by Dennis Dalman
Starting Jan. 3, Kwik Trip gas stations/convenience stores will discontinue a gas-pump option. Customers will have to pay at the pump with a card or pre-pay inside the stores before they put gas gasoline in their vehicles.
The one exception is for side-diesel islands whose customers will still have the pay-inside option after pumping gas.
That policy change will be initiated at all local Kwik Trip stations. For people who typically pay right at the pump, there will be no change whatsoever.
The reason for the policy change? Too many drive-offs. Some motorists push the pay-in-store option on the gas pump, then pump their gas and drive off without paying.
A clerk at the Sartell location said that many gas stations/convenience stores in large cities throughout the country have had a pre-pay policy for quite a few years. She said drive-offs are a real nuisance because it takes a lot of time for an employee to get information, such as license-plate numbers and then contact the police in an effort to track down the drive-off motorists.
Gas drive-offs happen quite often, even in times when gas prices go down.
When contacted via email by the Newsleader, Steven Wrobel, a spokesman for Kwik Trip, wrote back this: “We are moving to pre-pay to improve our guest service. Our co-workers must spend so much time watching the fuel islands for drive-offs, they can’t focus soley on the guests in the stores. Guests can still use cash or check, in addition to debit, credit and gift cards to pre-pay for fuel inside. Gift cards are a great way to pay for fuel as they avoid any pre-authorization fees and guests will be charged for the specific amount pumped right away.”
The Kwik Trip chain of stores was founded in 1965 with locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The family-owned company, headquartered in La Crosse, also has stores under other names such as Kwik Star, Tobacco Outlet Plus, Hearty Platter and Stop-N-Go.