Letter to Speedy Mart
May 1, 2012
Chesterton, IN 46304
Dear Sir or Madam:
Today around noon I stopped
at your gas station. At pump number one I inserted my credit card a couple of
times but an error message said to pay inside. I spoke with the cashier, whom I
heard describe herself to another customer as the manager, and explained that I
needed to fill up my tank. She asked for my credit card, scanned it, tucked it
away above her head, and told me to return to sign after I filled up. In utter
shock that she put my card away rather than returning it to me, I asked if she
was keeping my card. She said I could have it back after I returned to sign for
the purchase. I admitted to her I was a little freaked out about leaving my
card there. She seemed offended and said I had to leave something to guarantee payment. Since my card had already been
scanned, I offered my driver's license instead. I pumped the gas and returned
to sign the purchase receipt and to retrieve my license as soon as possible.
I completely understand the
need to prevent a drive-off. However, since the card was already scanned I do
not understand the need to keep my card or my license to guarantee payment;
after all, I have completed thousands of purchases at the pumps with never a
signature required. I think my card was scanned twice, and that bothers me.
Having a certain amount of
common sense, I have never allowed relatives or even close friends to use my
credit card, never mind leaving one with a complete stranger. Needless to say,
I will not be stopping at your station again.
I am sorry your manager was
so offended by my incredulity, but I was even more offended by her actions.
When I described this
experience to a friend, he said it has become common practice for gas stations
to send the customer inside as it increases spontaneous sales. I hope he is
wrong about that; some days are very busy and it is a huge convenience to be
able to pump the gas and continue my other errands without having to lock up
the car (and the children, and the dog, and the groceries) to go inside to pay.
I hope you can find another
way to deal with other customers with similar situations or, regretfully, you
will be losing more business than just mine.