Hot Spot gas station complaint

I usually purchase my gas at the Hot Spot on Highway 25 below the Greenville landfill. I fill my boat up there, get gas for my mowers-- in other words, I spend a considerable amount of money for gas. 99.9% of the time, I use a debit card. This morning, I just got in from the lake, and all I had on me was cash money. I know they have problems with driveoffs and people stealing gas. I sent my son in to the cashier with money in hand, and informed the cashier that I was on pump #11, and he would stand there and pay her when I got through filling the truck up. She said that the pump would not turn on unless he first paid cash. I understand someone saying they would fill up and come back to pay when through. I could understand calling for a deposit then. My son was standing there, cash in hand, and she refused to turn on the pump. He had to come and get me, because he was unsure of what to do. I went in to ask her why she refused to initiate the pump, and she said “cash first.” I’m wondering if it’s the same policy if I have to prepay before I can get merchandise in a Hot Spot store. I can understand that there are many thieves in this world, but I am not one. With my son standing there ready to pay because I wasn’t sure how much it would be, and still being refused-- I gave her $91, put in $70, and then went back to get change. Not very good “customer relations,” in my point of view! Thank you.

Well, she doesn’t know that. Sorry, it’s just one of the aggravations regular people have to deal with due to the scums. Like when they took phone numbers off pay phones (back when there were pay phones) so that drug dealers couldn’t receive calls.

Lots of places do prepay; I’m surprised you’ve never run into this before.

All your son had to do is hand the cash to the cashier; why was this a problem? Cash in his hand is not “pay first”.

In related news: World does not work according to poster’s preconceived notions. Film at 11.

In other related news - cash is worthless and should be avoided as much as possible.

I’m guessing they have the same prepay policy If you wanted to walk out with the merchandise and put it in your car.

I sympathize with the fact that it’s mildly annoying to pay with cash if you plan to fill up, but I don’t know of any gas stations in this area that let you pump without paying first anymore.

I’m shocked that you’ve never experienced this! This is standard operating procedure everywhere I’ve ever tried to pay with cash when buying gas.

I don’t know… this pitting is a crime.

Customer service doesn’t mean burning the building down to keep you warm
I have been stuck behind people waiting to pay for someone’s gas in a conveince store line. The cashier has two choices, stare at your kid with the money in his hand while you pump, holding up the line, or letting your kid wander the store with a random amount of money, while you pump a random amount of gas. What if the kid slipped out while the cashier was ocupied? What if you had sent in seventy dollars and pumped seventy-five dollars worth of gas? I’ve seen it happen. I’ve also seen a cashier near panic because she “lost” someone on pump six with ten dollars worth of gas, who turned up with a slushy, late in line. I’ve also seen a cashier sigh, pick up the phone and speed dial the manager or the cops when I was the last person in a rush crowd, and honestly reported I hadn’t got gas. Luckily I was a regular in an unusual car, or I might have been questioned harder.

I have a bad back, and avoid any walking I can on bad days. I hate walking into the store twice; once for pay, once for change. I use cash cause I’m a pizza boy, and tips come that way. So I pay fifteen if it’ll take twenty to fill me up, (one trip!) or I send in my daughter with the instructions to pay, then wait beside the line, not in the way, and get the change.

It’s just a daily annoyance of not living in Mayberry and knowing literally everyone in town. I feel your pain, the pre-pay policy became popular just as I was getting a handle on driving and owning a car, It was an annoying switch just as I was assuming I knew what I was doing the old way.

You also realize that a gas station pay at the pump feature puts a hold on your card for a large amount when it authorizes and then after you fill up it process the total, right? Sometimes, it can take as much as a day to get that cash hold to clear off. So you are pre-paying with your debit card too, they just aren’t as upfront about it.

LOL… must be USA, right!

This is how it works in the rest of the world: Drive to the pump, put nozzle in, start pumping, finish, go to the cashier, quote your pump and pay.
This worked for me in (or where I had the pleasure of filling a car with “gas”) Germany, France, Vietnam, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Malaysia, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, etc. …

Only exception to this rule is/was, when it’s a unmanned gas/patrol station and you can pay only via Credit Card, you put your card in and select the amount and it pumps that amount of fuel.

Since you already know, that they have problems with drive off’s, you should not be pissed at the cashier, since s/he has to pay for your gas, if s/he did not ask you for the money upfront.

Would you want to pay for some douchebags gas? Guess not!

So, just accept it!

Is it possible that the computer system they use just doesn’t allow the pump to be turned on without cash being tendered first?

This is what I suspected, reading the OP.

You mean they made you go through the same procedure that gas stations have been using in the US for more than 25 years when customers come in to pay cash? OMFG what a horrible thing for them to do! How dare they follow SOP!?!!??? You’re special; can’t they see that???

Is prepay common in the States? I drive in Canada, but I’ve driven down to Duluth and Minneapolis a few times and I don’t think I’ve ever had to prepay.

Prepay for cash has been SOP in the US for something like 2 decades, if not longer. It’s neither new nor unusual.

That’s been the rule around here for 20 years or more. If you use cash, you have to prepay, and when that amount is reached, the pump shuts off.

It’s one of the settings on the pump and pay system that can only be set by the techs from the company that maintains your system, although the system is easily hackable IF the store owner is willing to break the seals that will void his contract and get him screwed by the county or state regulatory agencies, if he’s caught. It happens. You see it in the news occasionally. Store owner tells them what to set, they set it, and the cashiers are powerless (so don’t blame them) to override it without the override code. Cite: my friend owns a convenience store. I asked him. He has his set so he or his wife can override it for good customers whom they know, but no employee knows the code, so unless they want to put their own money at risk*** for a customer who might turn out to be a drive-off, they have to get the cash, first. At least on his system, and I expect most other modern systems in the US that do pre-pay automatically.

[begin generic “you”]

*** My friend does give them that option, but it’s a zero-tolerance thing. If someone stiffs you, it comes out of your pay. You are putting your own money on the line. Unsurprisingly, very few are willing to do that for someone they don’t already know personally. Seeing you three times a week isn’t good enough, when all you have to do to steal $20 from them, is take your business across the street. And someone’s already done that to them. And the absolute most they can do if you show up again and refuse to pay what you stiffed them for the last time, is they can deny you service, after a big shouting match which will put off other customers who are there at the time, and piss off the boss, besides. Unsurprisingly, low wage employees are not willing to go through that, just to save the guy who shows up 3 times a week, who’s contact info they don’t know. You’re not worth a $100 risk for that, let alone the alleged extra $5 that’s supposed to show up in the boss’s bottom line, but never does.

Read the Hot Spot Twitter Feed, and all will be forgiven.