Tesco has issued a statement on the future of fuel filling after it emerged that motorists will soon be charged a £99 deposit at petrol stations across the UK.
The retail giant has announced plans to replace its £1 pre-authorisation deposit charge at its Pay at Pump facilities to a £99 charge instead.
According to TeesideLive, the changes – which are currently being piloted at several stores across the UK – have been made because the rules have been changed by card companies including Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.
If the trial is successful, it is understood the changes will be rolled out across the UK later this year – not just at Tesco.
The announcement of the plans has seen the supermarket chain inundated with angry messages from customers who had discovered the new deposit system when refuelling their vehicles, and social media has been full of users alerting others to the changes over the past couple of days.
Asda was forced to suspend a similar scheme three years ago after complaints from motorists.
Now, Tesco has had its say.
“Under these changes, the customer’s bank will pre-authorise £99, with the unused amount released back to their account within the hour,” a Tesco spokesperson confirmed.
“All supermarkets are making these changes following amendments to the rules by Visa and Mastercard [and] we’re definitely not taking a deposit.
“An amount up to £99 is ringfenced in the customers’ account, with the unused sum released immediately.”
Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the changes and why are they being made?
A Tesco spokesperson confirmed: “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 [so] we’ll only ever charge you for the value of the fuel you’ve actually purchased.”
Tesco also confirmed that the rules have been changed to help cardholders keep control of their budgets in real time.
Will my statement show a £99 transaction? But what if I don’t have £99 in my account?
Tesco says it will only ever charge drivers for the value of the fuel they have purchased.
The supermarket added that if your account balance is under £99, your card issuer should respond with the lower amount they’ll allow and the fuel pump screen will show the value you can fill up to. However, some card issuers might not allow partial authorisations below £99 and the advice then is to try another card.
You are also advised to talk to your bank if they have concerns over the changes.
What about other supermarkets and Pay at the Pump facilities?
The changes will be brought in to cover all pay at the pump petrol stations as they are being driven by card companies.
According to the Mastercard website: “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.”
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