Drivers and gas stations don’t need a mandatory pre-pay system

23. observer1 What a stupid debate
ALL self serve station pumps accept credit cards. Those without a card can always prepay . The Star refers to a "Modern prepay system" that will result in the customer being less likely to enter the Kiosk. What an utterly stupid com1ment. The decades old ability to pay by C.C. means that most of us NEVER enter the Kiosk and 99% of station will not have to install "new pumps". Is this writer nuts

The Toronto Star
September 18, 2012

Drivers and gas stations don’t need a mandatory pre-pay system
Editorial

Toronto%20Star.jpg

He was just trying to do the right thing, and it cost him his life. No wonder the death of 44-year-old Jayesh Prajapati has triggered so much sorrow and anger. Indeed, strong emotion is entirely justified.

Here was an immigrant to this country, eager to share in the Canadian dream — working hard and hoping to get ahead for the sake of his family. Prajapati earned a masters degree in India, in chemistry, but couldn’t find a job in his field and was working at a gas station near Eglinton Ave. W. and Allen Rd. He considered it the first rung on a ladder to success, but would never climb higher.

Prajapati was killed Saturday night when he attempted to stop an SUV driven by a career criminal intent on stealing $112 worth of gas. He was dragged to his death as the vehicle sped away, leaving his wife Vaishali, 11-year-old son Rishabh, and a community to mourn.

This needless death underlines the risks run by people working alone at night, in gas stations and convenience stores across the province. Premier Dalton McGuinty says his government will take “a long, hard look” at lessons that could be drawn from the tragedy. And Liberal MPP Mike Colle, who was on the scene shortly after Prajapati was killed, has some specific ideas.

Colle has called for a new law that would allow suspension of a driver’s licence on being convicted of gas theft. Most U.S. states have provisions giving judges that discretion and it seems a reasonable measure. Employers are already forbidden from deducting losses due to gasoline theft from an employee’s paycheque and Ministry of Labour officials are looking into whether that was obeyed where Prajapati worked. If this rule was broken, more and better enforcement would be in order.

But one well-intentioned reform is unwarranted — a law forcing motorists to pre-pay their fuel purchases. British Columbia adopted that system after a gas station attendant was killed in a much-publicized “pump and run” incident in 2005. But it goes too far in limiting consumers’ options and burdening small gas stations.

A modern pre-pay system, based on using credit cards at the pump, reduces inconvenience but cuts use of cash and makes customers less likely to enter a station’s convenience store area. That means higher costs to the operator, in the form of credit card fees, and fewer convenience store sales. And that’s on top of the cost of installing costly new pumps capable of handling credit card transactions.

Many stations already use pay-first systems, especially in risky areas, but that should remain their choice, not a government order. And dedicated employees, like Prajapati, should receive more training so they don’t put themselves at risk when someone is stealing gas.

No one’s life is worth a fill-up.

Comments
1. Vote NDP in the next federal/provincial election
Its true that attendants in all gas stations across Canada have to pay out of their paycheques to cover stolen gas. All the attendant has to prove is his paystub, the printed reciept of the transaction in question and video surveillance.
Sep 19, 2012

2. U Snooze U Lose If you don't want your staff to steal your money, then YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM PAY FOR ALL GAS 'N DASHES / DINE 'N DASHES…
…If you want your staff to lie about "The customer was a gas 'n dash / dine 'n dash" and then pocket the money for themselves, then go right ahead, see if I care
Sep 19, 2012

3. observer1 re: prepay is horrible
Just one more incredibly STUPID comment. Has this idiot not noticed that ALL self serve stations accept CREDIT CARDS at the pump? If you don't have one most will take cash on a prepay basis. Even if a station makes you prepay after a certain hour does this REALLY make life so bad ?? If so buy your dam gas in the morning !! This whole thing is a NON ISSUE why has it attracted so much comment?
Sep 19, 2012

4. Grooved Ware People How is It That
A privately owned fuel company that also provides gas and diesel can do it at lower prices than their competitors and they not only have attendants to fill your vehicle, but clean the windshield, check the oil and fluids, and tires? Where you ask? Merrickville, ON near Oddawahaha.
Sep 19, 2012

5. Grooved Ware People sammy5358
Too much trouble to use a debit card is it? why, are you avoiding bank records and taxes?
Sep 19, 2012

6. Grooved Ware People Higher Costs?
How about the lawsuit that these employers will face for violating the law and forcing employees to be up against the wall on losses? Oh wait, their insurance company will pay…right? Guess what, so will the rest of us in HIGHER PREMIUMS. How much is a life worth? As to convenience Stores Michael Douglas had the answer in 'Falling Down'
Sep 19, 2012

7. Pete I Know.
Hire people to pump the gas! Just like they used to do in the olden golden days when business was about service. I can hear it now. Com'on Pete your sounding like and goat and your not even 50 yet. Supplying jobs for the youth is so 70's and you didn't need a chemical engineering degree to get the job either.
Sep 19, 2012

8. Fez Zington Seriously?
JSS has it right pointing out the logic flaws of the piece. There is also a fundamental inconsistency (not to mention hypocrisy) in closing with the line "No one’s life is worth a fill-up", after the whole point of the editorial was denial of the need for implementing a simple measure that would have prevented the tragedy. Does no one at the Star actually read these things before they print them?
Sep 19, 2012

9. sammy5358 prepay is horrible
everytime I'm at a U.S. gas pump I am reminded how much better we have it in Canada. I feel for the family of the man, but this would just be one more step towards darkness if we go this route. You know how much hassle it is when you use cash to do a prepay. Your tank is either never filled or you have to go back in for change. Ensure the oil companies are responsible for the criminals not us
Sep 19, 2012

10. OBoile I agree with the editorial
Gas stations should be allowed to decide their own rules regarding payment time. We are too much of a nanny state as it is.

11. JSS Flawed Logic in this Editorial
It says "A modern pre-pay system, based on using credit cards at the pump"… People that pay-at-the-pump are not the problem with gas-and-dash. If you're going to pay in the store (cash or credit), then it makes NO DIFFERENCE if you pre-pay or post-pay…. you're STILL going into the store…. and you can stil buy stuff. So maying customers PRE PAY will not cause hardship to the owners.
Sep 19, 2012

12. view_from_an_old_fart Every gas station in the GTA that I've used could be made "pre-pay" without a new law or
investment in new pumps. In fact, it seems that the pumps closest to the exit from the station are designated as "pre-pay" only. Did the Star do any research before dashing off this Opinion piece?
Sep 19, 2012

13. logicalthinker What happened in the old days?
Did no one go into the gas bar and buy stuff when the attendant used to pump your gas and clean your windows? The Star's ridiculous remark that people won't go into the store to buy the overpriced junk is just plain wrong. This feature is coming. Lets get on with it. How many attendants are going to get hurt or killed before McGuinty does something?
Sep 19, 2012

14. OnionBalls Facts please…
"But it goes too far in limiting consumers’ options and burdening small gas stations. A modern pre-pay system, based on using credit cards at the pump, reduces inconvenience but cuts use of cash and makes customers less likely to enter a station’s convenience store area." Source please. This is unsubstantiated innuendo.
Sep 19, 2012

15. devilsadvocate The problem is..
Despite the gas station owners saying their attendants are not responsible for the loss of non-payment they are made to pay for the loss out of their wages. It's all very well saying it's against the labour law but if they complain they lose their jobs. That is the fact.
Sep 19, 2012

16. CrankyOldFart "Drivers and gas stations don’t need a mandatory pre-pay system"
Had Canada a "Three Strike Rule" perhaps the alleged murderer (a scumbag with a rap sheet longer than Lennox Lewis' combined arm length) of Mr. Prajapati, wouldn't have been on our streets driving !
Sep 19, 2012

17. logicalthinker Once again…………
the Toronto Star is so out of touch with the average person in the street. This pre pay for gas is coming. It's throughout the U.S. now. As gas prices are sure to increase, this crime will be more commonplace. Any reasonable person knows that. Except the Toronto Star. The guy that killed this attendant should have a lifetime driving ban after he gets out of his very long prison sentence.
Sep 19, 2012

18. cdcdcd Why not?
Pre-payment exists 24hrs in British Columbia and at night in Saskatchewan. We can save the lives of workers like Jayesh with some kind of mandatory pre-payment here.
Sep 19, 2012

19. canali bring in prepay
nonsense that using prepay discourages entering the on site store to purchase goods….i'm in vancouver, always use prepay and have no probs at all in going in afterwords to purchase any goods i'll want ie coffee etc. …bring in prepay: once you start to use it and notice the savings of time and hassles vs your current time consuming methods in ontario, you'll never go back.
Sep 19, 2012

20. Barneyrider Another alternative but I doubt it
Check out New Jersey where it is illegal for any individual to pump their own gasoline. Not only prevents drive-offs but creates employment. I came across a woman in Pensylvania driving a rental car and since she lived in New Jersey she did not know how or where to put the gasoline. I helped her out since she had never in her lifetime pumped gas. Wouldnt it be nice to be able to stay in the car
Sep 19, 2012

21. bramblerose1 Not in my day
There's a law preventing losses being deducted from a worker's pay? Really? Since when? Back when I worked at a self-serve station in the late 70's, I had to pay for every penny a drive-off stole. These clowns think they're sticking it to the oil companies but in truth, it's the attendant that has to pay. I hope this guy is caught and convicted and made to pay restitution to the family.
Sep 19, 2012

22. selkiem I HATE the pre-pay idea
Whenever I'm in the States, find it irritating and unnecessary. Also, have spoken to various gas attendants over the years and EVERY SINGLE ONE said they have to pay out of their own pockets for the gas and dash! without exception! So "law" or not, it is a joke -was also told the cops NEVER respond so pointless to call them… this is tragic but no need to make every transaction a prepay one …
Sep 19, 2012

23. observer1 What a stupid debate
ALL self serve station pumps accept credit cards. Those without a card can always prepay . The Star refers to a "Modern prepay system" that will result in the customer being less likely to enter the Kiosk. What an utterly stupid com1ment. The decades old ability to pay by C.C. means that most of us NEVER enter the Kiosk and 99% of station will not have to install "new pumps". Is this writer nuts
Sep 19, 2012

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1258683--drivers-and-gas-stations-don-t-need-a-mandatory-pre-pay-system


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