I grew up in a small town with a full-service filling station. My dad had (has) a charge account, so I would have them fill my car up, check my fluids and tires, and wash my windshield before I headed out on any long trips. The gas was a little more expensive, but it was worth it to have everything checked out.
Today it was cold, and my tires had been reading low, so I decided to try out the full-service station here in town. The sign said $2.94, which isn’t much more than most of the self-serve gas stations, so I was pretty excited. The men got right to work filling my car up, washing all the windows, checking all the fluids, refilling my washer fluid, adding air to my tires, and more. I was pretty impressed! Two men were working on my car, and one of them came to get my debit card from me. He didn’t give me a dollar amount, and I just assumed it was the usual $35.00-$40.00 it generally costs to fill up my car. Right after that, the second man (who didn’t see the first guy take my card) came up to the window and said, “That’ll be $70.xx,” as he waited for me to pay.
I’m surprised I could even respond. I managed to choke out something about the other guy having my card, and then I turned to look at the reading on the pump. Surely I had heard him wrong , I thought as I saw 17 gallons on the reading. Seventy and seventeen sound quite similar. I must have misunderstood. Then I saw it. The listed dollar amount on the pump for my purchase was seventy dollars. SEVENTY DOLLARS! I quickly got out my calculator to double check $2.94 per gallon at 17 gallons of gas. Nope. It did not equal $70.00. I scoured the pump looking for more answers. Surely they didn’t charge me $30.00 for a little air and some water. No. Couldn’t be. Finally I saw the figure above the regular button. $3.99. I paid $3.99 a gallon for gas.
The men were nice, and it was cold, so immediately I’m panicking about how much I’m going to have to tip them on top of this $70.00 purchase. Thank goodness it was included in the $1.05 price hike I had just experienced.
Live and learn. In Small Town, Texas, they pump your gas for a minimal charge. In Mid-Sized Town, Texas, they pump your gas for an extra $1.05 per gallon. I won’t be doing that again.