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(St. Petersburg Times)   As if $2.50/gallon wasn't insulting enough, now gas stations expect customers to remember their ZIP code   ( divider line
    More: Silly  
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26401 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 May 2005 at 10:30 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

241 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-05-02 07:33:36 AM  
Yeah wtf is this? I'd been going to the same gas station for 4 months straight, and just recently I spent an extra 2 minutes at the pump cursing and trying to figure out why my routine was being boggled up. It was asking me for my zipcode. Um... 77777 .. who's goddamn business is it, and why?
2005-05-02 07:39:15 AM  
The data produced by this might actually be mildly entertaining to look at.

Like how many retards will drive 27 miles out of their way to save $0.03 a gallon.
2005-05-02 07:43:14 AM  
Or how many people will just lie about it.

2005-05-02 07:45:53 AM  
90210, ya like the tv show

2005-05-02 07:59:50 AM  
You can't lie about it - it's tied to the card. That's the case here in California, at any rate. The anti-theft argument makes sense to me, and I'm not oozing with sympathy for people who can't remember their zipcode. It's not like it's changing weekly.
2005-05-02 08:15:03 AM  
It's not anti-theft. I didn't put in my valid zip and nothing happened.
2005-05-02 08:15:45 AM  
Like I said, that's how they work in California. Wrong zipcode = no gas.
2005-05-02 08:18:17 AM  
I think it would be funny if people had to enter their ZIP code to get into their car.

That would thin the herd a bit.
2005-05-02 08:25:07 AM  
Texaco corporate headquarters installed technology at some local gas stations requiring credit card customers to enter their ZIP codes before pumping gas.

Its for CC fraud... thank god they're doing something about it. I've put the wrong zip in and was declined.
2005-05-02 08:25:49 AM  
the 22206 represent
2005-05-02 08:29:38 AM  
It is anti-fraud. Adds a simple layer of protection. If someone steals your CC, chances are they don't know your zip code. Of course, they may, so it's not foolproof. The gas station has the option of ignoring the results of the check on the zip code. It's called AVS (or partial AVS) for address verification system. The credit card verification system will return two codes, one if the card is valid and the charge is approved, and the other if the address (in this case, just the zip) matches. You do not have to have an AVS match to accept the charge, it's your option as a merchant.
2005-05-02 08:37:14 AM  
It's a good thing banks didn't make PINs five digits. Everyone would be hopelessly confused.
2005-05-02 08:37:49 AM  
If the info is already encoded in the card, then they know their marketing info and such already.

/Always uses cash
2005-05-02 08:40:45 AM  
Your zip code is not encoded on your credit card. Your PIN is not encoded on your credit or debit card, either. Both of those things are recevied from the terminal when you type it in and sent along with your card information to be approved.
2005-05-02 08:42:44 AM're willing to give the machine your credit card number, but not your zip code, PeeOnYou? Personally, I don't have a problem with this; I pay at the pump, so the company really isn't getting much of a peek at my life that they didn't before. There are also other credit card instances that require me to use my zip code, too.
2005-05-02 08:45:58 AM  
How is this silly? Identity theft is a growing problem and I would think people would be happy about any step to control it. I've often thought gas stations were a prime location to abuse a stolen card without ever having to worry about somebody checking for an ID. Most clerks inside stores don't even check your signature anymore, so some form of mandatory identification was going to come along eventually.

Granted, if somebody stole your wallet, they're going to have your zip code anyway.
2005-05-02 08:58:02 AM  
my local texaco askes for my zip. I don't go there that often, but that's because they charge more for gas.
2005-05-02 09:15:26 AM  
It's not like I don't know the zip codes of the 4 townships in my immediate vicinity. If I stole a CC, I'd just use those first. My bet: one of them would match.
I'm sure I'm not that much more intelligent than the average thief.

This is a dumb way of verification. They need something more secure.
Say, a PIN for CC as well as debits.

/ uses debit and PIN
2005-05-02 09:16:08 AM  
Ohhh, it's for CCs. Duh. How about I don't comment any more until I get more caffeine into me.

/commutes via bicycle
2005-05-02 09:28:58 AM  
When me and my sweetie traveled to the States in Dec 2004/Jan 2005, we always fueled using our credit card. Makes it easier because all our gas expenses for that trip were in one, neat statement.

Anyway, we were quite surprised when one station asked for our zip code before letting us pumping gas. It was like, WTF? I don't have a zip code, I'm not American. Duh!
2005-05-02 09:35:26 AM  
Most clerks inside stores don't even check your signature anymore, so some form of mandatory identification was going to come along eventually.

I bet it's not. Maybe PINs, but you will never have to show a form of ID to use a credit card. Credit card companies would rather eat the cost of fraud, which can be lessened with the use of PINs, for instance. Currently, though, the do not let merchants demand ID. The reason is that they do not want their name associated with anything that may be considered racist (or other -ist). It would happen, where, say, black people were asked for ID whereas white people were not. CC companes do NOT want this. They'd rather eat the losses from fraud. Last time I looked, CC companies were not hurting.
2005-05-02 09:53:54 AM  
God I wish people would stop biatching about the price of gas! Here's some FACTS for all you limp-wristed tree-huggers:

Fact #1 - If you adjust for inflation, gas is actually FREE right now!
Fact #2 - In Europe, a gallon of gas costs nearly $10,000!
Fact #3 - A gallon of gas still costs less than a gallon of milk and it's estimated that the average car owner drinks nearly 20 gallons of milk a week!

Ha ha! Suck it Frisco libs!!!
2005-05-02 09:55:30 AM  
I would think that in some higher-crime locations that this would be used as a way to prevent unauthorized use of stolen credit cards.

Most likely though it is just the merchant wanting to save some money on the fees charged to them by the credit card companies. Where I work, our credit card clearing house charges us a lower commission on credit card sales in cases where we have the billing ZIP code. Transactions without the ZIP code still go through, they just cost us a slightly higher percentage.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-05-02 09:56:38 AM  
It's a good thing banks didn't make PINs five digits.

When I got an account in the 1980s the bank asked for a 4-8 digit PIN. I gave them a 7 digit PIN. The ATMs ignored all but the first four digits. About 12 years later the bank was acquired. Under control of the new owners, ATMs suddenly started requiring all seven digits.
2005-05-02 10:04:55 AM  
My PIN is 4239.

2005-05-02 10:08:52 AM  
So hands up, who knows all nine digits of their ZIP code?

I don't.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-05-02 10:12:32 AM  
I know all nine digits of my ZIP code.
2005-05-02 10:20:37 AM  
The only nine digit ZIP I know is my parents'.

Was at a Texaco in Sarasota Saturday night, and wondered what all the ZIP code signs on the pump were about. Paid with cash so I didn't have the hassle.
2005-05-02 10:27:19 AM  
This isn't anything new. And since when is gas as low as $2.50?? Here in the Bay Area it's over $3.
2005-05-02 10:28:53 AM  
sigdiamond2000: LOL

iccarus98: Most clerks inside stores don't even check your signature anymore

Back in the day there was a link to a guy who signs anything but his name on CC receipts, like Jesus H. Christ. Once he drew a stick figure battle scene on the signature line. I'd like to find that link again. Anyway, no one looks at signatures anymore because it's pointless.
2005-05-02 10:34:12 AM  
This is news? I've been doing that for over a year, at every station now...
2005-05-02 10:34:21 AM  
Isn't this what credit card PROTECTION is supposed to be for? As in, if your card is stolen you aren't responsible for the charges?

Or is that just another charge credit card companies can impose on you, whole offering no real benefit?
2005-05-02 10:35:59 AM  
I'm so glad I'll only use my car to go to work once this week. I hope the price of gas keeps going up cuz I love hearing SUV drivers cry a river - just a few years ago they were all biatching about 'vehicle choice'. Eat it!
2005-05-02 10:38:08 AM  
Bauerte said she has seen customers get angry and storm away when they can't remember their ZIP codes. Sometimes they've recently moved, are elderly or are using corporate cards, and they don't know where the bill is sent, she said.

Anyone else scared by the notion that there are people out there driving public roads that are too "elderly" to remember their own zip codes?
2005-05-02 10:38:47 AM  
sigdiamond2000: Ha ha! Suck it Frisco libs!!!

You know your a redneck if you say "Frisco" for San Fransisco.
2005-05-02 10:39:22 AM  
I just tell people my zip code is unlisted. I paid a little extra, just like you can do with a phone number.
2005-05-02 10:39:36 AM  
So gas prices won't go down now, even if oil does.
They need the extra money to pay for the ZIP code programming.
2005-05-02 10:40:15 AM  
1. We've had this in California for years. Deal with it. This is the 21st Century. You'll take your shoes off for strangers in an airport but won't punch in your zip code, which is public record anyway? Feh. Try punching your home phone number into Google.

2. If you don't like it, pay inside with cash, like you used to.
2005-05-02 10:40:36 AM  
seems reasonable to me.
2005-05-02 10:41:01 AM  
It sounds like a simple, non-intrusive anti-fraud measure.

Anyone who can't remember their own farking ZIP code has no business driving anyhow. How high would you have to be to forget something so basic?

Anyway, I'm all for the ZIP code thing.
2005-05-02 10:41:45 AM  
C'mon! Someone is really farking stupid if they can't remember something like a zip code. The American public has been using these numbers for over 40 years. If my card is stolen and that keeps some asshat from using my card, I'm all for it...
2005-05-02 10:41:50 AM  
Whatever they need to allow me to pay at the pump, I'm going to give them. Since I got my debit card way back when, I have YET to actually go inside to pay. I HATE going inside to pay, always did.

True story: This was about 9 or 10 years ago. I fill up with gas at the local convenience store. Go in to pay. I'm standing in line behind only 2 people. First one, trying to figure out what cigs he wants to buy. Forward 5 minutes, the woman in front of me, smelled like B.O. and stale cigarate smoke... kinda like an old bowling alley, spends 10 minutes picking out 9 different scratch-off lottery tickets, and pays for ONE DOLLAR IN GAS (which was about a buck thirty a gallon). How is that for having your priorities in the right place, huh? I decided right then and there, that I will never, EVER go inside to pay again.
2005-05-02 10:43:33 AM  
there are people who don't know their ZIP code? I occasionally still get odd looks when I give all 9 digits.

/went on a 2k mile trip recently and used my debit card for gas
//a few wouldn't take it but took my debit Visa
///didn't see any that required a ZIP
////like extra slashes today
2005-05-02 10:45:34 AM  
I've had to do this at Wal-Mart for years. It's an anti-fraud/theft device.

If there are people alive who don't know their ZIP code, let Darwin strike them down now before it's too late.
2005-05-02 10:45:46 AM  
The Big 5 Sporting Goods store near me has always asked for zip code with a credit/debit card. Now I know why!
2005-05-02 10:46:41 AM  
2005-05-02 10:46:51 AM  
We actually discussed this the other day in my Independent Living class. If somebody steals your credit card, not only can they make purchases with it(gas, whathaveyou), they can use it to jimmy the lock on your house and steal things. It's a double whammy.
2005-05-02 10:46:53 AM  
I saw it for the first time last week.
Tried to enter 55555 and it didn't work.

Went to another gas station, screw them; it only takes seven bucks to fill up my motorcycle so I'm sure they didn't miss my purchase.

It's the principle of the whole thing...

If my credit card is stolen, I'm not worried about the thief buying gas, I'm worried about him taking it to Best Buy and going crazy on it...
2005-05-02 10:47:35 AM  
Just Ignorant
the newer cards at my bank now use at least a 6 digit pin

i must be some kind of genius
2005-05-02 10:48:06 AM  
Okay, so on my next roadtrip to the U.S. from Canada... Will it accept an alpha-numeric postal code? How much you wanna bet that half the machines aren't set up to deal with letters, spaces or more than five digits?

So fine, so much for paying at the pump.

I can just see going in to deal with the guy behind the cash who says "Aduuuuuuuh, but I need you ZIP code. Errrr, duuuuuh... but the computer won't let me ring through your purchase without a ZIP code. Uhhhhh...."
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