You probably wouldn’t try to leave a retail store without a receipt, but you might not think about it when you’re at the gas pump—after all, it’s not like you’re going to bring the gas back for a refund. But a reader points out that you should always have your proof of purchase just in case you end up in an awkward situation:
I pulled out of the lot, turned left, and I wasn’t more than 200 yards away when a cop comes up behind me, lights flashing. I knew I couldn’t have been speeding so I was genuinely confused. He said the woman at the United Dairy Farmers said I drove off without paying for gas.
Here’s Chris’ full story:
I had an interesting experience on Friday and a life lesson I think is worth passing onto other readers. On Friday I stopped at a United Dairy Farmers (local Cincinnati convenience store/ice cream parlor) to fill up while gas is relatively cheap. I pulled up to the pump, swiped my card, filled up, and paused before printing the receipt. Usually those things just end up wadding up in my pocket or under the seats of the car, but what the hell, I hit yes anyway. I then went inside to get a soft drink.
“Anything else?” the cashier asked. I said no, paid in change, and went back to my car. I pulled out of the lot, turned left, and I wasn’t more than 200 yards away when a cop comes up behind me, lights flashing. I knew I couldn’t have been speeding so I was genuinely confused. He said the woman at the United Dairy Farmers said I drove off without paying for gas. I said that was incorrect, and he said “She said it was a silver car, and she pointed at yours.” I do drive a silver car, but I had paid for gas, and wait! I told the officer I had my receipt, and he wrote down the details: Amount, pump number, last 4 of my credit card, and the time. I also pulled out the credit card I paid with and my license, just to verify everything was on the up and up. He was cool about it, apologized, and I was on my way.
Lesson here is to always print that receipt out. I rarely check it against my statements now that I don’t fill up as often. But without that 3×1 strip of paper I would have had a totally different story to tell. Needless to say I won’t be taking my business to United Dairy Farmers anymore – being falsely accused of theft is a dealbreaker.