Gas station attendants should be protected by pay-first laws

7. ctrl109
As a former Petro Canada Site Licensee, I can tell you I would have welcomed a pre-pay law then, even if it meant a dip in store sales, and I encourage one now. The gas and dash phenomenon is massive, happens all the time and pre-paying is the only sure fire way to stop it. The police won't do anything if a station reports one, even with full descriptions and license plate info. Unless an assault has occurred, they will not attend the scene due to the volume of these happening each and every day.

The majority of gas stations in Canadian cities are still owned by the oil companies. A licensee/franchisee operates it in exchange for a small percentage on gas sales and a larger percentage on other items. However when a theft occurs, the loss lands on the licensee, not the oil company (and no, there is no excuse for unscrupulous operators wo are docking pay). The licensee cannot change company policy themselves so that puts the onus to impliment a pre pay policy on the oil companies and I know Petro Canada for one wasn't willing to put one in place and I doubt the others will do it unless forced to. So to those who think it would be too much of a hassle or who don't want 'yet another law', what do you propose?

The Globe and Mail
September 19, 2012

Gas station attendants should be protected by pay-first laws
Globe Editorial

globe%20and%20mail.jpg

A 44-year-old chemist who immigrated to Canada six years ago from India likely never dreamed he would end up working as a gas station attendant. Tragically, that is where Jayesh Prajapati died this week, killed as he tried to stop a motorist in an Isuzu Rodeo from driving away without paying for $112.85 in fuel from a Shell franchise in midtown Toronto.

To better protect such workers, Ontario should consider implementing a mandatory prepayment scheme at gas stations. British Columbia already has such legislation, implemented in 2008 after a man was dragged to death while trying to stop a $12 gas-and-dash. It is called Grant’s Law, to honour the victim, Grant DePatie. Many jurisdictions in the U.S. also have pay-first programs at gas stations.

Mike Colle, a Liberal member of the Ontario Legislature known for his commitment to workplace safety, is to be applauded for his plans to introduce a private member’s bill to curb gas theft by forcing customers to pay upfront.

Gas jockeys occupy one of the lowest rungs on the socio-economic ladder. They are often new immigrants or young students and they work in isolated, physically demanding environments for not much more than minimum wage.

Why should they be left vulnerable to theft and attack – especially when the price of gas is soaring, along with public outrage, and when there is a relatively simple way to curtail the risk to their lives and to improve safety? Some retailers report as many as four incidents a week of customers who drive away without paying for their fuel.

While docking workers’ wages for gas theft is against the Employment Standards Act, and Shell Canada does not require workers to cover the cost of stolen items, the practice nonetheless continues at some gas station franchises. That makes workers even more vigilant about attempting to stop theft.

Premier Dalton McGuinty could show leadership on this issue and introduce legislation to protect the rights of these workers. Call it Jayesh’s law.

101 comments
Comments accessed September 20, 2012

1. Thrym
I strongly suspect that if the owners and the oil companies had to foot the bill for these thefts, as opposed to the minimum wage attendants, that they would find a solution very quickly.

2. WW8765
The gas station owner was interviewed on TV where he denied deducting the loss to thefts from his employees. Good, he's on camera saying so.

Now the Ministry of Labour just has to investigate the pay stubs and banking records of the poor man who lost his life (what a tragedy) and other employees to expose the lies. I feel sorry for the victims family. I offer my prayers for them.

3. Litost
I used to work in a gas station, they have little pieces of paper taped everywhere reminding their employees "not to be a hero" but every single block the system is built on blames the employee for absolutely everything.

We were expected to see through 4x4 concrete pillars blocking every aspect of vision to judge whether the conditions were safe to authorize vehicles for gas pumping, try to "burn" shoplifting which is essentially confronting potentially violent perpetrators, and if we don't do these things we are reprimended. The idea is that they are very aware designing pumps behind concrete pillars blocking vision makes it impossile to judge if someone is pulling up in their vehcile pumping gas for their lawn mower into a pepsi bottle, but whose fault is it if this is discovered or becomes a hazard? Not the company, not the architects, but the employee, for not having x-ray vision. If someone walks into the store, gets a chocolate bar, doesn't tell the clerk they had gas, guess whose fault it is? Even the police will ask in such cases "Well, did you ask them if they had gas? Otherwise you're wasting my time." as if people competent enough to control a vehicle can't remember why they came to the store in the first place despite being parked at a pump. When you go to a grocery store and walk away with a carton of milk left in the bottom of the cart unpaid for it's certainly not the clerks fault for not asking if you had milk. It's possibly the most demeaning, degrading minimum wage job around,

Sure, maybe he doesn't take drive-offs from their paychecks, but do they get reprimended? Do they get written and verbal warnings followed by suspension or termination if it continues? That's just as bad. People can't serve a line up of 20 customers, authorize vehicles they can and can't see, watch for shoplifters and police drive offs at the same time.

4. Stillsmoking
Don't be a hero but gee everybody wants to be a hero

5. varun xm
The law makes sense. some folks are questioning it on grounds that it will be hard to the consumer. they are in error. i drive through the u.s. a lot and have to pre-pay at the pump. most folks can use their credit card at the pump. it doesnt work for me because the pump asks for a postal code as validation and my canadian code does not work. so i go in and give in the cash or hand in my credit card. the attendant then gives back my change and rings me in. it's that simple and straightforward.

The Star has much better coverage on this case. Reportedly Jayesh's wages were getting docked for 50% of the amount that the pump lost in such theft. For a new canadian who's struggling to make ends meet he may not have wanted to rock the board or test the labour law. Now the poor man lost his life, his family lost a father and we lost an honest Canadian. The pay-first policy is working well in BC and the US. Time to bring it here.

6. Stillsmoking
but the machines don't take cash, why ? If they are going to mandate it, then make the machines take cash as well.

by the way, you pay a 10 cents more each US gallon by paying with credit vs cash, you want that too ?

7. ctrl109
As a former Petro Canada Site Licensee, I can tell you I would have welcomed a pre-pay law then, even if it meant a dip in store sales, and I encourage one now. The gas and dash phenomenon is massive, happens all the time and pre-paying is the only sure fire way to stop it. The police won't do anything if a station reports one, even with full descriptions and license plate info. Unless an assault has occurred, they will not attend the scene due to the volume of these happening each and every day.

The majority of gas stations in Canadian cities are still owned by the oil companies. A licensee/franchisee operates it in exchange for a small percentage on gas sales and a larger percentage on other items. However when a theft occurs, the loss lands on the licensee, not the oil company (and no, there is no excuse for unscrupulous operators wo are docking pay). The licensee cannot change company policy themselves so that puts the onus to impliment a pre pay policy on the oil companies and I know Petro Canada for one wasn't willing to put one in place and I doubt the others will do it unless forced to. So to those who think it would be too much of a hassle or who don't want 'yet another law', what do you propose?

8. stono
oil compaines should stop ripping people off for a start..then people would be less inclined to rip them off.

9. Eat Your Weedies
I propose: mandatory legislation. The End.

10. The Duffer
"The police won't do anything if a station reports one, even with full descriptions and license plate info."

You've identified the real problem right there.

11. TheNorthernMenace
Koolestcat is bang on. No one should have to risk their life over a tank of gas.

12. Stillsmoking
Nobody did have to, that guy just wanted to catch the jerk in action. He knew the police would not track him down, look they still haven't.

Now if he ran a police officer down, he be killed or lock up by now

13. Cowtown Guy
As mentioned, it is already against the law to make an employee pay for that.

14. Koolestcat
Dont complicate it for business. Just make it against the law to dock employees pay for splash and runs.

If gas companies want to follow it up they can put in cameras and go after the culprits after the fact. If the car is stolen then that is the cost of doing business but dont put the losses onto the employees.

Easy as that.

15. Wiseacre
I think it already is against the law.

16. M McGarvey
It is already against the law, but who do you think pulls the strings? Mandatory pre-payment solves the whole problem for both sides. What are people going to do, boycott gas stations when every single one of them does the same thing?

17. MF1
Is it really that burdensome to people to have to pay ahead?

If you use a credit card at the pump, you are already doing it. If debit at the pump, just select an amount and you`re good to go.

Paying cash, you have to go in either way, so go pay and come and pump.

It doesn`t seem like a big deal, and to force the attendant to give you free gas would require more time for the theft to occur, meaning more time for the police to show up.

I would hazard a guess that most gas and dash thieves are not interested in getting hit with assault charges (or worse). If you`re not afraid of getting hit with big charges, you`re likely not just stealing a tank of gas, there are bigger paydays elsewhere.

18. Climaxica
There really isn't any reason not to have pay-first laws. When I was driving through the US you see this a lot and everything works smoothly, you either pay at the pump or you go in and tell the clerk how much you want and they set the machine for it after you pay. I doubt that gas stations will really be opposed to this either if it cuts down on their losses.

As far as protecting the gas station attendants by making it illegal to punish them for losses goes, it works great in theory, but in reality, I dont think it will work because a lot of the workers are new immigrants and people who don't want to risk upsetting their employer by filing a complaint, even if the law is on their side.

Working for these companies isn't like working for a Fortune 500 company where they have an HR department to file grievances with, its often the attendant, the manager and the owner and when the owner comes down on the manager, they come down on the attendant and they're the ones who end up paying the price for the losses and they'll always find a way to do it…Like another article on here said, they might do it indirectly by cutting their hours and then it becomes very hard to prove that they're being punished by losing gas as the manager can just say "Its a cost-saving decision".

If paying at the pump first means we dont have attendants chasing after cars and risking their own lives, it's a small price for me to pay and I'm all for it.

19. BAWWF01
This is so ridiculous to dock the workers wages for people who dont pay. I dont even understand how people get away with such practices. Once again, the Government doesnt want to address the root cause of these issues. The price of gas is ridiculously high and theres no reason for such high prices at the station other than greed by the big oil companies. Why doesnt the Government spend our money wisely and work instead of warming their seats and not taking any action against the big corporations.

Additionally, the gas stations should just install cameras and report any thefts to police, this would save innocent lives. Its a really shameful incident that an honest man lost his life because the Government and people in general have failed to safeguard him!! A moment of immense shame for humanity.

20. cannuck21
Good comment. Wonder who owns the gas station that imposes such practices. Nope I suspect that it is not big oil - just some franchise jerk gouging off his employees. Hugely sad for this family.

21. AllenJ
The cost of gas will only get higher with time. It's better to require the customers to show the cash so that they don't do the dash.

22. mazdafan
My thought is that gas station owners are reluctant to go to the prepay method (especially if via credit/debit card) because it means they will potentially lose out on the lucrative business that they do inside the store (food, beverages, etc).

Living here in the U.S. now, I prepay via credit card and so I'm able to pay, gas up and go without a hassle. I don't even have to go near the store or talk to anybody. Occasionally, I'll go inside the store and pick up a lottery ticket or beverage or something but not very often. Generally that involves waiting in a big line inside the store and that reminds me of why I don't like to go into the store in the first place!

People think that gas station owners make all this money off gas sales because the price of gas is so high. While I don't dispute the price of gas is TOO high I would suggest that gas station owners make a lot of their profit off sales made inside their store. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that.

Anyway, for the reason outlined above, and several other reasons, I don't see prepay gas becoming the norm everywhere anytime soon. I personally think it's a great and convenient (for the consumer) idea though!

23. My Canada Includes_Tim Hortons
We can prepay at the pump in Canada too. Many stations still allow you to pump and then go in to pay. Some force pre-payment during overnight hours only.

24. finisher
if they want to make it a law to pay first like in BC then all the gas station should have to have pumps you can pay at and have the limit of allowed fuel to be larger. I cannot fill my truck in one attempt at filling. That said it annoys me that the government thinks it can save people from doing stupid stuff. Not sure where anyone get the idea they could stop a vehicle with their body. I know when I worked at a gas station the owners took back what we were supposedly short in the till. It was a bogus and I quit and moved on. I understand that as an owner the threat that employee pay for losses might deter worker from letting friends drive away. The cops don't worry about such stuff as they are to busy here collecting road tax from all the villains going 11 km over the speed limit.

25. My Canada Includes_Tim Hortons
I've noticed some new pumps that take chip cards also allow you to enter a $ amount to authorize before you pump. For your truck, you could put in $200, which would get you 160 liters at today's prices.

26. albert S
I moved from Alberta to BC about a year ago, and initially, I didn't like the prepay at gas stations. But I got used to them. I had also encountered similar policy in some US states. If a little inconvenience can save lives and prevent losses to businesses then every one benefits. Now I fail to see why Grant's law cannot be enacted everywhere in Canada. Times have changed, and people are not as honest as in times past (following the trail of our politicians?)

27. caesar
BC is no hero protecting workers who work night shifts ALONE

our local MACs station had a window for late night transactions and now thanks to the govenment back peddling; these workers are working alone in an open store s long as there is a camera to identify the crooks who could attack the lone attendents

28. Rusty Brown
I sold my car in 1983. Now, I just rent when I need one, but I have no idea how much gas to purchase when it comes to filling the tank at the end of the day.
Anyone figure out how to manage this one?

29. Passer domesticus
Rusty Brown
??? But if I have to pay before I fill it, how much do I pay?
OK enough drama
Huh? Is this for real?

You put your credit card in the slot. You key in the PIN. You put your credit card back in your pocket. You fill your tank. You drive away.

Any questions?

30. iPhoneGuy
Please see my answer below in my comments to Passer domesticus for an explanation.

31. Rusty Brown
Really? What will they think of next! Have to try that one next time.

32. the Canuk
what a dolt u are rusty. take a bus

33. AllenJ
Try using a credit card at the pump.

34. srmgm99
I had this happen to me in Michigan with a rental car. If you want to pay cash only - here is their standard procedure:

1. Go inside, and give the attendant more than you think you will need, he will give you a reciept.

2. Fill up your car.

3. Go back inside - he will refund the remainder of your cash.

35. Stillsmoking
Yeah just put $20 in it at a time, you don't have to fill the tank up all the way, duh

36. Stillsmoking
By the way, where is this jerk who ran the attendant down ? His gas tank must be getting low again by now

37. 5tree
Bring back the death penalty. This man's story made me want to break stuff.

38. Litost
I used to work in a gas station, they have little pieces of paper taped everywhere reminding their** employees "not to be a hero" but every single block the system is built on blames the employee for absolutely everything.

We were expected to see through 4x4 concrete pillars blocking every aspect of vision to judge whether the conditions were safe to authorize vehicles for gas pumping, try to "burn" shoplifting which is essentially confronting potentially violent perpetrators, and if we don't do these things we are reprimended. The idea is that they are very aware designing pumps behind concrete pillars blocking vision makes it impossile to judge if someone is pulling up in their vehcile pumping gas for their lawn mower into a pepsi bottle, but whose fault is it if this is discovered or becomes a hazard? Not the company, not the architects, but the employee, for not having x-ray vision. If someone walks into the store, gets a chocolate bar, doesn't tell the clerk they had gas, guess whose fault it is? Even the police will ask in such cases "Well, did you ask them if they had gas? Otherwise you're wasting my time." as if people competent enough to control a vehicle can't remember why they came to the store in the first place despite being parked at a pump. When you go to a grocery store and walk away with a carton of milk left in the bottom of the cart unpaid for it's certainly not the clerks fault for not asking if you had milk. It's possibly the most demeaning, degrading minimum wage job around,

Sure, maybe he doesn't take drive-offs from their paychecks, but do they get reprimended? Do they get written and verbal warnings followed by suspension or termination if it continues? That's just as bad. People can't serve a line up of 20 customers, authorize vehicles they can and can't see, watch for shoplifters and police drive offs at the same time.

39. Bellmare
Self-serve is the biggest rip off since the 2 May 2011 federal election.

40. Get Real Canada
A number of attendents have lost their lives and others been injured trying to prevent gas and dash culprits. B.C. has got it right. You pay first, either at the pump or in the store. This prevents anyone from fueling their vehicle without having paid for their purchase. There is NO rocket science here! COME ON LEGISLATORS! Change this regulation NOW and save people's lives. The peace of mind to those workers who work the shifts is important as well. We cannot prevent the criminal minded element of society from their attempts at theft, but we can prevent the theft in this manner. Many will benefit.

41. Jax wrds
I don't understand why we need a law; surely the oil companies/operators should be conerned enough about their employees and theft, to introduce pay at the pump policy. In some of the articles prompted by this horrible incident, operators do have the means to change payment options at the pumps - apparently some implement this in the evening/night hours. In our travels to the US, through various states, it is extremely rare that we do not have to pay at the pump at stations along the interstates. There does seem to be a significant communication/management problem here, as employees are apparently not aware of the oil company policies of not pursuing these thieves along with not holding the employees responsible for payment.

42. passerby
I totally agree with this editorial. Jayesh's law would be very fitting. My condolences to the family.

43. Bob Loblaw1
The gas companies dont really care about this money or even loss from credit card fraud.
IT IS ALL on CAMERA and they dont prosecute. Tragic loss but dont chase fleeing cars

44. olduser
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45. olduser
Telling a thief not to be a thief is nonsensical: he already knows what he does is a crime.

But you can tell gas station attendants that cars are stronger than human bodies. In case of conflict, it is not the car who dies.

Gas station attendants cannot be personally held responsible for anything that goes wrong, period. When an Air Canada pilot goes off the runway, he is not expected to buy a new passenger plane. When a bank is robbed, the clerks there don't pay for it.

46. Katherinemildred
I live in the US. Where I live, ALL gas is prepaid. This is at a regular gas station and/or at a supermarket gas pump. I generally use a debit/credit card or a gift card when I buy gas. This means I enter my information into the gas pump computer ahead of time. However, it still doesn't tell me what I'm ultimately going to spend to fill my tank. Generally it's between about $20.00 & $35.00. And gas right now generally costs between about $3.90 and $4.10 per gallon in my area.

47. Hiber-nation
"To better protect such workers, Ontario should consider implementing a mandatory prepayment scheme at gas stations."

I mean really, when is more government not the answer?

48. thenewme
Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper and more effective if cameras were installed at gas pumps in such a way that it would be impossible to avoid having the car plate registered. Then if a driver drove off without paying, the attendant could simply tell the police the number and they could arrest him for theft - almost within minutes as they'd also have a pretty fair idea of where he was likely to be. Anything wrong with that idea other than the usual bleats about invasions of privacy? It wouldn't bother me to have my plate registered as I would never consider doing such a criminally wicked thing.

Any gas station which didn't bother to install cameras would not be allowed to dock the pay of attendants. That would encourage them to get on with it, wouldn't it?

49. the Canuk
ummm.. the police dont come for gas drive offs..least not where i live on the east coast.. they dont see it as a crime i guess…and the poor employee has to pay for it. a disgusting rule of law i think. i bet if the government was losing its taxes on the drive offs, there would soon be a law against it with harsh penalties.

50. Stillsmoking
12:24 AM on September 20, 2012

They have cameras, it was all on tape, what good did that do to prevent the theft ?

51. Allan Beveridge
All they would do is cover their plates first. I witnessed a theft of gas at the local 7-11 and the person had covered up their licence plate. I actually tried to follow the guy but he ran through a red light and I couldn't get through even if I'd wanted to because of traffic.

52. Gardiner Westbound
Why advocate a grand solution for a problem that doesn't require a grand solution and will inconvenience millions of ordinary, honest people every day?

Gas and dash injuries and fatalities can be solved at warp speed with the stroke of a pen. Legislate $1-billion fines and jail time for high-ranking oil company executives who permit docking employee's wages for gas theft. It will never happen again - absolutely guaranteed.

53. Eldarboy
If the government would rein in the blatant opportunistic cash grab the gasoline companies are making on drivers (and inhibiting the growth of our overall economy) this kind of thinking would not even rise to the surface. The reality is that most gas bars have video evidence of the fill and grab occurrence: don't let the attendants be responsible for paying out of pocket when this kind of grab happens on their shift.

54. tillied
This is so sad……… I heard about this on CBC earlier this evening.

55. muddla
pre pay is not a big deal .
lots of people moaned about it when it was implemenented in BC ,
but it just comes down to the fact that if you don't have the money you don't get the fuel. Otherwise you're a thief.
If you want the past, rent " Back to the Future".

56. The Duffer
Look - a human being cannot stop a 2-ton motor vehicle by standing in front of it or grabbing onto it. It's that simple.

Work-place safety will be fostered and enhanced once people grasp this concept.

I do not favour the idea of paying for gasoline before I receive it, primarily because when I fill-up, I don't know exactly how much I will need to buy.

It's kind of like asking restaurant patrons to pay for their meal before they even order it.

57. Name withheld
This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

58. JW from Canada
Such a horrible story-my heart goes out to Jayesh's family who must be so devastated right now. This proposed legislation sounds like a good way to prevent future tragedies. I'm only sorry that it took such a terrible event to prompt the change.

59. tsunami11
We have had it here in BC for years. It was an initiative of the Workers' Compensation Board here in BC.

The Board covers those workers here in B.

Time the rest of the country caught up.

60. northtropics
It's an unfortunate incident that ended up taking his life.

Instead of passing another brainless law requiring customers to prepay for their gas- in the belief that this will stop any further deaths- we should hold the culprit responsible for the man"s death !
Do you really think for one moment that another law is needed to have millions of people make another trek into the gas station to stand in line and prepay for gas ?
For god sakes, you would likely end up with more people being run down from having to make the trip inside to pay or end up getting killed because they were inside while the place was being robbed !

Do you know exactly how much your gas is going to cost before you fill up ? I doubt it.
I swear that if you think that the public will benefit from more idiotic laws being invented every time a death occurs, then we are all in for a rude awakening- The loss of our freedom is slowly being taking away by a bunch of mindless bureaucrats justifying their overpaid positions. The government would like you believe that they will protect you from the cradle to the grave…….. its time people took responsibility for themselves. More common sense and less government intervention would go a long ways !

70. Matt.
It works well in BC, I don't even notice prepay, especially if you pay at the pump. If you pay with credit or debit it is actually faster. For cash it is a minor inconvenience.

71. My Canada Includes_Tim Hortons
You go inside to pay for gas? I've been swiping my Visa card at the pump for years. So much faster and easier. Sure, some still pay cash, but I bet most of us use a credit card at the pump already.

72. Man of La Mancha
I like your point about holding the culprit responsible. Why should he not have to contribute a portion of his salary to help the widow and child for the rest of his life? What about justice for the victims?

73. the Canuk

74. hahahaha
.. are you for real?? sounds like you dont even own a car. they have this really new thing called "pay at the pumps" where you insert your plastic card in …and kind.. debit, credit… really, i kid you not!!! and you dont have to go in the building at all… google it if you dont believe me… and dont wake up, we have a bet on you.

75. Stillsmoking
Yes, where is this jerk, why is he still free ?

Now if he ran a police officer down, he be killed or lock up by now

76. mkirkland
Better solution: hold the franchise owners civilly and criminally liable for any assault suffered by their employees.

77. Stillsmoking
Why not just make big oil pay for the gas thefts ? They are the ones earning billions each quarter. Why should us little people get the short end of the stick again.

Bring back full service as well for health reasons, all those gas fumes can't be healthy to breathe.

But noooo, just make us pay first and let big oil off the hook

78. Big Bad Jim
They should also be protected by a meaningful, relevant judiciary that actually punishes criminals and uses the death penalty when required.

79. Cominthrotherye
Once again, a call goes out to pass a law against the law abiding.

For all intents and purposes we live in a country where it is illegal to defend yourself.

If someone breaks into your home don't you dare hurt them or you will be charged, and possibly sued by the criminal. If you're being robbed, just give them what they demand. This is the standard response given almost always by the law.

Now someone is dead at the criminal's hands again but instead of being realistic and demanding that individuals be given an absolute right to defend themselves, the media says pass a law against honest people who can be relied upon to pay for their gas after filling.

Unbelievable.

80. Dragon Lady
Oaying ahead is done in many places - what's the big deal? Allow BOTH .

81. I am God
I don't drink and drive, why are there drunk driving laws?

Donkey.

82. Cominthrotherye
Let me expand on your irrational comparison.

There are already laws against stealing and killing. They didn't do anything for this poor fellow did they?

83. Sheep.
(Dragon Lady : I agree. Allow both. You don't need a law for that.)

84. I am God
Like that in the states for years. Do try to keep up.

85. Passer domesticus
I understand why this Is being called for and would support it … But how does it work ? I don't buy $10 or $50 at a time but always fill the tank and I fail to see how you can prepay that. Mpossible to redact the amount to prepay. I must be missing something - what?

86. Passer domesticus
iPhoneGuy
It is done through a two-part transaction, much like it is done in a restaurant when you pay your bill, and later fill in the amount for a tip.

The first step is a "pre-authorization" for either a default amount (usually $75-100), or you can choose a different amount. This verifies that you have at least that much credit on your card, or in the case of debit, money in your account, and it is put on hold for the merchant.

Then the pump starts pumping. If the amount that was pre-authorized is met, then the pump stops pumping, and the second step of the transaction is automatically performed for the same amount as was initially pre-authorized.

If instead the customer stops pumping and hangs up the nozzle, again the second step of the transaction is initiated, for the amount of fuel which was actually pumped. The second step is known as a "pre-auth completion" transaction.

When you pay inside after you pump, there is only one step, and it is referred to as a "sale" transaction. Either way, you are only ever charged for the amount of fuel actually purchased.

87. iPhoneGuy
Oh, and as far the amount goes, most people have a pretty good idea as to either how much it will cost, or how much they are prepared to spend. If you have plenty of room on your credit card (known as "open to buy" in the industry), then just go with the default.

If you are driving a rental or a borrowed car, then just guess on the high side. The pump won't let you go over, and you won't be charged for more than you pumped.

If you are paying on debit, and know that you only have say, $36 in the account, and the default is $75, just choose an amount like $25 or $30. It will be approved, then you can pump up to that amount. Again, you will only be charge for the exact amount that you pump, so if it only took $22 to fill the tank, then you will still have $14 in your account in this example.

88. AllenJ
Use a bank card or credit card. It isn't difficult.

89. LordRobert'sSon
Passer, at first I did not like the Prepay requirement, but like another poster noted, I got used to them.

90. the Canuk
wow…are we really that stupid as a people when someone can't figure out how to prepay something that is this simple?? omg.

91. gloria garvey
If you are paying by card, debit or credit, it's simple. Your card is pre-authorized by the pump for up to a certain amount, which you choose based on what you think your tank will hold. It bills only for what you pump.

If you are paying for a fill in cash, it's a pain in the posterior because you have to go into the station, hand them more cash than you think the fill will be, go back and pump your gas, then go into the station again to pay and get any change back. When this pre-pay system was implemented in BC here a few years ago, it took almost a year for my small town gas station to get the pre-pay pumps, so everyone had to go into the station first, pay an exact amount first, or drop off more cash than a fill would be, or leave the card with the attendant(something I would not do at a big city gas station), then go out and pump the gas and then go back to pay.

92. Passer domesticus
Thanks people - though that presupposes that the gas station has fancy pumps thatbtaks cards … Very few around here (and it's a big city) do so this means going into the station twice - and no way am I leaving my card with the guy on the desk.

93. alabaster10
If you think gas price is high now, just wait till the Carbon Tax kicks in.

94. Thrym
It's still cheaper per litre than the bottled water inside the cooler at the gas bar, so I guess that it's all relative.

95. OMGWTFBBQ1
The overall price won't go up, just now we will have to pay the price of polluting our environment at the pump.

96. alabaster10
If you think gas price is high now, just wait till the Carbon Tax kicks in.

97. Thrym
It's still cheaper per litre than the bottled water inside the cooler at the gas bar, so I guess that it's all relative.

98. OMGWTFBBQ1
The overall price won't go up, just now we will have to pay the price of polluting our environment at the pump.

99. OMGWTFBBQ1
A mandatory prepayment would not make the workers safer, it would infact do the opposite. Rather than a thief being able to take the gas and go, a thief would have to use violence to pressure the attendent into allowing them to steal the gas.

All we should do is remind minimum wage workers that they should never risk their safety for the company they work for.

100. My Canada Includes_Tim Hortons
It's a big step from filling up and driving away to having to interact with an employee to unlock a pump. While the thief is pumping, the employee would have time to call the cops. With the drive-away, the cops are called long after the theft is completed.

101. the Canuk
not true at all… u think some punk who drives away with some gas will risk actually going in the store and making the employee press the pump gas button first??? then go pump the gas and drive off?? lol wow.and you dont think the employee wouldnt lock the door and call the cops and shut the pump off while the idiot was pumping the gas???

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/editorials/gas-station-attendants-should-be-protected-by-pay-first-laws/article4555164/


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