didnt realize places like that even still existed.

I have ALWAYS had to prepay for gas for my entire driving life (9 years).

Pants
08-25-2005, 12:52 AM
I always use a debit/credit card. I don't like to carry around cash.

D to the Itto.

Logical
08-25-2005, 01:38 AM
Prepay is nothing new. When I worked at a KC Quik Trip while going to college we required pre-pay for people to get gas. Maybe Iowa is different.

Logical
08-25-2005, 01:40 AM
I hate to say it, but with gas prices being what they are these days, i cant blame these people for driving off. Why give more $$$$ to Bush and his cronies?Wow so you advocate stealing, interesting play on morality there.

Logical
08-25-2005, 01:44 AM
It's the sign of the times ? Has been for 10 years in the bigger cities. Small town USA is still on the honor system, we have less crooks.

I usually use cash........unless traveling on trips, then we hit the prepay pumps. It's a pain in the ass when you are not use to it.Most pre-pay station take cash inside and then limit the amount you can pump to that amount. If you pump less you go back in for your change. I think convenience stores around here pretty much don't take credit cards so they can get you inside.

tk13
08-25-2005, 01:48 AM
I probably worded this thread wrong. That's my fault. I realize there are a lot of pre-pay stations out there and have been for a long time, but there are also a lot of them that still do it the old fashioned way. I more or less meant to say that soon it looks like it's going to be 100% pre-pay across the board, or at least there was going to be a large spike in stations switching over, and that gas theft is going through the roof. I didn't make that very clear in the thread header.

Logical
08-25-2005, 01:54 AM
I probably worded this thread wrong. That's my fault. I realize there are a lot of pre-pay stations out there and have been for a long time, but there are also a lot of them that still do it the old fashioned way. I more or less meant to say that soon it looks like it's going to be 100% pre-pay across the board, or at least there was going to be a large spike in stations switching over, and that gas theft is going through the roof. I didn't make that very clear in the thread header.You probably are correct. I am guessing that non-prepay stations still in the US are or were much more limited to non big City areas where people knowing each other reduces the risk to acceptable at the less than 2 a gallon rate.

JOhn
08-25-2005, 02:42 AM
You probably are correct. I am guessing that non-prepay stations still in the US are or were much more limited to non big City areas where people knowing each other reduces the risk to acceptable at the less than 2 a gallon rate.
I really think Pre-Pay is more of a Big city, Interstate station deal. I know that here in Wyoming the ONLY time I had to pre-pay was at the Flying J, and then only after dark.

trndobrd
08-25-2005, 05:33 AM
I always pay at the pump. It's just faster.

Although I really miss the good old days of pumping my gas, then getting in line at the cashier behind the guy buying off scratch off tickets and playing them at the counter, then getting more tickets, playing them... or the woman with the two stinky, screaming kids doing her weekly shopping at the convienence store and paying with food stamps. No lady, you can't buy cigarettes with food stamps.

jidar1
08-25-2005, 08:11 AM
I'm in small town USA in SE Kansas. I don't know of a single pre-pay pump anywhere around here. I guess I'm not surprised that you have to do it in the big city but I didn't realize it was a universal thing.

um.. How do you fill it up when you pre-pay?

StcChief
08-25-2005, 08:15 AM
Pay at the pump or
pre-pay for the cash crowd. It's time is here.

The one time I went in lately (to get beer), I moved my car after filling, got the cash register, Owner thought it was another drove off.
He was so relieved it wasn't.

htismaqe
08-25-2005, 08:52 AM
I'm in small town USA in SE Kansas. I don't know of a single pre-pay pump anywhere around here. I guess I'm not surprised that you have to do it in the big city but I didn't realize it was a universal thing.

um.. How do you fill it up when you pre-pay?

Credit card or gas card is the only way.

The Quik Trips around here now have gas cards that let you start the pump, but they're not a debit/credit card, but more like a driver's license. Once you're done, you go in and pay, but if you drive off they know it was you because it was your card.

Lzen
08-25-2005, 09:21 AM
If you do it in GA and get caught, they suspend your license. There are stickers with a big dufus State Trooper on all the pumps holding a drivers license. Dumbasses still drive off.

DT

Same thing in Kansas as far as the stickers on the pumps. I think it says something about a fine and losing your license but I'm not positive.

Lzen
08-25-2005, 09:24 AM
There was one story on TV today that talked about that. I don't know if it's true or not, I guess some gas station owners seemed to believe people bought more stuff in the store (which as you said is the most important) if they didn't prepay. I don't have any idea how factual that is. I wouldn't think it makes sense ...but then again, when I think about the times I've had to prepay for gas, I don't think I've bought much in the store. Couldn't tell you why.

I used to manage convenience stores in the mid 90s. I can tell you that is true. C-stores don't make jack off of gas, as far as profit-per-gallon. IIRC, they only make a couple cents per gallon profit. If you think about that, it takes selling a lot of gas to make any kind of money.

Lzen
08-25-2005, 09:27 AM
I hate to say it, but with gas prices being what they are these days, i cant blame these people for driving off. Why give more $$$$ to Bush and his cronies?

Wow, this has got to be one of the dumbest things I've seen posted in awhile. 'Bush and his cronies' (as you say) are not the ones that pay for this. By the time some idiot is driving off with this gas, it has already been bought from the oil supplier. It's the gas station owner, who has very little or nothing to do with the current high price of gas, who you're screwing by doing this. :rolleyes:

Lzen
08-25-2005, 09:32 AM
I always pay at the pump. It's just faster.

Although I really miss the good old days of pumping my gas, then getting in line at the cashier behind the guy buying off scratch off tickets and playing them at the counter, then getting more tickets, playing them... or the woman with the two stinky, screaming kids doing her weekly shopping at the convienence store and paying with food stamps. No lady, you can't buy cigarettes with food stamps.

Oh man, that crap is a big reason why I got out of that business. Well, that and the screwey hours and not being able to find and keep decent help due to the company not wanting to pay clerks worth a damn.