Gas pumps that have a multi-line LCD or LED text display seem to be very slow at cycling between pages displayed. Why?
Example: I insert a credit card into the reader on the pump, then question 1 appears:
DO YOU WANT A RECEIPT (YES/NO)
After hitting the “No” button, the question disappears, but the next doesn’t appear for another second. (I haven’t timed it. But it feels close to a second, but I am impatient. I’ve just piqued my own curiosity. I’m going to use a stopwatch next time I’m buying gas.)
WOULD YOU LIKE A CAR WASH (YES/NO)
Yes. Question gone. Another 1 second pause.
WOULD YOU LIKE THE DELUXE SUPER SPECIAL WASH (YES/NO)
No. Another 1 second pause.
WOULD YOU LIKE THE DELUXE SUPER WASH (YES/NO)
No. 1 s.
WOULD YOU LIKE THE DELUXE WASH (YES/NO)
No. 1 s.
WOULD YOU LIKE THE STANDARD WASH (YES/NO)
Yes. 1 s.
PLEASE SELECT GRADE OF GASOLINE
There are limited choice paths, so it isn’t like the pump has to query a database across the internet to get the next question. The next question has to be stored in the electronics of the pump. Why does it take 100x longer to get to the next question than it would be if being asked by a Commodore 64?
Also, why do gasoline retailers put up with it? A transaction like the one above has measurable time added to the transaction, time that doesn’t seem to benefit the gas station or supplying oil company (especially where the pump isn’t selling anything other than gasoline).