Tuesday, May 27, 2008

#20: Gas Pump Interrogations

It's bad enough that I have to pay an ungodly amount for a gallon of gas these days, but do I really have to be interrogated too?

Here's what I'm talking about:

I'm on my way to a meeting the other day, when I notice that my gas gauge is reading below "E." In a Jeep Wrangler, that means "get gas now!" I don't want to be late for my meeting, but I have to stop. So I pull into the gas station, hop out and quickly insert my card into the designated slot. I pull it out quickly because the digital display screen tells me I'm supposed to. What? If I leave it in there longer, what happens?

You'd think now, at this point, I could just lift the nozzle and put gas into my car. Oh no! Now I have to now answer a series of questions:

QUESTION #1: Credit or debit? What? We still don't have computers that can tell the difference? Seriously. Isn't there something in the code for the card that tells the machine whether it's a debit or credit card? Mine is a debit card, but I push "credit" anyway, just to confuse the genius computer.

QUESTION #2: What is your zip code? What the hell do you care? So you can tell investors that people are traveling 20 miles just to buy your gas? Well guess what? I'm buying your gas because it happens to be the closest station to where I'm at when I need gas. Why the hell would I travel farther, burning up gas, just to buy more? You don't need to know where I live, for crying out loud! Reluctantly, I enter my zip code.

QUESTION #3: Would you like a car wash today? How about this, wise-ass...how about if I want a car wash...I'LL TELL YOU! Can I just have some gas already? I press "no." But now there's a little more pressure on the button because I'm just about pissed. All I want is some frickin' gas!

QUESTION #4: Would you like a receipt? Aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!! Would you like a swift kick in the...?" Yeah, I'm yelling at a machine at this point. "JUST GIVE ME MY GAS!"

Let's be honest: I understand the importance of market research. But asking me my zip code isn't going to tell you why I'm buying your gas. It's just going to tell you which part of what city I live in. How does that help you at all? And why make the consumer jump through all these hoops. I want to stick my credit card in the slot, lift the nozzle and pour gas. That's it. If I want a car wash, I'll tell you. If I want a receipt, I'll tell you. Quit interrogating me everytime I have to stop and buy gas. It's a painful enough experience now, knowing that I'm paying twice as much as I should, so oil companies can boast record profits. Just let me fill my tank in peace.

Gas Pump Interrogations: You Suck.


Monique said...

It's true, that sucks!

I've actually never had one ask my zip code, maybe you're being watched.

Now THAT would really suck.

Hoover Maneuver said...

Ha! Yeah that WOULD suck! Big Brother and all...

Yeah, I read recently that they ask the zip code because they want to pair it with the address on the credit card...like it's a security thing. But if someone stole my credit card and they're using it, chances are they know my address too. Still doesn't make sense to me.

Whatever. It all sucks! Have a great--and unsucky--weekend!