Supermarkets, including Tesco and Asda, can now charge a £99 withholding fee when filling up at gas stations as a safety measure to keep people from disappearing without paying.
Motorists in one part of the UK have complained after local shop Asda updated their forecourt rules to introduce a £99 withholding charge on fuel purchases.
The new payment rules went into effect last year across the country, but are only now being rolled out in Hull, East Yorkshire.
A member of the local Traffic and Travel Facebook page warned drivers about the changes, which began on Sunday. Hull live reports.
They said: “Bank balance of £99 to top up at Asda Kingswood instead of £1 now.
“I wonder why everyone keeps leaving (including me).”
Last year, a nationwide payment shake-up was announced as a safety measure, and it will eventually be rolled out to all major supermarkets.
“Visa and Mastercard are changing the way they manage pay-at-gas-off transactions,” Asda previously explained.
“Previously, when shopping at Pay at Pump, your card was pre-authorised for £1.
“This then allowed all customers to top up up to £99, with the final amount being debited from your account (usually the next day) and the £1 pre-authorization removed.
“The new rules introduced by Visa and Mastercard mean the pre-authorization has changed to £99, which means your bank can temporarily hold up to £99 while you fill out.
“Upon completion of the transaction, the actual amount is immediately debited from your account and the pre-authorized amount is immediately cancelled.
“The solution makes it easier for you to take control of your finances when you pay for gas at a gas station, however, if a problem arises, you should first contact the bank that issued your card.”
But motorists are worried about what it means if they don’t have £99 in their account.
One woman said, “It’s not very fair if you have your last few pounds in the bank.”
If you have less than £100 in your bank account, the payment machine will reserve a lower amount. This is known as “partial authorization”.
At the end of filling, you will be billed for the actual use and release of the balance.
Asda on Hessle Road, Hull is one of the places where the pump cap now applies.
One customer said “Now it’s the same at all Asda stores, I went to Skegness last year and I only had £50 in my account but it still allowed £99 and I put in £30.
“Once you’ve filled up the gas, the amount you’ve invested comes out of your expectation, not £99.”
A third person pointed to the reason for the move away from the £1 deposit system.
He said: “The problem was that people were creating fake £1 accounts and filling out over £100.
“Obviously the card will never have any money in the account, so it was never refunded.”
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Another gave advice to those who are not happy with the new payment rules at gas stations and petrol stations.
They said, “Just come in and pay.”
Martin James, who runs the consumer website Resolver, helped resolve more than 2,000 pump payment complaints last year.
“The way it should work is that the money is ‘temporarily’ held in your account (meaning you can’t spend it) until the end of the transaction, when the correct amount should be debited,” he told The Olx Praca.
“Now the problem is — as anyone who has used pumping stations tolls knows — sometimes the machines don’t do what they’re supposed to.
“People still reported problems with automatic pumps, data entry, incorrect billing and other issues. Many people are rightly concerned that £99 is mistakenly debited after they have left.
“The good news is that if this happens it should be very clear that an error has occurred and your bank should be able to intervene on your behalf if the gas station provider is slow or unreachable. But it’s not that”.