Angelic Paranoia

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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – pay at the pump

Last week I paid for my petrol at the pump. I’ve never done it before, I’ve always gone into pay. But I thought this would be easier, no need to interact with people and since I have a small tank and I fill it up when it’s half full, then I could just wave my card at it.

Except that wasn’t the case.

I went to Tesco, where I never usually get petrol. Every other pump has a system where if you lift the pump it assumes you’re paying inside. If you want to pay at the pump you press a button before you lift it. Tesco is different – you have to press a button first to tell it which you want to do. I automatically lift the pump first, get in a mess and end up being shouted at over the tannoy. So I don’t get my petrol at Tesco, it’s just too complicated.

But this time I was there to pick up a prescription, I needed petrol and there was no one there. Since I was paying at the pump I knew I’d have to press a button first.

After you press the button it asks for your clubcard and Debit/credit card. You wave the clubcard beneath the scanner, as you do when you get the scanner to go round the shop with. I also find it takes quite a bit of waving for it to recognise the card. With the pump I gave up or I’d have been there all night waving the card at it.

And then I had to stick my debit card in the slot and type in my pin number in order to authorise the pump for £99. You can tell it you want a specific amount, but since I knew I needed about half a tank that wasn’t that helpful. It only charged for what I used in the end, but it meant I couldn’t use the chip and pin which was the whole point of trying pay at the pump in the first place.

I suppose it makes sense because then people can’t drive off without paying. But it was disconcerting and since I was the only car there it would have been far quicker to have gone inside and waved my card at the card reader. At least it wasn’t cold or raining while I was playing around pressing buttons and waving cards. But I won’t do it again, it’s just not worth it.

I’ll give it 3/10.