Depending on where you live and what gas stations you frequent, finding a pump that will let you pay after filling up is getting tougher and tougher. In an effort to curb absconders who drive off without paying, gas station owners have been forced to ratchet up security measures, leading most to go prepay only, whether that's inside the store or by swiping one's card at the pump.

But prepaying can be an inconvenience – particularly if you're settling up with cash – resulting in multiple trips to the storefront to plunk down dollars, then to return for the change and receipt. It's a small thing, but it can be an annoyance – particularly in places that experience real winters like Michigan. Thus, it should come as no surprise that a Saginaw, Michigan Marathon station is one of the first to try out a new anti drive-off security measure called Post-Pay. The system allows motorists to fill up their vehicle without paying first – provided they swipe their driver's license into the card reader.

Bob Hohn, President of Paxson Oil Company, invented the measure, having grown tired of his stores losing hundreds of dollars a week to drive-offs. According to a report by WJR-TV, the Connecticut-made Post-Pay system does not keep the buyer's information on file unless he or she is reported as a drive-off, at which point both the police and gas station are furnished with the offender's particulars. In fact, the station attendant never even sees the consumer's information under normal circumstances. Naturally, the Post-Pay system still accommodates people who'd rather pay with cash or card up front.

In the two months since the system was adopted, WJR-TV reports that the Marathon station has had just one drive off – as opposed to the three or four it averaged weekly before Post-Pay was installed. What's more, the would-be thief was subsequently caught, as his license information allowed police to track him down.

Check out WJR-TV News' story in the video after the jump, then vote in our poll and leave a comment to let fellow readers how if you'd be comfortable using such a system or whether you view it as a potential invasion of privacy.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 123 Comments
      WillieD
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is awesome. Though it's a shame that such a thing has to even exist. I absolutely hate scumbags who think it's ok to steal.
      Harry Hurt
      • 3 Years Ago
      If a coke machine can make change, then a gas pump can too. Insert bills, pump the gas, and receive change.
        samagon0
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Harry Hurt
        you are making too much sense sir, please stop.
        Big V
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Harry Hurt
        Harry, taking cash like a coke machine would mean people would stay anonymous - come on dude, a person who pays cash isn't being digitally tracked, we MUST have a electronic footprint on a every person, every time, wake up and smell 1984, sheesh...
      golfinkatiekat77
      • 3 Years Ago
      My only objection to this is if your drivers license gets into the wrong hands, what happens then. You go on a list of criminals? If someone steals your purse or wallet, they are most likely going to have your drivers license. So what happens if they use your license, run off with the gasoline (because they're such fine, upstanding citizens already)? Just a thought.
      LifeLongCarGuy
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about just use arm barriers (or whatever you call them) like at toll booths and RR crossings.
        MachDelta
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LifeLongCarGuy
        Won't work for all station layouts. Or anyone towing a trailer. Or anyone filling jerry cans.
      Virgil
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lately I have been going in to prepay stations giving them $100.00, (more than I would use), then demand a reciept for the money, go out pump my gas, go back in and get another reciept for the transaction. They hate giving two reciepts. If they don't trust me I don't trust them. If everyone did this they would stop the prepay. Period
      mesager42
      • 3 Years Ago
      I ran into this kind of prepay garbage in Florida back in the 1990's when you couldn't use a credit card to pay for gas. Dumbest thing that I ever saw - considering in the northern states, most staions had card-swipe pumps. What was even worse was that the stupid Miami pump attendants didn't speak a word of English, and acted like a military member should be fluent in Spanish while in Miami. I was really ticked off. It may be fine and dandy for some lame state government like Florida to make biligual counties, but catering to solely Spanish-speaking people and hiring them in some regions can anger tourists who have to deal with them for a couple of weeks. I never went back to Miami after that. Horrible vacation!
      High
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring this on. I never have nor intend to drive off but this really does make things more convenient. I haven't really dealt with prepay in my state, WI, because I live in a smaller city but when I travel it's kind of annoying when you're trying to fill up and have to go back and get your change or add more because you underestimated how much it takes to fill up. As long as the gas station doesn't keep my information like the article says, unless of course if I drive off, then I'll gladly swipe my license to post pay.
      space
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm still waiting for my robotic gas pumps!!!
      50 AKA Ferrari
      • 3 Years Ago
      So what happens when someone finds a driver license on the floor.... use it and abuse it :)
      graphikzking
      • 3 Years Ago
      Listen - if people were more responsible and ethical we wouldn't have this problem. Just pay with a credit card (chase/discover etc) they give you 5% cash back!. That's like 15 cents per gallon off. Pay your credit card bills in full and you have "earned" more money and it was more convenient than having to swipe a drivers license. Also, fake licenses ($50 on the internet) / stolen ones are easily obtained probably no way to tell it's fake without this system being linked to the all states drivers databases. I really don't want gas stations and ANOTHER 3rd party company hooked to the drivers license databases. There is enough digital theft going on, I don't want another party involved. Seriously people - get a debit or credit card or buy a prepaid card. Pump until the card runs out. Then use another prepaid card. Will only require a few trips to the attendant if you buy cards in $50 or $75 increments.
      katsuro
      • 3 Years Ago
      i see even more identity theft with swiping your liscence
      El Duque
      • 3 Years Ago
      It already kinda pisses me off I have to enter my zip code every time I use my credit card. I don't want to touch all the dirty numbers. I guess I sound like a germophobe, but seriously, it's an inconvenience since sometimes the digits won't process and I have to enter it multiple times. Just let me pump my damn gas, I'm covered for credit card theft anyway so what do I care about these security measures.
        Camaroman101
        • 3 Years Ago
        @El Duque
        the security measures are for the gas station, not for you. read somewhere that a gas station pump handles are on the highest on a list of germy items
        Sean Conrad
        • 3 Years Ago
        @El Duque
        The zip code is the store trying to find out if they should build another store somewhere else: a bazillion people from zip code 35425462546? better build a store there! And like Camaroman said, it's not to protect you, it's to protect the gas station. If you're that concerned about germs, wear gloves or use a hand wipe.
          Mick Aloha
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean Conrad
          Actually it is both. If the card being used is stolen, the card holder could contest the charge and only be liable for $50 (I think that is still the standard charge) in total charges for the theft. The store that sold the gas would be out of that money. So to prevent that from happening to the store, they just want a little more insurance that the person using the card is who they say they are. At least that is how I understand it.
          wemmons
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Sean Conrad
          Not to sound like an ignoramus, but how does this protect the gas station? I though entering the zip was used to verify it's your card... someone who steals your card most likely won't know what your home zip code is, and then would not be able to purchase gas with it.
        John Hughan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @El Duque
        The security measures are neither for the gas station NOR for you. They're for the credit card companies, i.e. to reduce the chances that they will have to pay for fraudulent gas pumping if your credit card is stolen.
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