MOTORISTS have been urged to boycott Asda petrol stations after it emerged the supermarket is taking £99 from some customers – before they fill up.
The firm has confirmed it is trialling the controversial “authorisation” charge which can take up to three days to refund.
A customer filling up at Asda’s store in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was horrified to discover that £99 had been debited on top of the £5-worth of fuel she took.
Jade Louise claims there were no signs at the petrol station which warned that the hefty charge would be taken.
It is thought the charge has been introduced to stop motorists with insufficient funds in their bank accounts getting fuel.
Jade shared a screenshot of her bank statment on Facebook and wrote: “Don’t go to Asda for fuel unless you can live without £99 for around 2-3 days.
“They’ve brought in a new system that allows them to take £99 out of your account as a “deposit” for your fuel then a second transaction of the fuel you’ve actually taken.
“And they don’t return the £99 until the second payment has cleared, which can take at least two days with Asda.”
Jade added: “I rang ASDA and a manager said they are trialling this. They used to pre-authorise your card for £1 but now it is £99.
“So that is money taken from your account that you can’t use until they release it back once the other payment has cleared.
“My complaint to them was that they should have notices on the petrol pumps making customers aware of this as they have changed their policy, 5th of may we got fuel and were still waiting for our refund.
The post has since been shared over 22,000 times with many other social media users saying they won’t be buying petrol at the ASDA stores.
April Moore wrote: “The f***, thankfully I don’t go to Asda for petrol cause most of them are drive throughs.”
Kayleigh Crosby wrote: “I won’t be going there then.”
Jade Stephenson wrote: Best not go to Asda for fuel.”
Other users expressed their anger at the charge.
Charlotte Witcomb wrote: “What a joke.”
Debbie Hammond wrote: “If it is true I wouldn’t have thought it legal.”
Hope Sykes added: “It’s not like we have £99 for them to take in the first place.”
An Asda spokesman said today: “It’s as a trial that it’s in place. As far as I’m aware it’s other retailers too.”
Asda latter added: “Visa and MasterCard have increased the minimum pre-authorisation amount at pay at the pump petrol pumps for all retailers.”
A MasterCard spokesman said: “Last year a change in industry rules meant that petrol stations with automated fuel pumps were required to pre-authorise a value equivalent to a full tank of fuel, so that customers didn’t fill up with more fuel than they could afford.
“This is designed to protect them, and the petrol station.