• Report: #76097
Complaint Review:

Thiser, Kroger Feul Center

  • Submitted: Mon, December 29, 2003
  • Updated: Sun, July 20, 2008

  • Reported By:new richmond Ohio
Thiser, Kroger Feul Center
1014 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio U.S.A.

Kroger, Kroger Feul Center, Kroger Co. ripoff! i attempted to buy gas with my credit card, but they denied my card twice! so i paid cash for my fuel, but they still charged 70 dollars to my card! Cincinnati Ohio

*Consumer Suggestion: Always Pay at the CASHIER

*Consumer Suggestion: This is what most likely happened

*Consumer Comment: Debit Card Holds

*Consumer Suggestion: Dedit can be use on credit and theres no charge

*UPDATE Employee: Wanted to Comment

*Consumer Comment: Don't blame the bank, Krogers could give a d**n

*Consumer Suggestion: It's your BANK that's ripping you off.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Please get your facts straight

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i went to the kroger feul center to fill my car up with gas. (feul center is the kroger gas station that is in front of the kroger grocery). i attempted to pre pay for the gas with my debit card, but for some reason, the card was denied. i tried the card twice, and was denied both times.

i did not understand why they were denying my card, because i knew i had enough funds on it, to pay for the gas. anyway, i went ahead and went to the teller, and pre paid for my gas with cash. so i never purchased anything on my card.

i got home, and logged online to check why my card was denied. only to find that the kroger fuel center had charged my card 35 dollars twice! making it a total of 70 dollars! being as i only had 30 dollars in my account originally, the 70 dollars that they charged me, had put my account into negative standing!

right away, i called my card company on the phone. they told me that sometimes gas stations charge a fee when you pay at the pump with a debit card. i told them that the card was denied two times, and that i never bought any gas with the card. they said that the fee was charged as soon as i entered my card into the machine.

needless to say, i was outraged! they then told me that they could reverse the money back to my account if i could get the gas station to fax them a paper stating that i did not actually purchase anything on the card.

so i then called the kroger fuel center. i explained the situation to the woman, and she remembered me. she stated that she knew i did not buy anything with the card, but that she was not authorized to do anything about it. she told me i had to call back the following monday.

so the following monday,i faxed them my card statement, which showed the two 35 dollar charges from the kroger fuel center, and it even showed that it put my account into a negative standing. i then called the kroger on the phone, and spoke with one of the managers.

she refused to fax a statement to my card company. she was very rude to me, and basicly said i was trying to con them! i then called my card company back, and they said there was nothing they could do for ten days. they said after ten days they could reverse the money back to my account.

i then filed a complaint with the better business bureau. about two weeks later, i received a letter from kroger stating that they were very sorry, and that they had no proof that my account was ever charged anything! they also gave me a 25 dollar kroger gift card. thinking they could just buy me off with that!

there excuse that they never had any proof that my account was ever charged the 70 dollars, is a lie! i faxed them my card statement. i know they got it too, because the manager told me when i was talking to her on the phone that she was looking at the card statement then! they have shown me no respect whatsoever, and have treated me very rudely.

i have since gotten the 70 dollars reversed back to my account, (with no help from kroger at all), but i was still charged overdrawn fees from my card company because of the two 35 dollar charges that kroger made, put my account balance overdrawn. the overdrawn fees add up to 45 dollars. (22.50+22.50) the only thing i have received from kroger is a 25 dollar gift card!

this is the biggest ripoff ever! something needs to be done about this, because kroger continues to charge these fees to people whom pay at the pump with debit cards! regardless of whether your card is accepted or denied. so if you get 5 dollars worth of gas, its really going to cost you 40 dollars or more! sure you'll get that 35 dollar fee back from kroger eventually, but it will take ten days or more to get it! and you are likely to be charged fees from your credit card company as well. like me, my account was put into a negative standing because of kroger's fee's!

someone please help!!!

new richmond, Ohio

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/29/2003 09:59 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/thiser-kroger-feul-center/cincinnati-ohio-45157/kroger-kroger-feul-center-kroger-co-ripoff-i-attempted-to-buy-gas-with-my-credit-card-76097. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Always Pay at the CASHIER

AUTHOR: Keith - (U.S.A.)

I went through a similar situation with Stop and Shop Supermarkets. However, they collected the charges in a seperate transaction. So what I have learned, is if I want to pay with a Debit and/or a credit card, I pay at the teller, I tell them that I only want x amount of dollars worth of fuel, and that's what is charged.

If you don't want to do that, then that's your own stupidity.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

This is what most likely happened

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

I used to process debit card transactions at a business I managed.

When you swipe your debit card at a gas pump, the gas station has no way of knowing if you plan to buy one dollar or a hundred dollars worth of gas. Their system electronically sends an authorization request to your bank to verify that the account is legitimate and that there is enough money in your account to cover a sale. The authorization also places a hold on that amount of money until the sale is complete.

In this case, Kroger requested an authorization for thirty-five dollars and you only had thirty. Even though the transaction was declined, your bank nonetheless showed a hold for thrity-five dollars. They probably charged you an overdraft fee. When you swiped the card a second time, your bank put you another thirty-five dollars in the red. The problem is that an authorization was requested, funds were held pending completion of the sale, but the transaction was declined and the hold was not cleared.

Personally, I see this as a problem with your bank and not with Kroger. Kroger declined the transaction based on your bank's denial of an authorization yet your bank continues to keep the hold on your funds. I do not see where Kroger is at fault.

The amount of the authorization is actually pretty low for current gas prices. Thirty-five dollars would not even put in half a tank of gas in my car. Most gas stations ask for a much higher authorization.

My recommendation to anyone is do not swipe your debit card at the pump when you are low on funds in your checking account. The situation described here has happened to many others. If you do not have enough cash, hand your card to the clerk and ask for a specific dollar amount of fuel. This should avoid the over-limit authorization problem.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Debit Card Holds

AUTHOR: Mrtwobit - (U.S.A.)

I can understand why Kroger, and other companies, put a hold on an arbitrary amount of money when using a debit card at the gas pump. Without knowing how much gas you are going to buy they must verify that you have enough money for a fill-up. With today's gas prices that can easily be over $100. The problem really isn't the hold, but rather the length of time it stays active at your bank.
I have already told my bank not to accept any transaction that will overdraft. Just deny the transaction. I do alot of online purchases so I purposely keep a low amount in my checking account.
It's easy to see how a hold of $100 on a checking account can cause some serious overdraft problems. Not only only on the initial debit, but all incoming new debits that are overdrafted because of the hold.
There needs to be a way of "instantly" removing the hold once the transaction is completed. (Like it was never even there!)
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Dedit can be use on credit and theres no charge

AUTHOR: Anthony - (U.S.A.)

many store when you do debit with debit card you can be charged up to $5.00 just as you use a ATM from another bank and not your own

when you go in a store like Target ,Kroger so on or pay gas

instead of doing debit you slide card than push cancel than you see the tab that says credit push that most places when you use credit you sighn instead putting you pin in like a ATM and it's free it's like a credit card only that it come right out like ATM

when you do debit and once you put your pin in theres going to be a charge most all store have to charge a fee because bank charge them for ATM/Debit

credit you by pass it all just like if you use a debit card to pay a bill over the phone or order something it's being run like a creadit card and come right out of account in 24hr unlicke a credit card thats the only diffrance and you can't go over what you have in account

depends on the pad the store has if you unsure let them know you want to do credit instead of debit

some store only do cash are debit like grocey store ALDI they only do cash or dedit

i have pay for gas at Kroger in Augusta GA at all 5 krgoers that have gas center and use dedit card but did it on credit and got my 10cents discount off with Kroger plus card so rember when you use debit card do it on credit
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Wanted to Comment

AUTHOR: Bette - (U.S.A.)

First, I would like to say that as a Kroger Fuel Center employee I am sorry that you had this experience with management. But, I work in a Fuel Center and you would be surprised the things people will come up with to get free gas. Recently, a lady came to my window and stated that she had pumped 22.00 worth of gas and the needle in her car did not move.(HA) The lady was very irate. I printed her receipt and informed her to report it to management in the store. Management gave her the 22.00 and she came and gave me 20.00 of it to put on the pump. She pumped 11.45 but did not return for her change. Which tells me she was too embarassed to come back and admit she was wrong. I could go on and on.

I am with the others in saying you should contact your bank and have them reimburse your insufficient funds charges. Your card was declined at the pump because of your balance. If you had taken your card to the clerk and asked for under 30.00 worth of gas, the transaction would have went through because it is a SET amount.

I have enjoyed my tenure with Kroger and feel that here, they bend over backwards to satisfy their customer...because after all, without customers, there would be no Kroger.

I hope the bank refunds your charges.....
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#6 Consumer Comment

Don't blame the bank, Krogers could give a d**n

AUTHOR: Isaac - (U.S.A.)

Krogers is a low rent sh*t hole. Krogers could give a d**n about charging your card twice , they are getting paid.

Avoid them in the future. They are worst than Wal-Mart
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

It's your BANK that's ripping you off.

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

Joe, your complaint is not with Kroger. The same thing would have happened at any gas station that has "pay at the pump." When you put a card into one of these pumps, the pump doesn't know how much gas you intend to buy. So it asks your bank for a fairly large amount ($35.00 in this case), enough to cover any typical purchase. When you turn the pump off, any excess money is returned to the bank. This happens everywhere, not just Kroger. Do not use a debit card in one of these pumps if your account balance is low. Some gas stations try to pre-authorize $100 or more.

So the Kroger pump computer tries to see if you have $35.00, and your bank's computer answered "There's not $35.00 in this guy's account" (which was true), so the pump's computer says "OK, no gas for him then." Of course many people would have understandably did what you did, saying "Hmm, I thought I had $30 in there" and try again. Computers being what they are, the same process got the same result.

The key point here is that Kroger didn't get $35, not once, not twice, not at all. The only money Kroger got is what you paid in cash, which they of course deserved because they sold you that much in fuel. So this situation is NOT a rip-off by Kroger, although their customer service people should have done a better job explaining it.

Now over to your bank. You should go there and ask your banker pointblank whether his or her bank ever gave Kroger $70, or even $35, in fact ANY sum of money over this transaction. The answer is of course "no" as both sides have already admitted. Then you ask them if they didn't give Kroger any money, how could your account have become overdrawn. They shouldn't have to think about this too long; immediately DEMAND a refund of the two NSF charges that they're still trying to stick you with.

Banks love to overcharge people who keep a low balance because it's the only way they'll make any money off of them. Sure they want to do whatever they can to discourage people from running accounts into the red and then leaving town, but charging $22.50 for a few microseconds of computer time is ridiculous. The debit card makes this process all too easy. Debit cards are NOT your friend if you live close to a zero balance.
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#8 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Please get your facts straight

AUTHOR: Dreamscapes - (U.S.A.)

I am a former employee for Kroger (in many states and many different departments).

You are assuming that everyone who uses a debit card would be faced with these charges. I hate to be the one to inform you that you are sadly mistaken.

I use a debit card all the time and have never encountered anything remotely close to what you are describing.

There must be a reason why the store manager didn't believe you (especially if you had proof). Did you consider calling Corporate Kroger? They are located on Vine Street and Court St in Downtown Cincinnati. If calling didn't work, did you consider driving the short distance from the store in question to the corporate office?

Have you considered taking them to small claims court in Hamilton County? There are many avenues to pursue at this point, and many unanswered questions.

But, to sit and generalize that this happens to EVERYONE who uses a debit card or any other kind of card funding to pay for FUEL (yes, the u comes before the e in fuel) is ludicrous and uncalled for.

Also, if you are using a debit card that is attached to your bank account, then there would have been NO WAY for you to become overdrawn, as debit cards reaching their max would not allow the payment to go through! Now, if your debit card had "overdraft protection" on it, it would allow the charges to go through with one exception. It would not overdraw the account and put it in a negative status, it would charge the overage to your credit card.
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