Experts warn drivers over insane petrol station charges that you can’t afford to ignore | The Sun

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Consumer experts have sent out a warning and provided helpful guidance to drivers charged 'crazy' amounts for filling up at petrol stations.

Some motorists claim it’s taken days to be reimbursed following the changes made by card companies.

The Manchester Evening News has reported how customers have been left out of pocket after being charged £120 at fuel pumps around the area, despite only filling up with a small amount.

The report goes on to highlight a single mum who said she ‘was absolutely fuming’ after noticing the money had disappeared from her account after filling up with just £10 at a Tesco petrol station in Ardwick. Another driver said he was ‘gobsmacked after checking his bank balance’. 

Card companies now intend to place a temporary hold on customers' bank accounts, to ensure they have enough money when purchasing fuel – and all UK petrol stations are set to be affected.

According to consumer experts, the new measures are legal under current trading law, as long as there are clearly displayed warning customers at forecourts.


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"If there are clear signs detailing the changes then the companies are protected and the choice is with the consumer," says Rosi Avis, Partnership and Communication Lead at Citizens Advice Manchester.

"If signs are not well placed it could be classed as an unfair term and you could refer that to trading standards but given the fact the money will be refunded this probably wouldn't speed up that process."

A Tesco Spokesperson said: "The funds that are reserved whilst a customer refuels at Pay at Pump should be immediately released back into the customer’s account. If this has not happened, we would recommend that the customer contacts their card issuer to resolve the issue."

A spokesperson for Mastercard said: "Banks, card networks, and petrol stations have worked together to update and improve the way payments are made at ‘Pay At Pump’ sites.

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"Although customers may notice in their banking apps an initial transaction for a higher ‘pre-authorised’ amount, this is temporary.

"Once the sale is made, the exact value of fuel dispensed will be charged and any remainder of the pre-authorised amount is released for use almost immediately. If cardholders experience any issues they should contact their bank."

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