DRIVERS have been left furious after the supermarket chain, Tesco said £99 deposits would be taken when visiting the petrol pump.
The chain, which has a petrol station at its store in Stroud, has officially replaced a £1 pre-authorisation charge for a Pay at Pump customers.
It means drivers filling up at the supermarket’s self-serve pumps, for either petrol and diesel, will now see up to £99 placed onto their card as a “deposit.”
The move comes almost two years after Asda scrapped the controversial charge following concerns over overdraft fees and lack of available funds.
Tesco this month confirmed it would be begin placing the charge on Mastercard, Visa and American Express customers due to new rules.
But drivers left furious have been hitting back with some raising concern over whether the charge is necessary and fair.
On social media, the chain received significant backlash as some have already suggested the plan “will never work” due to the amount required.
One person, who said he spends a maximum of £16 fuelling up his motorcycle, feared his card would eventually be declined by the time he reaches the end of the month.
He said: “It costs me £16 max to fill up my bike but hold £99. When there’s too much month at the end of the money, they’re going to decline my card.
“The pay at pump only stations – are going to have a lot of unhappy people.”
Meanwhile another customer criticised the move suggesting they would be unable to obtain fuel if they had less than the £99 required.
Even resorting to asking the chain’s official social media account if this was genuine, the person claimed their new charge would not work.
They said: “What if I only want £30 worth of fuel, and only have £30 in my bank?? This is never going to work.”
Those comments have been echoed across social media with many saying they will use petrol stations provided by other chains, where the charge currently remains £1.
What Tesco has said
In a statement on its website, Tesco has said the charge has been brought in following what it has described are rule changes from Mastercard, Visa and American Express.
It said that the deposit would be removed from the card within three days, before the actual transaction amount is taken.
It said: “Under new rules implemented by Mastercard, Visa and American Express, we must now request authorisation from your card issuer for up to £99.
“Once you’ve finished filling up, the final transaction amount is sent to your card issuer, and the remainder of any unused funds up to the maximum filling amount will be released back to your available balance.
“We’ll only ever charge you for the value of the fuel you’ve actually purchased.”
The online statement goes on to say that for those where their bank balance is fewer than £99, the card issuer should respond with the lower amount they will allow.
However, it does say some card issuers may not be able to do this and advises drivers to use another payment card would be needed.
Has this happened before?
Asda was forced to suspend the charge after it trialled the same amount at certain petrol stations using pay-at-the-pump.
At the time, Asda claimed the deposit was needed to ensure customers had enough money in order to pay for their fuel.
But it later said it was “suspending” the charge because “we always want to do the right thing for our customers.”