After making the Holiday rounds today I stopped for gas. I put my card in the reader and nothing happened. I thought that maybe I had put it in backwards so I tried it again and again nothing happened.
I hate going inside to pay, but my gas hand was on empty and I have someplace to be early in the morning so I decided that paying cash inside was better than waiting for the morning when I might be in a rush.
So, I grab some cash and head inside. There are two guys working and I hand them my money and say that I'm on pump two. The guy at the register hands my money back to me and says that the pump is already on and someone is using it. I point out the window and show him my car at the pump. Explain that I tried running my card, but the pump didn't read it. He tells me that it's working so I head back outside.
There was an older gentleman from the pump next to mine that was heading inside as I was going out. I asked if his pump was working and of course, it wasn't. I figure that he must have told the guys the wrong pump number and my pump was on because they thought it was his. We go back inside together and they tell me no. My pump is on because someone using a credit card activated it.
I go back outside thinking these guys are crazy and/or just being useless because they had to work on Christmas Day. I figure they have no idea what they're talking about, but decided to try the pump anyway. It worked. I was able to fill my tank up.
I went back inside after I was finished and let them know that I was able to get my gas, but I had been confused because when I swiped my card the machine didn't ask for my zip code like it usually does. One guy tells me that it got my zip code and I explained that no it didn't because I never keyed it in.
The other guy prints a receipt, shows it to me and asks if the last four digits on my card match those on the receipt. They didn't match. My gas was charged to someone else's credit card.
I would love to believe that some Christmas Angel set the pump up to give away free gas on Christmas Day, but I know that it's more likely that some poor smuck is going to get a credit card statement soon with at lease one charge on it that they know nothing about.
I felt awful! I asked the guys what I should do and they said nothing. I pointed out again that my gas purchase had just gotten charged to someone else's card. The boys could not have cared less. They said that it wasn't my fault and it wasn't theirs either. The person who owned the credit card had left the pump on so it was their own fault.
I thought I was going to cry as I said, "But, it's Christmas and I basically just stole $50 from someone." They were not impressed and were quickly losing interest in me because they were watching some chick who had come into the store so drunk she could barely stand up.
I asked if I could leave my name and number with them so that if the card owner came back with questions about the charge they could let me know so that I could pay the person back for the charge to their card. They agreed to do that and had me write my name and number on the receipt for them.
I felt feeling awful, but not knowing what else I could do. I really do feel like the Grinch now.