One of my retail pet peeves is gas stations which make you go inside and prepay if you are paying cash, which means two trips inside — one to take your big (and getting bigger) bill and a second to get your change.
I won’t do it. If I am paying cash and pull into one of those stations, I leave if it is convenient or I buy a fixed amount of gas rather than filling up. It happened today. I wanted to fill up, and I wanted to pay cash. But there was that sign on the pump: “Cash customers must prepay.” Like we’re criminals.
So, I decided to get only $20 worth of gas. A fill up would have been double that in my tank. DOUBLE.
I told the clerk that I knew it wasn’t her rule and that I understood why they made the rule, but that I would have filled up without the rule. She snarled at me, then yelled, lecturing me about the number of drive-offs they have to contend with.
I get it lady, and Ms. or Mr. Gas Station owner, but you need to get it, too. One, you are alienating good faith customers. Two, you are losing money on customers like me who would fill up without that rule.
So, instead of punishing paying customers, why not make a new plan, Stan? I don’t know what it would be. That is your job, but for Pete’s sake, figure something out.
To any entrepreneurs reading this, it smells strongly of an opportunity. How about pay stations outside at all the pump islands? Or some gadget that pops up out of the ground and stays up — blocking vehicles — until the bill is paid.