This morning I check my bank statement online to ensure the accuracy of my most recent purchases. Yesterday evening I stopped at Murphy USA gas station in the parking lot of Wal-Mart and bought $10 worth of gas with my debit/credit card. I expected to find that charge on my statement and I did but what I didn't expect to find was a $75 hold by Murphy USA in addition to this purchase.
I thought it was an accidental charge at first but I later found out that this is a common practice among a growing number of gas stations. Many people have complained about it and called their customer service number but to their dismay are referred to call the bank (what they fail to specify is which bank) and claim that they are not responsible for setting the amount of the hold. From such a conversation one automatically assumes that the bank to call is the customer's bank but really it is Murphy USA's bank - but it is really Murphy USA that is setting the amount through the bank.
This is a ridiculous charge for $10 of gas. Apparently there are so many people with NSF accounts, the companies have decided to ensure there is money in the account, it started off with a $1 hold... and has jumped to $75-100 in addition to the gas purchase. This hold prevents me from accessing those funds in my account until Murphy USA takes the hold off. This in turn stops me from buying the things my family and I need and prevents me from paying bills.
Its supposed to take up to 3 business days to clear, but some have experienced it longer. I have written a complaint to the company via their Customer Service link on their website(http://www.murphyusa.com/contactform.aspx) and await to hear their response to my pleas to change their policy or at least notify their customers BEFORE they purchase with their debit/credit card.
If you have experienced a similar situation, be sure to COMPLAIN and complain loudly. Maybe if we all complain enough they'll have to change their policies. I'm not paying at the pump from now on. If you're on a tight budget, I suggest you avoid it too, you never know when they'll slap on an additional $50-100 for a few days to a week.