: US gas pump wants zip code
2011-05-31, 06:24 PM
so is it the card companies who want this or the gas pump. I always call my credit card company before travelling, so they don't think my cards been stolen and make me call....i wonder if that would help ya's.
Nope, doesn't work for me. Though neither does calling my CC company ahead of time either, so... :p
In addition to being happy to learn the trick/workaround listed in this thread, I'm also heartened to learn that I'm not the only one who gets waaayyy to peeved at the stupid pump when it makes me input a zip code. All this time, I thought I might have anger-management issues (although I'm still not ruling that out ;)) with the near-rage that this process would sometimes cast upon me.
Glad to be part of the club. :)
2011-06-01, 09:17 PM
When I was in Florida recently the attendant at the Costco station said Postal code would work, or 00000, don't know if that works at others but it worked at the Costco gas bar.
2011-06-03, 08:59 PM
I just tried it at a Sinclair station in Utah and it worked! N. of Calgary, you're the man. I was thinking of buying a sledge hammer and having at the next pump that demanded my zip code, but now I can save my money. I'm on a high ... sort of feel like I used a VPN to get around a CRTC regulation or something. :)
2011-06-03, 09:09 PM
^ Excellent!!! :cool:
2011-06-06, 08:07 AM
You can alos setup a secondardy address on your CC in the US (if you have one). I use my parents address in Florida as a secondary and I use that zip code with no issues.
2011-06-08, 12:37 AM
It certainly is bizarre, and annoying.
Though the last time I tried to fill up in the USA (in LA), the first station I tried didn't even take VISA! (an Arco). So I tried across the street and had to pre-pay (at a 76).
I wish I knew which chains to avoid and go to ... but I so seldom fill up in the US that I don't remember. Though now I think about it, it's Florida and California that have been the most problem ... I don't recall this driving back and forth in New York State ... maybe just a fluke ...
2011-06-11, 11:10 AM
^ You'll find that the price varies a lot in the US from station to station and that's usually due to things like "cash only pricing". ARCO (aka Atlantic Richfield Corporation) has long been one of California's cheapest chains but is known to be mostly cash only (maybe exclusively).
2011-06-11, 02:30 PM
Thanks - something to know next time.
Recently was in the U.S.
This was a problem when filling up at every gas station. Had to leave credit card with attendant every time. Quite annoying.
North_of_Calgary: Thank you for the tip. Most gas stations I use don't need this, but it worked on the one that did want the zip code. Great time-saver. Hugh, suggest you try North_of_Calgary's tip from post 10 next time.
2011-06-17, 08:56 PM
You're welcome. Thanks for the positive feedback from everyone :D
2012-07-15, 04:02 PM
Does anyone know if North_of_Calgary's tip still works in the US? Hoping that it was not a loop-hole that some over-eager programmer discovered, and closed out! :)
2012-07-15, 04:41 PM
My last trips to the US were in January and April of this year. Using my postal code digits worked for me in gas stations in NY, PA, NC and SC
2012-07-15, 04:44 PM
Good to know. Thanks!
It works for me about 90% of the time, especially at the major stations (Shell, Exxon, etc). I have found that the further south you go and the less well known the gas station is, the more likely it is that it will not work, although accurate predictions are very difficult.
2012-07-16, 12:56 AM
I tried it in Seattle earlier this year, and it worked! The 3 digits of my postal code + 00
2012-07-16, 04:37 PM
Never had this issue (been to the US a whole zero times in the past 10 years), but good to know.
From a data/programming standpoint, it makes sense. I don't think they actually programmed it in, it's just the nature of the error prevention used. (or if they did, it was a 3 second fix, because converting to 'telephone number' would be the most accurate representation than dropping half the data in the field)
i.e. read card information zip field (for us, it's postal code field).
It's expecting numbers, so parse to numeric only (prevents errors, just in case).
The result is 3 numbers, user added 00 as placeholder because it requires input of length 5.
At least that's my thought, as a data analyst/pseudo-hobbyist programmer :p
2012-07-16, 05:36 PM
I don't think they actually programmed it in, it's just the nature of the error prevention used. (or if they did, it was a 3 second fix, because converting to 'telephone number' would be the most accurate representation than dropping half the data in the field)
It's not a bug, it's a feature.
Of course, it's being replaced with PIN numbers, but before credit cards all had PIN numbers and you wanted to accept them without needing a human to compare signatures they needed something.
I fully expect this form of authentication will be phased out over time.
2012-07-16, 08:25 PM
Americans using their credit cards in Ontario have the same problem. Will not work at the pumps.