This Simple Distraction at the Gas Pump Can Increase Your Purchase

The view of Gas Station TV through my car window on a rainy day. So subtle, isn’t it? It’s enough to make you pump more than you bargained for if you focus on the news show on the screen long enough.

Yesterday I was tired after a full day, facing a long drive home in the rain, out of gas and no cash on me. I pulled into a Shell gas station, whipped out my debit card (I typically use cash only for gas) started pumping, and then I got lost watching a news story on tv. What? A news story on tv at the gas pump? Yup. It’s called Gas Station TV and it’s bringing news, entertainment, and of course the biggie…advertising… to a pump near you. Read more about it here. It’s not a brand new concept, but it’s taking hold fast. After all, gas stations have to entertain us folks who don’t have hybrids, right? I don’t recall seeing one before, however. If you are watching the the LCD tv screen instead of the pump, you will be distracted enough to pay more than you wanted to for gas. I caught myself just as it was about to go over the amount I wanted to purchase. So, just a warning….watch the gas station pump, not Gas Station TV. (And, I can’t even remember what the news clip was about!)

Marilyn, TFF

7 thoughts on “This Simple Distraction at the Gas Pump Can Increase Your Purchase

  1. I never, ever, ever put my debit nor my credit card through the automatic card slider at the actual gas pump. Are you for real??? The mechanism can sometimes hold up to $100 for 24 hours or more against your card before the actual purchase goes through. I would NEVER tie up my money like that at someone else’s benefit.
    I get out of my car, and I actually go into the gas station and speak to the cashier and tell him or her how much gas I want in the dollar amount and what the number gas pump I am at. I only spend what I want and will use right there and then! It’s the perfect way to budget and NOT make any mistakes or be distracted. Trust me….I do NOT want anything that’s for sale at the counter also. I just want my $20 worth of gas and I’m done.
    I never pay attention to the Gas TV. Just the same way I never pay attention to internet advertising or television advertising. I ignore it all. The pump automatically fills up to my pre-paid expense. I’m never overcharged and I never make a mistake.

    Try it. Get out of the car. Walk into the gas station. Speak to a real human being. Tell him or her exactly the dollar amount you are going to spend and your pump number. Swipe your card INSIDE for your pre-arranged, budgeted amount and eliminate all unnecessary mistakes. Buyer beware. There is NO reason why you should over pay for anything. Only once did a clerk ask why I didn’t swipe at the pump and I told him the truth-the pump swipe holds too much money against my card vs what I actually spent. I only keep what I am going to spend in my debit card account. Everything else is in my savings account. I only transfer what I have pre-arranged to spend for that day, week, etc. Isn’t that what a ‘budget’ is all about?

    1. Cindy,
      Perhaps you need to re-read the first line of the post where I mention I was out of cash. Also, you may want to read other posts on the blog about how I use cash only for purchases such as gas. But thanks to your rather spirited comment, I added in a line clarifying the fact that I use cash for gas. In fact, I have a cash only budget and rarely use the debit card and never the credit card. Thanks for writing in.
      ~Marilyn, TFF

      1. oops. so sorry for an elated comment. has nothing to do with you dear girls. it’s those annoying GAS TV’s and the fact that when you use your debit or credit cards directly at the pumps, those nasty banks hold an exhorbitant amount of money from 24 hours to 7 days! many people don’t know this.
        to me debit IS cash. I do ALL my shopping at minimum 4 to 5 stores and can’t carry cash. I have to use debit.

  2. I usually pump to fill my tank but did catch the higher priced Super Unleaded screen flashing even though I thought I pressed the regular unleaded. Had I started to pump it would have been more than I bargained for, because the cost for regular is now $3.37.

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