Last year supermarkets across the UK introduced a petrol payments change enforced by VISA and Mastercard.
It means drivers paying for fuel at the pump will be charged a £99 holding fee – a massive hike up from the previous £1 holding charge. Announced as a security measure it affects pumps at grocers such as Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
This method of a holding fee is already general practice in Europe. Supermarkets have explained that the temporary holding fee will be placed on your account, but only the actual charge of the fuel will be deducted from your account, The Mirror reports.
Read more: The 15 cheapest petrol stations in and around Manchester
An ASDA spokesperson explained: “The solution makes it easier for you to keep control of your finances when you pay for your petrol at the pump, however if an issue does arise you should first contact the bank that issued your card.”
The rules were introduced a year ago across the country in various supermarkets including:
Martyn James, runs the consumer website Resolver and helped address over 2,000 complaints about pay at pump charges last year. He explained: “The way this is supposed to work is the money is “temporarily” held on your account (meaning you can’t spend it) until the end of the transaction when the correct amount should be debited,” he told The Mirror.
“Now the problem – as anyone who has used pay at the pump services will know – is sometimes the machines don’t do what they are supposed to. People have been reporting problems anyway with automated pumps, with keying in details, incorrect billing and other issues. Many people are rightly concerned that the £99 is being debited in error after they’ve driven away.
“The good news is if this happens, it should be pretty clear that there is an error and your bank should be able to step in on your behalf if the petrol station provider of services is dragging its feet or isn’t contactable. But that’s not really the point. The hiked-up petrol pump rule has bred concern amongst customers who worry about insufficient funds.
One woman took to Facebook to voice her concerns, writing: “Not very fair if you’re on your last few pound in your bank.” VISA explain: “If your account balance is below £100, for example £50, this would be communicated back to the fuel pump by your bank enabling that amount of fuel to be dispensed.
“This means the pump will automatically cut out once you have reached the approved amount (or before if you choose to dispense less). This is called ‘partial authorisation’ and ensures you can get the fuel you need.”
Read more about petrol prices: Average petrol price hits new record high of more than £1.51 per litrefuel
And more about the costs of living crisis: Food prices surge – the products increasing and decreasing in cost the quickest
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