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November 3, 2003 03:01 AM

Broken: Gas pump

Mark Towfiq writes that this interface at a gas station kept showing the error message ""Undef Index : 24 in Predef Table". Also broken, in my opinion, is the set of instructions to get a receipt. Whatever happened to "Press YES for receipt"?


Looks like an Arco pay station. No card readers on the pumps themselves. Why? I have no clue. So, you have to go to this station on the island, run your card, and then come back for the receipt.

Oh, and they charge you 35 cents for the privilege of using your card instead of going inside and paying case. *That* is broken.

Posted by: Steve at November 4, 2003 06:32 PM

Indeed, the entry mentioned that you had to pay, separately from pumping the gas, by going over to an island with the card readers.

Posted by: Mark Hurst at November 5, 2003 11:56 AM

Wait. The whole scheme of Arco is that you DON'T have to go inside to pay cash. The payment island (outside, next to your pump) takes $20, $10, $5, and $1 bills.

35 cents is probably not too unreasonable for using debit cards, considering the extra charge the banks levy on Arco for accepting debit cards, plus the additional bookkeeping that it must require. If it really bothers you, look at it as a 35 cent savings for paying cash.

Additionally, Arco stations routinely charge 5-10 cents per gallon less than any other gas station in the neighborhood. You're getting a 5-10 cent per gallon savings for not using a credit card (Arco does not accept them).

Business that pass on the savings they receive from cash transactions seem *fixed* to me, not broken.

And the reason for not having card readers on the pumps is that Arco was originally (and as recently as 3 years ago) a cash ONLY station (no debit cards allowed either). A typical configuration would be two rows of three double-sided pumps (12 sides) and two double-sided cash receiving machines (4 sides). Putting cash recepticles in twelve pumps is much more expensive (and risky) than having four central bill takers. More savings to pass on.

All of this seems, to me, like innovative ways of doing business, so that customers who are willing to pay cash can receive the significant savings of doing so. The gas station across the street from Arco is more than happy to charge you 7 cents per gallon more for the same gas and the same cash. Oh, except that the pump doesn't accept cash, so you'll have to go inside, give them the money, pump the gas, then go back inside to get your receipt.

Anyway, who needs a receipt for gas? Most business reimburse my the mile, not by the gallon.

Posted by: Rick Clark at November 9, 2003 10:44 PM

Thank you, Rick, the Arco sales rep. Those of us who are smart enough NOT to travel with our own cars ARE paid for the gas that we buy, therefore, a receipt is necessary. Some of us even check that we have been billed properly and use the alien information to balance our check books and keep track of finances. HOLY CRAP, people actually think!!!!

I don't care what problems any company has to go through so I can pay with my debit/credit card. Machines are far too unreliable when it comes to reading an old 5 dollar bill.

Actually, I don't go to Arco, but judging by the picture, WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO ENTER THE PUMP NUMBER TO GET A RECEIPT?!?!

To add to my irritation with your sales pitch, YOU CAN SEE IN THE PICTURE THAT THE MACHINE TAKES CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ba-hah at June 20, 2004 02:50 AM

I always do this wrong too too. Whoever reads the instructions that are not on the screen.

Posted by: John at June 30, 2004 06:45 PM

BA HAH. The pic says AFTER FUELING RETURN HERE TO GET A RECEIPT.That is the cash machine.Those a probably the instructions on how to pay with credit.And how rick explained 2 row with 3 Double sdided cash machines in the middle of the pump.The cash machine asks you if you were at pump 1-12

Posted by: unknown at March 8, 2005 05:22 PM

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