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> Zip Codes At Gas Pumps
Glenn Norton
post Nov 12 2008, 11:42 AM
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During the past couple of years whenever I want to get gas and pay at the pump at a lot of stations I am asked for a zip code. As a Canadian I don't have one. Some gas attendants suggested I used six zeros, but that didn't work. I called my credit card companies and they claimed to have never heard of the problem and there was nothing they could do about it. Have any other fellow Canadians faced this situation and actually were able to do something about it without getting in a lineup to hand their card over to the cashier? sad.gif
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DXSMac
post Nov 12 2008, 02:01 PM
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To my knowledge, this is an "anti-fraud" thing, not a "marketing" thing. The zip code you enter must match what is on the records of the credit card. I put in a "bad" code once just to see what would happen, the pump wouldn't authorize the transaction.

The only way around it for you is to use "pay at window." You punch the button for "pay at window." However, if the gas station requires you to hand over your credit card while pumping gas, (and some will...), then drive off and find another station. Although I can understand why a gas station would want to hold your credit card (to make sure you don't pump and drive off...), it's never a good idea to have your credit card out of your sight.

Also, gas stations near the Canadian border (and Mexican border) should reprogram their pumps to accept neighboring nation postal codes!

JJ


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FosterImposters
post Nov 12 2008, 02:13 PM
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Hello Glenn cool.gif
Although not Canadian ourselves, we do flock together at much the same over-wintering parks. Several of our northern friends have set up a US bank account to make purchases easier when they're traveling, living here. Easier said than done, and I'm sure there are other requirements...however communities that routinely entertain sno-bird visitors are generally VERY eager to work out any wrinkles so your stay is pleasant. Golden Palms Resort (Hemet, California) for example, has it's own post office so their guests have the necessary US address. Hemet becomes Canadian for 3-5 months a year...we love it! wink.gif
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Glenn Norton
post Nov 12 2008, 09:02 PM
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Yes it would be great if border gas stations did reprogram to include postal codes from Canada or Mexico. I just wish my own credit card companies would look into this further as it won't be long before some kind of zip code program will be introduced here in Canada as well. As far as having a US bank account; I have thought about it. As far as I know these type of accounts in Canada are not insured by CDIC (same as FDIC). I pretty much use my credit cards exclusively other than the odd debit transaction (usually ARCO gas stations) and only get cash from certain ATMs I have found in my travels that don't charge a service fee. I find it pretty odd that even though Canada and the US share many of the same gas stations and same credit card companies we still have a ways to go before there will be any uniformity. Maybe when the credit cards with the microchips start coming out we won't need to input zip codes anymore. Anything to get out of that lineup to the cashier! rolleyes.gif
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RLM
post Nov 14 2008, 12:52 AM
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Having read thru the posts on this issue I pulled out a few comments that give me the impression that some of you as customers have little confidence in your ability to control your own situation with a particular business.

“The only way around it” – “I wished” – “There was nothing they could do” –“it would be great if”

I mean no disrespect to the advice that you gave, but I’d suggest that WE are the ones who keep businesses alive – to include credit card companies. That is power. So instead of accepting NO for an answer, fight back. Work to change the system so that situations like Glen Norton’s are rare. Sometimes you have to be willing not to be a customer if they won’t acknowledge common sense.

The people who make these asinine rules and restrictions are not necessarily pin heads. They just don’t have all the information. So help them out by complaining in an informative and tactful way.

Glen> I am sorry that you have to put up with that BS when visiting my country. If the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn't be visiting your country again and I would write a nasty gram to your tourism department explaining why I choose not to visit Canada.

Now, if one just prefers to vent instead of standing up for your rights as a consumer, then that’s ok too.
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Glenn Norton
post Nov 15 2008, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE(RLM @ Nov 13 2008, 10:52 PM) *


The people who make these asinine rules and restrictions are not necessarily pin heads. They just don’t have all the information. So help them out by complaining in an informative and tactful way.

Glen> I am sorry that you have to put up with that BS when visiting my country. If the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn't be visiting your country again and I would write a nasty gram to your tourism department explaining why I choose not to visit Canada.

Now, if one just prefers to vent instead of standing up for your rights as a consumer, then that’s ok too.

Thanks RLM for the reminder that we the consumer do have choices. I am going to get back to those credit card companies and ask to speak with someone higher up than the customer service reps and find out if they do still want my business. I also want to find out which oil companies do not ask for zip codes when I gas up. They will get my business.
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Parkview
post Nov 15 2008, 06:13 PM
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As a business (RV Park) that accepts credit cards, I fully understand why more and more gas stations and other businesses are requiring additional information for credit card purchases. In 2007 I paid $12,449.94 in credit card processing fees.

Many do not realize that all businesses who accept credit cards are billed a percentage of every purchase made on a credit card by the credit card processing company. The credit card processing company is not the company that issues the credit card; it is a totally separate entity; so complaining to the credit card company would not reach the people responsible for the charges. The percentage of a purchase that a company pays for accepting credit cards can and does vary according to how "safe" or qualified the purchase is as defined by the credit card processing company. These levels are usually defined as "qualified" , "mid-qualified" or "non-qualified" according to the amount of information that is supplied at the time of purchase, and the fees for the different qualification levels can range from 1 to 4 percent of the purchase.

Qualified means you give me your card, and I swipe it into my credit card processing machine -this affords me (the business) the lowest processing fee available, because I saw you and I know you possessed the card, and I probably have your photo.

Mid - Qualified means that I do not have your card, but I am able to supply additional information that helps verify that the user of the card or number is actually the person to whom the card is registered. This information, which we request when taking telephone deposits, consists of street address (number only), zip code, and the 3 digit security code from the back of the customer's cards. When the information is keyed into my processing machine, if the information does not match what is on record for that card, the sale is rejected. This provides me a processing fee that is 1/2 to 3/4 of a percent lower than than the non-qualified rate.

Non-qualified means I supply nothing to the credit card processor other than a credit card number, which I hand key into my processing machine via the key pad. That number could have been supplied by anyone with a stolen credit card or a receipt taken out of the trash. This costs the business that accepts such tranactions the highest processing fee, because it is the least safe transaction.

The relatively new and expanding procedure requiring extra info at gas pumps helps thwart the use of stolen credit cards at gas pumps where there are usually no witnesses to the use and results in a lower processing fee to the gas station. A credit card thief will not know the billing zip code of the real owner unless he has also stolen that additional information.

I just returned from from an extended motorhome vacation myself, and I notice that some of the major travel stops have reinstituted the once discontinued practice of charging more for credit card sale than cash sales. I would much rather enter my zip code than pay an additional 6 to 9 cents per gallon for fuel. The new zip code procedures save money and and help protect you as credit card owners.

I hope this sheds a little light. Thanks - Doug






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Texasrvers
post Nov 15 2008, 08:08 PM
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I have no problem with any type of added security to protect our credit cards. I have seen people get really irate when a sales clerk asked for an ID. I always thank the clerk for checking. However, it would be good if credit card companies and retailers would work together to find a way for our Canadian (and other) friends to be able to enter something equivalent to our zip code so that they too can have the convenience of paying at the pump. This is not rocket science. There must be a way to do this.
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Carly
post Dec 18 2008, 11:16 PM
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If you have a Cdn. MasterCard, call them and give then an alternate mailing address in the US. They will add this to your card information, then you can enter that Zip code and your card will work. We use a US mail forwarding service so have an address but if you go to the same RV park every year then you could use that address, or a friend or family member that has a US address.
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DXSMac
post Dec 18 2008, 11:37 PM
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QUOTE(RLM @ Nov 13 2008, 10:52 PM) *

Having read thru the posts on this issue I pulled out a few comments that give me the impression that some of you as customers have little confidence in your ability to control your own situation with a particular business.

“The only way around it” – “I wished” – “There was nothing they could do” –“it would be great if”

I mean no disrespect to the advice that you gave, but I’d suggest that WE are the ones who keep businesses alive – to include credit card companies. That is power. So instead of accepting NO for an answer, fight back. Work to change the system so that situations like Glen Norton’s are rare. Sometimes you have to be willing not to be a customer if they won’t acknowledge common sense.



I am re-reading the posts.... and although I agree with what RLM is saying here, um, I'm the one who posted, "the only way around it" comment. I argue that by "finding a way around the hoop" and using that method, that I am doing what RLM suggested, "standing up for my rights." If enough people "went around the hoop by presenting another hoop for the business to jump through" (i.e., still made a line despite efforts by the business to prevent this), then, it is "standing up for our rights."

Sometimes when something is made "more convenient," you are obligated to give up something in return for that "convenience." When businesses make something "more convenient," believe me, it's NEVER about the customer. It's about what the business will get in return for delivering that "convenience."

Convenience always has a "price" even if it can't be measured in dollars.

JJ



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Check out my blog on TOADLESS RVing!
http://rvingtoadless.blogspot.com/

Feel free to leave me some suggestions.
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RLM
post Dec 20 2008, 02:26 PM
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Parkview> You posted.. "As a business (RV Park) that accepts credit cards, I fully understand why more and more gas stations and other businesses are requiring additional information for credit card purchases. In 2007 I paid $12,449.94 in credit card processing fees."

When I'm on a extended trip I like to pay cash for many purchases where I don't need a credit card charge back feature. Reconciling statements is one less hassle to be done when I get home. I've gotten in the habit of asking for a small discount for cash, but a don't find many independent merchants willing to give one. Why is that? I would think that at least we could split the difference in merchant card fees. It may not be much but it adds up. Probably more so for the business.
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Parkview
post Dec 21 2008, 06:44 PM
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RLM,

The flip side of that coin would be for all businesses to charge extra for the use of credit cards. As stated in other posts, we offer a variety of discounts, some of them very deep discounts. I do not see us ever offering an even deeper discount for cash purchases. In past years, long before I was in the RV Park business, I remember camping in many parks that would not give the Good Sam discount, KOA discount, AARP discount (or any other discount program) unless you paid cash.

As a park owner, I choose not to complicate things. I charge my posted and advertised prices, including any applicable discounts, and I charge the same price whether cash or credit card. I do, however, ask for the additional CC and zip code info when taking telephone deposits for reservations so that I can keep my CC costs as low as possible as any responsible business owner would do.

Doug

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