Four of the UK’s major supermarket chains have been forced to clarify how motorists pay for their fuel at petrol stations.
After reports this week claimed that Asda was the latest supermarket to bring in the controversial new £99 deposit rule for people using ‘Pay at Pump’ services, which sees it following in the footsteps of Tesco and Sainsbury’s, it’s sparked its fair share of backlash from motorists condemning its introduction, and many confused as to what it actually is.
If you’re unfamiliar with the situation that’s been unfolding since last summer and the changes that have been made, then it basically refers to the deposit amount which is taken when using ‘Pay at Pump’ facilities.
Previously, all ‘Pay at Pump’ transactions were authorised by simply requesting a £1 transaction from your card issuer, before taking payment for the value of the fuel one to three days later, but back in June 2021, new rules imposed by Visa and Mastercard saw that pre-authorisation amount rise up to £99 at some retailers.
This means your bank may create a temporary hold of up to £99 while you fill up.
On completing the transaction, the actual amount is deducted immediately from your account, and the pre-authorised amount is immediately cancelled.
Mastercard explained in a statement shared to its website last year: “The way you pay for your fuel at an automated fuel pump in the UK is changing.
“Your card issuer/bank will temporarily reserve up to £99 of your available balance while you fill up [and] then when you have completed fuelling, you’ll be charged for the correct amount of fuel you have used and the remainder of any reserved funds will be released back to your available balance.”
While some supermarkets immediately rolled out this update to pre-authorisation payments, others have just started to trial the process.
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons were the three supermarket chains to announce the changes to the pre-authorisation amounts for ‘Pay at Pump’ facilites last year, with Asda – which was said to have already been forced to suspend a similar scheme three years ago after complaints from motorists – reported to be bringing the change in this year.
But now, each of those retailers have had their say to confirm the latest.
As per widespread reports this week, which have already garnered backlash from motorists confused at the situation and demanding explanation, Asda is currently in the process of changing its pre-authorisation rules to raise the deposit amount, but it has clarified how this will work in a statement.
The supermarket said: “On completing the transaction, the actual amount is deducted immediately from your account and the pre-authorised amount is immediately cancelled.
“The solution makes it easier for you to keep control of your finances when you pay for your petrol at the pump, however, if an issue does arise you should first contact the bank that issued your card.”
Out of the initial three supermarkets to implement the new rule, Morrisons was the last to introduce it, having only officially adopted the hiked pre-authorisation charge back in November 2021.
Explaining more about the process in a statement at the time, Morrisons said: “Under new rules, implemented by Mastercard and Visa, we must now request authorisation from your card issuer for up to £100.
“Once you’ve finished filling up, the final transaction amount is sent to your card issuer.
Tesco is currently in the process of trialling the £99 pre-authorisation payment rule.
After announcing the trial back in June 2021, and coming up against a significant amount of consumer backlash, the supermarket explained in a statement: “We are currently trialling this change in selected locations, so you may find this payment change happens at one petrol station but not at another.
“If you have a problem with a payment, please contact your bank that issued the card, as this new payment rule is not under our control.”
They added: “There may be a small number of occasions where your card issuer doesn’t update your balance in real-time [but] we’ll only ever charge you for the value of the fuel you’ve purchased.”
It’s been reported that around 60 ‘Pay at Pump’ facilites at Sainsbury’s stores across the UK currently request a pre-authorisation amount of £100, before starting the fuel-filling process, with the supermarket’s website explaining that: “Under new industry requirements mandated by Visa and MasterCard, self-service pumps at Sainsbury’s Petrol Forecourts will request a £100 pre-authorisation amount before starting the fuelling process.
“This is to ensure that customers have sufficient funds to cover the cost of fuel dispensed.
“When the transaction has completed, the Pay at Pump terminal will send a message to your bank with the actual transaction amount which will be charged to the customer; the pre-authorisation amount will be almost immediately released back to the customer’s account.
“The introduction of this change means that the customer will almost immediately see the actual value of fuel dispensed in their bank account.”
Featured Image – iStockphoto
Some tourists will have to pay £1 to visit Manchester from this weekend
Manchester is becoming the first city in the UK to introduce a ‘tourist tax’ from this weekend.
Visitors staying over in one of the city centre’s hotels or apartments will now need to pay £1 per night, in a scheme known as the City Visitor Charge.
Officials hope it will raise up to £3m per year, which will ‘support future growth of the visitor economy and continued high performance for accommodation providers across the city’.
Hoteliers voted in favour of a new Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District (BID) last year, as a way to respond to the ‘significant challenges currently facing the accommodation sector in Manchester’.
The tourist tax applies to 73 different accommodation offerings in the city centre, including Hotel Gotham, Dakota, and Kimpton Clocktower.
Any hotel or accommodation that falls within a mapped zone, and has a rateable value of £75,000 or more, is subject to the statutory Accommodation BID charge.
Similar schemes are already in place at several major cities in Europe, but Manchester is the first city in the UK to bring in a ‘tourist tax’.
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “These are exciting times for Manchester city centre with an unprecedented number of new hotel rooms being added and major new visitor attractions such as Factory International and Co-op Live due to open in the months ahead.
“Seizing that opportunity means ensuring as many rooms as possible are full all year round. We believe that targeted investment through the Manchester Accommodation BID will help support the accommodation sector – which plays such a vital role in supporting jobs in our city and adding to its overall vibrancy – to thrive.”
Adrian Ellis, General Manager of the Lowry Hotel, Chair of the Manchester Hoteliers’ Association, and Interim Spokesperson for the Manchester Accommodation BID, said: “The Manchester Hoteliers’ Association has been in discussion for several years to develop options to create new, additional funding that will support continued high performance and future growth of the visitor economy for accommodation providers across the city.
“The result of these discussions is the Manchester Accommodation Business Improvement District proposal, and I am delighted that hoteliers’ have voted in favour of creating an innovative, business-led solution to some of the problems we have been facing as a sector.
“A supplementary fee for guests, added to the final accommodation bill, is now an established norm within the travel sector across the world, and the Manchester Accommodation BID will now bring our accommodation sector in line with European and global counterparts and competitors.”
All the hotels where Manchester’s new ‘tourist tax’ applies
AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre
Britannia Hotel Manchester
Church Street by Supercity Aparthotels
Clayton Hotel Manchester City Centre
Cove – Minshull Street
Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester – Piccadilly
easyHotel Manchester City Centre
Great John Street Hotel
Hotel Campanile Manchester
Hampton by Hilton Manchester Northern Quarter
Hilton Manchester Deansgate
Holiday Inn Express Manchester CC – Oxford Road
Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre – Arena
Holiday Inn Manchester – City Centre
Hotel Brooklyn Manchester
Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station
Hyatt Regency Manchester & Hyatt House
Ibis Budget Manchester Centre Pollard Street
ibis Manchester Centre Princess Street
ibis Manchester Centre 96 Portland Street
ibis Styles Manchester Portland
INNSiDE by Meliá Manchester
King Street Townhouse
Leonardo Hotel Manchester Central
Leonardo Hotel Manchester Piccadilly
Manchester Piccadilly Hotel
Maldron Hotel Manchester City Centre
Manchester Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel
Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel
The Midland Manchester
Motel One Manchester – Royal Exchange
Motel One Manchester – Piccadilly
Motel One Manchester – St Peter’s Square
Moxy Manchester City
Novotel Manchester Centre
Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
Premier Inn – Manchester (Deansgate Locks)
Premier Inn – Manchester City Centre Portland Street
Premier Inn Manchester Central
Premier Inn Manchester City (Piccadilly)
Premier Inn Manchester City Centre (Princess Street)
Premier Inn Manchester City Centre (Arena/Printworks)
Premier Inn Manchester City Centre West
The Edwardian Manchester, A Radisson Collection Hotel
Roomzzz Aparthotel Manchester City
Roomzzz Aparthotel Manchester Victoria
Sachas Hotel Manchester
Staycity Aparthotels – Manchester Piccadilly
Staycity Aparthotels – Northern Quarter
The Ainscow Hotel Manchester
The Castlefield Hotel
The Gardens Hotel
The Lowry Hotel
Stock Exchange Hotel
Townhouse Hotel Manchester
Travelodge Manchester Ancoats
Travelodge Manchester Central Arena
Travelodge Manchester Central
Travelodge Manchester Piccadilly
Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity – St. Peter’s Square
Yotel Manchester Deansgate
The Makers Market is coming back to Cutting Room Square every month as of this Sunday
The North West’s hugely popular Makers Market is returning to Ancoat’s Cutting Room Square as of this weekend, marking the start of a monthly community staple.
While Makers Markets have been popping up around the region for years now — Stockport, Cheadle, Salford and Media City; Knutsford, Northern Quarter, Didsbury, Congleton and countless other locations — it’s only ever been at Cutting Room Square just the once as part of a trial run back in November 2022.
However, after going down an absolute treat and just as popular as all the others around Greater Manchester and beyond, the organisers have decided to bring it back on a permanent basis from this weekend onwards. Ancoats just got even better.
Now, as of Sunday, 2 April, city centre residents and those travelling into town will be able to enjoy a regular community market packed with local traders from all over every month. Wonderful stuff.
If for some reason you’ve never come across a Makers Market before, the concept is pretty simple: local businesses and indie traders of all different kinds gather in public spaces like Cutting Room Square, setting up pop-up stalls to sell their wares, whatever they may be.
Whether it’d be homemade food and bakery items, handcrafted prints and textiles, or homeware, second-hand records, flowers and everything in between, there is literally always something for everyone.
More importantly, though, these monthly markets aren’t just another place to shop locally and responsibly, but they genuinely provide a wonderful sense of community, quickly cementing themselves as a regular staple for everyone to look forward to and socialise at.
Typically taking place on the second Sunday of every month and with Cutting Room Square and Ancoats already a popular district for locals and tourists alike, we’re sure the atmosphere is going to be great.
You’ve also got the successful Ancoats Pop Up events scattered throughout the rest of the 2023 calendar too — happy days.
We look forward to a year filled with plenty more markets all around Greater Manchester!
You can check out the full list of traders that will be appearing at this weekend’s Makers Market at Cutting Room Square HERE.