Drive-Offs Increase With Gas Prices
By George Anderson
One of the unfortunate effects of higher prices at the pump is that a growing number of people who stop at gas stations to fill up their tanks are driving off without paying.
Trina Howie, a manager at a Fuel Mart station in Omaha, Neb. said, “People know which pumps that are open out here in the middle, so they know when we’re busy running the register, taking care of customers, if we’re not paying attention — they take off.”
According to Ms. Howie, her station has seen 60 or more drive-offs in the last month alone.
The station has tried using a surveillance vehicle, having employees write down suspicious looking drivers’ license plates and requiring customers to prepay for gas between three in the afternoon and eight in the morning.
Another station operator in the Omaha market, Quik Trip, has begun using a system that requires customers to swipe an identification card before they can pump gas.
“They swipe in the credit card reader, just like they would a credit card. Pump comes on they come in and pay us when their done,” said Quik Trip manager John Shonka.
Moderator’s Comment: What can gas stations do to protect against drive-offs?
A few words of wisdom from the state of New Jersey where self-serve at the pump is not an option – gas station attendants. –
George Anderson – Moderator