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Old 06-23-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 4,210,771 times
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Default Prepaying for gas in Sioux Falls

I see on KELO and have heard that a number of Sioux Falls gas stations are going to a prepay system. In this system, credit card holders would pay at the pump or go inside before filling up (doing at the pump is easier if one is just buying gas) and those with cash and check have to pay first before filling up. For some, as for myself, the change will not bother me, since I pay with a credit card at the pump. For others who normally pay with cash or check, it may bother and confuse them, and understandably so. The stations are going to the prepay method and doing away with the pay-after method to cut on gas skips, which have become a big problem in Sioux Falls and other places. I figured that gas stations in the Sioux Falls would eventually go to a prepay system due to having losses due to gas skips/drivoffs.

As for me, I can understand from a station's point of view of going to pre-pay to minimize losses from gas skips. The cost of gas skips get passed on to the customers or one would see the gas stations struggle and eventually go out of business. I am familiar with the prepay system and have come across it in areas such as St. Joseph, MO; Colorado Springs, CO; Las Vegas, NV; and other places (common in urban areas, eastern, and western parts of the US).

I have three questions.

Are there other places in South Dakota going to a prepay system for gas?

What are your thoughts regarding a number of stations in the Sioux Falls area going to a prepay system for gas purchases?

Are gas skips/driveoffs a problem at gas stations in other areas of South Dakota such as Aberdeen, Watertown, Rapid City, and other communities?
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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There was a slight problem of drive off's in some areas of Wyoming. So most stations installed camera's that are low enough to snap your license plate. As a result, they've kept away from prepay. We did have one station that tried prepay after dark only. I don't fill up there so not sure if they're still that way.

My problem with using a credit card is they have limits. Pump shuts off at a predetermined amount. Then gotta swipe the card again to keep filling. I've seen these limits as low as $50 and on up to $100. With todays prices, you can hit $50 with a small car. My pickup holds 147 gallons of diesel so pumps shut off all the time. So I just go to the truck stop and fuel there. It's not prepay, and you can fill then go inside and give them a credit card.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:09 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
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You have a valid point about credit card limits, Elk Hunter. My uncle in Las Vegas mentioned that there are stations with a $50 limit and that is a pain with having a Chevy SUV.

For my car, a midsize car that averages 24-26 with the mix of Sioux Falls-rural blacktops and interstates and averaging 29-33 mpg on the highway, it costs between $65-$70 to fill up a car with a little gas left. The car has an 18 gallon tank. I normally do not have that issue now due to filling my car when it gets to 1/2 a tank or 1/3 of a tank (most of the times, I fill it when gets down to a 1/2 a tank) and the gas stations are usually handy where I am going.

Prepay, like with the old fashioned pay-after system, has its flaws. It is the pits that the gas theives have to make it a pain for everyone else. You know how it is that a few ruin it for everyone.

My brother worked at a gas station a couple years ago and had to deal with a couple of drive offs. The part of the problem is the gas station has 15-20 pumping areas with one or two people having to keep track of it (and with that many pumps, it would be tedious to keep up with it being busy and having non-gas customers having to pay and keeping up with cleaning and other tasks in the store).

Regarding cameras, Sunshine Foods on 57th and Cliff in Sioux Falls has a convenience store that has the cameras that can zoom up close and uses that as a defense against gas theives. I am sure that several other stations in the area have more advanced cameras to aid them.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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I think camera's and prosicution are the way to handle it. Why penalize you and me? Go after the turkeys. That's what they do here. As soon as they have a drive off, the tape is replayed and the license number and description is called into the police, sheriff, and state troupers.

I have a friend that worked at a place with 20 pumps and a convienience store. She had 2 drive offs and both were caught before they crossed the state line. That's about 18 miles. So the troupers were quick.

In Wyoming, if you drive off, you loose your license. Period.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:19 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
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Wyoming is smart about that issue. I wish that South Dakota would follow Wyoming's lead. There is room for improvement. This would be a good deterrant to those clowns who drive off without paying.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:54 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 24,154,818 times
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We don't seem to have a lot of trouble with drive-offs in Mitchell YET. We haven't switched to a pre-pay system.

It's interesting that you brought this up. The first time we EVER paid for our gas with a credit card was in So. Carolina. They had the pre-pay pumps and it's the first time we'd ever seen that. We actually had to go inside and ask the gal what we were supposed to do. It was in Myrtle Beach and I'd imagine they were having problems since it's a pretty touristy area. That was about 3 years ago when gas was still somewhat reasonable.

It doesn't matter to me one way or another. I'd actually prefer to fill the car with gas and then go in and pay for it. We generally pay with a check. But if it becomes mandatory to prepay and use a credit card, I guess we'll just get used to it.

This just confuses me a bit because I was just reading that some place would no longer accept credit cards for gas purchases. I was so surprised at that, but can't remember which area it was in.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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I remember when I was a teenager (the good days ), I was on a church youth group trip to Minneapolis... and we stopped to get gas... and they had a pre-pay... Now, I realize that it was a good idea...considering the area we were in (central Minneapolis) ... As for Sioux Falls, I have no problem with it... I always use a credit card for my gas... but I think its needed as gas prices rise...
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,165 posts, read 20,715,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammie View Post
We don't seem to have a lot of trouble with drive-offs in Mitchell YET. We haven't switched to a pre-pay system.

It's interesting that you brought this up. The first time we EVER paid for our gas with a credit card was in So. Carolina. They had the pre-pay pumps and it's the first time we'd ever seen that. We actually had to go inside and ask the gal what we were supposed to do. It was in Myrtle Beach and I'd imagine they were having problems since it's a pretty touristy area. That was about 3 years ago when gas was still somewhat reasonable.

It doesn't matter to me one way or another. I'd actually prefer to fill the car with gas and then go in and pay for it. We generally pay with a check. But if it becomes mandatory to prepay and use a credit card, I guess we'll just get used to it.

This just confuses me a bit because I was just reading that some place would no longer accept credit cards for gas purchases. I was so surprised at that, but can't remember which area it was in.
I almost never use a credit card. Here's why. When you swipe a credit card, does it ask you for a pin? A signature? Nope. So you can use any stolen or found credit card and purchase gas until that person realizes that they lost it and reports it.

So if any gas charge shows up on my statement, it wasn't me and I'll dispute it.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 9,202,947 times
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Many gas stations in Rapid City are prepay only. I think it has to do with all the tourists. I usually go to Safeway, which is prepay, or Exxon, which isn't. I often pay with cash or check.

If you pay with cash/check at Safeway they make you come in and leave your license then they give it back to you after you come back in to pay. Doesn't bother me at all. There is one guy there that I see often and he gives me a "wave" through the window because he knows I won't drive off. He'll turn on the pump for me.

I guess drive-offs are pretty frequent in Rapid City. I also recently learned that car insurance rates are much higher in Rapid City because nearly 50% of drivers are uninsured!!! Also, there have been 475 DUI arrests in Rapid City since January 1st!!!

I'm gonna start digging my way to work!
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,496 posts, read 24,154,818 times
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OMG, are you serious??? 50% uninsured?? That's scary.

I got to see the news story about Sx. Falls this morning. We rarely use our credit card, too and we did get clipped even though we rarely use it. We had booked a vacation package and they gave our info to a vacation rewards company. They started billing us $12 a month and we got it straightened out as soon as we found that extra fee on the credit card. By that time they had already billed us another $12. I was upset and called the company and they actually credited the money to us. By that time, we had (at the suggestion of our credit card company) already cancelled out our card and were issued a new one. They said most places say they'll credit you and stop charging, but often many don't do it. So you're right EH~credit cards aren't always the safest things to use. Hopefully every station will have honest people working for them, but that's quite a dream. Do the cashiers actually get to see all the info?

Come to think of it, when we were in Wyo., we were going to pay in cash, but they also wanted a credit card. I don't know what town it was~kind of a small town around Devils Tower.
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