Motorists paying at the pump for fuel could soon be charged a £99 fee but why?
A number of supermarket petrol stations could soon introduce a £99 fee that motorists choosing to pay for their fuel at the pumps will have to pay.
The reason behind the “pre-authorisation charge” follows a new European kind of rule change by MasterCard and Visa, which has been brought in to protect both motorists and petrol stations.
The idea behind the fee is to make sure that the driver can afford to pay for the amount of fuel they wish to put in their vehicle, with Asda being the first supermarket in the UK to introduce the charges in April at three of their stores.
However, the new “charge” has caused some anger amongst motorists, with one driver claiming the fee of £99 was taken from their account but took two days for it to be paid back.
The fee is deducted from the customers current balance but the money will never actually leave the account. Once the fuel payment has gone through, the fee charged to the account will return to the available balance.
What motorists need to be aware of though, is that this can take from 20 minutes to three days to happen.
Following the backlash from customers, some of the UK’s other big supermarkets such as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are now “reviewing the situation”.
A similar proposal has been suggested in the past concerning the introduction of a pre-authorisation charge at the pumps but the fee was just £1.
“Last year a change in industry rules meant that petrol stations with automated fuel pumps were required to pre-authorise a value equivalent to a full tank of fuel, so that customers didn’t fill up with more fuel than they could afford,” said a spokesman at MasterCard, adding: “This is designed to protect them, and the petrol station.”
A spokesman for Visa said: “Visa has been working closely with card issuing banks to ensure that consumers do not experience delays in the adjustment of the initially-held amount, however if consumers notice that initial amounts held against their accounts are not adjusted immediately, they should raise this with their card issuing bank in the first instance.”
“Visa and MasterCard have increased the minimum pre-authorisation amount at pay at the pump petrol pumps for all retailers,” said an Asda spokesman.
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