Saturday, June 21, 2008

Are They Rationing Gas?

This morning I pulled into a Shell station to fill the nearly empty tank on my Swedish Land Yacht.

The 21 gallon tank was almost empty. Swiping my trusty Shell card and entering my ZIP code. I was expecting to put about $75 in. I was surprised when the pump shutdown at exactly $50,00. As I drove off I realized the tank was not full. I don't know why it stopped. I wonder if the station was trying to limit drive offs or if there was some other explanation.

I tried calling Shell but their Credit Card Customer Service was closed.


LatinTeacher said...

I believe that may gas stations check your account to make sure that you have enough credit/funding to pay for 50 even though many of us now routinely zip right by that. That is the maximum the machine itself will allow you to put in your car before it automatically shuts off.
Sounds like you got yourself a half a tank.

mominem said...

Based on my statement, my previous balance was paid in full and the credit limit is well into four figures. I can't imagine Shell limited me.

I have recently put more that $50 in it so I suspect it's something the station is doing.

I was once at a station where a guy was filling a pickup with saddle tanks and when it went over 50 gallons, the station manager came running.

It was quite funny. The owner of the vehicle expected to put about 75 gallon in his tanks.

I ended up with about 3/4 of a tank. I topped it off the next day at another Shell station.

Maitri said...

It's your credit card approving the gas purchase up to $50 and then limiting it. Visa should already have upped its gas purchasing limit to $75.

Here's a link with a set of possible explanations.

Cade said...

This varies by station. From my records (all using the same Amazon VISA), stations which stop at $50: Exxon Carrollton @ Washington, Shell Earhart @ Carrollton, BP on Claiborne. Stations which don't: Chevron Earhart @ Washington, Shell Williams @ W. Esplanade (Kenner).

mominem said...

You can add the Shell on Paris Ave @ Gentilly to the list of stations that cut off at $50.00

swampwoman said...

This has been happening to me for years driving and filling up a truck. I think debit cards stop at $50 and cc's stop at $75, but I am not sure.

Just reswipe the card and initiate a second transaction to finish filling up the tank. Its a pain doing another point of sale, but it works.

WateryHill said...
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mominem said...


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