As gasoline prices continue to rise and market conditions lead more retailers to require cash customers to pay before pumping, Sheetz has rolled out a new card that allows their cash customers to pump first. The Pump First card is being introduced to Sheetz stores in Pennsylvania’s Hagerstown and Frederick areas and Martinsburg, W.Va., area.
With a valid driver’s license, customers can receive a free Pump First card at a designated Sheetz store. By swiping the Pump First card at the pump, customers can fill up their gas tanks before going into the store to complete their shopping and paying for everything in one purchase.
The Pump First card is simply a method of identification associated with the customer’s driver’s license to activate a gas pump, and it’s not a credit card, the company said.
When the customer turns on the pump with their card, they simply fuel up and then go into the store to pay.
"The cost of gasoline continues to rise and unfortunately, so do the resulting drive-offs by a few dishonest individuals,” said Louis Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing at the Altoona, Penn.-based Sheetz. “Our increasing losses from these individuals who do not pay have forced us to go to pre-pay as a solution to control theft. While this change will help relieve the pressure of gasoline theft, we also know that it could cause loyal, honest customers to feel unjustly penalized.
"We are pleased that we don’t have to inconvenience our loyal customers,” Louis Sheetz said. “Pump First offers a solution to help us control gasoline theft and still maintain a high level of convenience for our customers. Future plans include adding other benefits for our Pump First customers, including exclusive coupon offers and even reward programs."
Sheetz also announced that it will convert its stores in Hagerstown, Fredrick and Martinsburg to pre-pay for gas, which will require customers to pay before pumping into their tanks.
The introduction of Pump First technology allows the company to require pre-pay for gasoline while giving its on-the-go customers the convenience of starting the gas pumps themselves. If someone uses the card to turn on a pump and then drives away without paying, Sheetz can quickly identify the card and deactivate it.