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Old 03-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redeldo View Post
Running low on fuel in my pickup yesterday so I stopped at a Flying J exit 320 on I-75 in Georgia. The price was right at $3.43/gallon so I used my credit card, operated the pump and proceeded to gas up. Got the receipt, it showed $35.00 and off I went.

Checked my credit card balance this morning and it showed: PILOT $150.00 PENDING. What the heck is going on? I rarely ever stop at Flying J or Pilot, and if this is the way they do business I WILL NEVER AGAIN STOP AT FLYING J!!!!!

Is this ethical and why are they doing this? If they think I don't have sufficient limits to cover $35.00 then why would they charge the card 3 times that much?

Has anyone had this done before and how did you get it corrected?

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As a former owner of a small convenience store and IT person, I can shed some light on the subject. Most points have been touched upon. I hope to bring it all together. I donít use debit cards because they are a direct link to my checking account. I prefer credit cards because I can screen charges before they reach my bank accounts. This about credit cards only. Sorry for the length of the article.

First there are three basic numbers on your account:
1. The Credit Limit, the most you can charge. The Credit Limit is set by the Bank or Credit Card Company and doesnít change day-to-day.
2. Your Available Credit Amount, how much of your Credit Limit you have left. Your Available Credit Amount is the balance of your Credit Limit less your Account Balance and any pending charges. This is just a number used to track how much you can currently charge.
3. Your Account Balance, how much has been charged and processed. What you owe.

Now during a typical self service transaction, you scan your card. The pump, a kind of computer/register, accesses a site that stores only a limited amount of your basic credit card account information. The register sends your necessary account information and a fixed amount for approval. This amount is the typical maximum for the type of business or an amount determined by management. The credit card computer compares the submitted amount against the Available Credit Amount. If there is sufficient credit available, an approval code is sent and the submitted amount is subtracted from the Available Credit Amount balance and posted as a pending transaction. After you complete the transaction and drive off, the charge is still pending. At this point there is a pending transaction on your account and the actual credit charge transaction is stored in the merchants register. It is not until the merchant uploads the credit charges at the end of his business cycle that the credit card charge transaction is complete. But it will still show pending on your account until the bank or credit card company processes the transactions and posts the actual charge to your account. After the actual transaction is posted to your account, the pending charge is removed. If a transaction for the approval code submitted is not uploaded after a certain amount of time, the pending transaction will drop off. This is because some merchants will get an approval and then later resubmit the actual charges as a different transaction.

Unless you keep your Account Balance close to your Credit Limit, there is no need for concern about your pending charges or Available Credit Amount. I keep a close eye on the amount of my posted charges. Merchants can make mistakes and can also swindle money by fat-fingering or padding an incorrect amount. I check all my charges and have found mistakes, no fraud.

Hope this helps.

As far as the pending amount being used by the banks or merchants, not true. The pending amount is just an approved amount and there is no actual funds exchanged. This is also true of debit cards.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARLnJANIS View Post
As a former owner of a small convenience store and IT person, I can shed some light on the subject. Most points have been touched upon. I hope to bring it all together. I donít use debit cards because they are a direct link to my checking account. I prefer credit cards because I can screen charges before they reach my bank accounts. This about credit cards only. Sorry for the length of the article.

First there are three basic numbers on your account:
1. The Credit Limit, the most you can charge. The Credit Limit is set by the Bank or Credit Card Company and doesnít change day-to-day.
2. Your Available Credit Amount, how much of your Credit Limit you have left. Your Available Credit Amount is the balance of your Credit Limit less your Account Balance and any pending charges. This is just a number used to track how much you can currently charge.
3. Your Account Balance, how much has been charged and processed. What you owe.

Now during a typical self service transaction, you scan your card. The pump, a kind of computer/register, accesses a site that stores only a limited amount of your basic credit card account information. The register sends your necessary account information and a fixed amount for approval. This amount is the typical maximum for the type of business or an amount determined by management. The credit card computer compares the submitted amount against the Available Credit Amount. If there is sufficient credit available, an approval code is sent and the submitted amount is subtracted from the Available Credit Amount balance and posted as a pending transaction. After you complete the transaction and drive off, the charge is still pending. At this point there is a pending transaction on your account and the actual credit charge transaction is stored in the merchants register. It is not until the merchant uploads the credit charges at the end of his business cycle that the credit card charge transaction is complete. But it will still show pending on your account until the bank or credit card company processes the transactions and posts the actual charge to your account. After the actual transaction is posted to your account, the pending charge is removed. If a transaction for the approval code submitted is not uploaded after a certain amount of time, the pending transaction will drop off. This is because some merchants will get an approval and then later resubmit the actual charges as a different transaction.

Unless you keep your Account Balance close to your Credit Limit, there is no need for concern about your pending charges or Available Credit Amount. I keep a close eye on the amount of my posted charges. Merchants can make mistakes and can also swindle money by fat-fingering or padding an incorrect amount. I check all my charges and have found mistakes, no fraud.

Hope this helps.

As far as the pending amount being used by the banks or merchants, not true. The pending amount is just an approved amount and there is no actual funds exchanged. This is also true of debit cards.
Whew... Well, okay then.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:05 PM   #45
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Well explained, thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:53 PM   #46
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Hi I'm Lynsay from Pilot Flying J will have all the answers to your questions. That is her sole reason for being a member of irv2.com
If you have their RV rewards card, you get the cash price and 2 cents off per gallon.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:29 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsong3 View Post
If you are worried about the merchant holding your funds just do what cash buyers do and give them a total to put on your card. You may have to stop to purchase fuel more often if you underestimate but you won't have these worries.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:05 PM   #48
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I write software that handles credit card charges. When we get a transaction we attempt to match it with the preauthorization so that we can remove the auth and post just the correct charge. Due to the fact that the authorization network has grown over time and was not fully planned from the start, matching authorizations with charges is somewhat of a black art and is not 100% guaranteed to work. If you ever see a charge AND an authorization for the same purchase on your account, contact your financial institution - they should be able to remove the authorization. In any case the authorization will drop off after a few days.

The latest standards allow for timed authorizations - that is, the authorization for your fuel purchase can expire in 2 hours rather than several days. Again, the institution may not be able to process these yet.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:47 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
I don't see the harm or the damage in the OP's situation. Did he have problems the next time he used his card, saying he had exceeded his credit limit? At first read of his story, I thought the card had been run as a debit card. Debit card transactions often hold more than the real charge, creating problems if used multiple times in a short time.

The way to prevent all these issues: Use cash.
Or get CC for the Gas Companies. I have Chevron, FlyingJ, Shell. No problems.
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