Since 2011, we’ve followed the proliferation of tiny Walmarts across America (well, mostly Arkansas) as they fan out and threaten to take over our retailscape like the splinters that grew into enchanted brooms in the “Sorceror’s Apprentice” section of Disney’s “Fantasia.” In the chain’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas, they’re experimenting with yet another new store format: the “Walmart To Go” convenience store, complete with gas pumps and a deli counter.
Brazen. Reckless. Pretty much a waste of time. You can use any of those words to describe a theft that seems so utterly pointless that you’ve got to wonder why anyone went to the effort to pull it off. Because buying a banana for what, a quarter? That’s a lot easier than ramming a gas station with your car to steal one. [More]
Credit and debit card skimmers are a menace that might discourage consumers from using ATMs and pay-at-the-pump devices at gas stations. That’s why seals that show everyone whether a pump has been tampered with are a great idea, even if they aren’t foolproof at detecting the sneakiest and tiniest skimmers. Unless you employ them like some Shell stations. [More]
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a friend complain about a phone with a shattered screen, I’d be the known as That Girl With Lots Of Nickels. But perhaps just this one time a phone owner is likely grateful to his broken phone for doing him a tiny favor and stopping a bullet. [More]
Save your life or keep your job? A gas station clerk in New Hampshire says he can find another job, but that he had to pull a gun on an armed robber wielding a knife shortly after midnight on Monday morning to protect himself, despite company policy against firearms in the workplace. He was fired a few hours after the incident. [More]
“Pay at the pump” generally means you swipe your credit or debit card at the machine. But in New Jersey, where you’re forbidden from pumping your own gas, there really is no other choice than paying at the pump, though the card isn’t always swiped at the actual pump. This vague distinction between “pay at the pump” and “giving your card to someone at the pump” is why one Jersey driver is out $217 in credit card rewards. [More]
We’re all about multitasking here at Consumerist: as I write this, I am also running a load of laundry and petting a dog with my foot. For example. If you want to save time while running errands, though, don’t follow the lead of a man who combined robbing a store with applying for a job at them, leaving behind an application with his real contact information. [More]
When most people fuel up at a gas station, especially one belonging to a national chain, they do so under the assumption that they are filling their car up with whatever gasoline they have selected from the pump. But authorities in New Jersey say that several stations were deceiving customers — and putting their cars at risk — by selling them leaded aviation gas (or avgas) under the guise of unleaded gasoline. [More]
A strange gas station scam in Minnesota didn’t hurt customers, exactly: it benefited customers. The scam victim was the owner of the gas station, who thought that they had sold the place to credible new owners. Instead, after a glorious one-day sale with everything in the convenience store half off and gas about forty cents per gallon below the local market price, the sale collapsed. The owner says that the down payment check bounced, the buyers disappeared, and $50,000 in cash was missing…along with the gas and merchandise that local customers pounced on during that too-good-to-be-true sale. [More]
We have no idea whether gasoline additive Eco Fuel Saver does what it’s supposed to: increasing your fuel mileage, cutting back on pollutants, and making your car 800% more awesome. Or maybe just those first two. What we do know is that people are stupid. It’s not hard to picture what must have happened to lead the management of this gas station to put up this very prominent sign.
If you’ve been following the news at all in the last week, you know that gas has been a coveted product on the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Storm survivors have been dependent on it to power their generators and drivers have been lining up for hours to fill their vehicles. One New Jersey gas station was happy to serve fuel-hungry customers, but made the unfortunate mistake of serving up gasoline mixed with diesel fuel. Total buzzkill. [More]
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a common thought prevailed among those in New Jersey who had cars — “What if the gas stations run out of gas?” As people panicked and drove off to find the nearest gas pump and long lines formed, those lines prompted other people to think that there must be a shortage if there’s a long line and so they join the line, too. And thus begins a cycle that has caused some emotional flare-ups at the pump. [More]
If you’re pulling in to a gas station in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, don’t start filling up until you check the price: Over 50 franchise owners of Lukoil stations have hiked prices up to $9.99 to protest what they call unfair pricing by the Russian-owned oil company. At issue is how Lukoil sells its gasoline to stations that are near each other for different prices, which causes customers to choose, of course, the cheapest gas.
It may not have been just a freaky set of circumstances that led to a man having over $84,000 charged to his bank card after buying $30 of gas last week. That same Nashville gas station has seen a few other overcharges that also reached into the high tens of thousands.
It’s a really great idea to try to prevent people from skimming credit cards at ATMs and gas pumps with anti-theft stickers –Â but the first important step? You gotta put the sticker in the right spot. Shell failed at this back in October, and it appears it’s still totally clueless when it comes to sticker placement.
It’s not legal for a store to charge an extra fee or percentage when customers pay by credit card, but it is legal to offer a discount to customers who pay in cash. Great. The flaw in this plan is that, at least in New York state, there aren’t any laws regulating how big that discount can be. Which is why some Long Island gas station operators recently hiked the price per gallon of gas a dollar, then offered a one-dollar discount to customers who pay cash.
If you want to pay cash at the gas station, chances are you either need to pre-pay or leave some sort of deposit inside before the attendant will even unlock the pump. But a station in Saginaw, MI, is testing a new pump technology called Post-Pay that allows cash-paying customers to unlock the gas pumps with a mere swipe of a driver’s license.
Last month, we wrote about the new-ish practice of slapping stickers on gas pumps to prevent credit card skimmers. But someone at this Shell station seemed to have missed the point of the sticker completely. [More]