For most of us, filling up with gas is a mindless process. The hardest part is remembering what side your gas tank is on. However, it’s pretty easy for “accidents” to occur when it comes to the money portion of the transaction.
What happens if you notice that you were double charged for a tank of gas? How should you go about getting your money back?
Contact the station. If you can, drive back over to the station (with your card statement and your receipt) and talk to the manager. If it happened in a different city, and you can’t drive back, call the station immediately and ask to talk to the manager. Explain what happened and ask why extra money was taken out of your account. Show your receipt and explain that you paid for a full tank of gas but were charged for two.
Depending on the station’s policy, the manager might be willing to give you cash back in the amount that they double charged you for. Or, they might need to talk with your bank. If they won’t give you your money back, the next step is to call your bank.
When you talk to your bank, let them know you are calling to dispute a charge. Have your credit card statement and receipt handy. Your card company will walk you through what they require of you before agreeing to look into the charge; they might want a copy of your receipt, an official report, who you talked to at the station, etc.
Follow up. Keep a lookout on your bank statement to see if you are refunded the money. If not, make sure to follow up with the bank. There are plenty of horror stories online that tell of the troubles of dealing with banks about double charges, but many are understanding. However, it might take more than one call (or two) in order to get things handled.
Here are two tips to use as a precaution:
Always get a receipt. It doesn’t seem like a big deal when you don’t get a receipt; you’ve probably got online banking that keeps a running balance of your money so you don’t need it to balance your account. Get in the habit of always asking for a receipt. That way, you have proof of what you paid for, the date, and the time that you were at the gas station. A good habit to get into is keeping your gas receipts in an envelope in your center console or glove compartment. Keep them there until you are able to check your accounts to make sure that there was no double charge.
Keep cash on hand. You can’t get charged double if you use cash on your gasoline purchases.