Poll about forgetting what you paid for

So here’s the setting: you’re in a (busy) gas station, prepaying for gas for your car that’s parked at one of the gas pumps. The cashier sets up the prepay, you go outside, and get distracted somehow. Say you suddenly meet an old friend at the next pump. You spend 5 or 10 minutes chatting with them, exchange phone numbers, and having been completely distracted drive away from the gas station without pumping the gas you’d prepaid for.

A few minutes later, you realize what happens and go back to the station to explain the situation to the cashier. What do you expect to happen?

I expect that I get the gas that I paid for. If I have the receipt, I’d show that I did indeed pay for gas.

It might be easier to just go inside and act as if you never pumped your gas, but never left the station either. Hmm, I wonder what would happen if you never bothered to go inside, and you just pulled up to the original pump and pumped the amount you pre-paid for. As long as you had a receipt, I don’t suppose there would be much they could do except harrass you.


I expect him to say, “well, if no one has come in behind you, it’s probably still in the system, so go fill up. Otherwise, the best I can tell you is that we don’t run a system here that is sophisticated enough to allow people to pay for gas and come back and get it whenever they want, and you can imagine how people would try to take advantage of such a system if we did allow it. So, if you’re telling me the truth, it looks like you’re out the twenty bucks, sorry. If you still want more gas, it’s going to be twenty more.”

I get around this by living in an area where pre-pay doesn’t exist. You just fill up then go pay, or use pay at the pump.

In that situation, it would be best to talk to a manager. When I worked at a gas station, our pumps had a monitor which showed how many gallons had been sold, versus how much had been paid for. The read-outs would show that there were X-number of sold gallons which were still unpumped.

That is, of course, unless some sly character realized what had happened and took advantage of it and took your gas, in which case, there wouldn’t be anything which could be done, unless the manager was willing to review any security tapes.

I did this and the clerks answer was “Talk to the manager” who of course would be in at the most impossibly inconvient time. :slight_smile:

I finally just ate the 5 bucks. (This was back when gas was closer to 1 dollar than it was to 3)

What do you mean “…you go inside”? Don’t you just give the money to the person who pumped the gas for you while you sat all nice and cozy in your car listening to the radio? Oh, wait. You folks outside of New Jersey have to pump your own gas. :smiley: