Drive-offs? What drive-offs?

A couple of decades ago, 7-Eleven stores took it upon themselves, with a nudge from nudnik Donald Wildmon, to stop selling Playboy and its ilk. Playboy responded with a “Women of 7-Eleven” feature; I responded by taking my business elsewhere. And I am legendary for the sheer persistence of my grudges, so I wouldn’t have noticed what Dave Munger noticed:

I bought a little gas at 7-11 last night. I had to go inside and pay first, which I didn’t have to do there before. The lady who worked there said that it was because they were in the process of switching from Citgo gas. She’d mentioned before that they’d been having a lot of trouble with people stealing gas, but now she tells me that Citgo (a Red Venezuelan outfit) used to EAT the cost of stolen gasoline! So basically, 7-11 hadn’t been bothering to stop people from stealing it.

I don’t know if this extends to Oklahoma 7-Eleven stores, which are not actually owned by Southland Corporation or its Japanese parent company, but around here, just about everyone has been insistent that you pay first ever since the first glimpses of $3 gas.


  1. Don Mecoy »

    2 January 2007 · 11:29 am

    According to Jim Brown, who owns all the Oklahoma City area 7-Elevens (7s-Eleven?) the company never has purchased Citgo gasoline. That’s based on a phone conversation I had with him more than a month ago.

  2. CGHill »

    2 January 2007 · 12:22 pm

    You heard it here second, folks: Oklahoma City 7-Eleven stores have never bought from Citgo.

  3. robohara »

    2 January 2007 · 2:34 pm

    Can someone explain to me why 7-11 cuts me off at the pump at $50 when using my credit card? I drive a Chevy Avalanche, which at current prices holds close to $80 in gas. I don’t understand why cutting off the pump at $50 helps anyone. If it is a deterrent to people using stolen credit cards, what stops the thieves from running the card through twice? I can’t wait for $3/gallon gas, so I can run my card through the pump 3 TIMES to fill up …

  4. CGHill »

    2 January 2007 · 2:44 pm

    I think this is something specific to Visa. If you have a MasterCard, try it; I believe they hit $75 on the first swipe instead of $50.

  5. Dan B »

    2 January 2007 · 3:16 pm

    Visa cuts off at $50, Mastercard at $75, American Express at $75, and no one knows about Discover Card since no one has it.

    These date back to an era when some of us could fill up our tanks for under $20, but the credit card company would hold $100 of our credit line hostage until the bill posted. We bitched, and now you suffer.

  6. Don Mecoy »

    2 January 2007 · 6:03 pm

    Not to keep blowing my own horn, but I talked to Jim Brown about that issue also. On a Visa card, $50 is where the liability goes from the issuer to the retailer.

    Brown told me he didn’t want to eat those drive-offs when gasoline prices caused fill-ups to regularly exceed $50. He knew he would catch hell from his Visa-carrying customers — and he did.

    He called foul on the card issuers (who were making big bucks on the soaring gas costs since they get paid a percentage of each retail sale) for putting the onus on retailers who were operating on razor-thin margins even while charging record prices.

    Visa, in a very corporately worded, mealy-mouthed sort of way, agreed that what Brown said about the liability was true.

  7. McGehee »

    2 January 2007 · 6:24 pm

    At Kroger gas stations here in Georgia the credit card cutoff warning claims $75 for all credit cards, presumably including Visa and Discover; I use either Discover or MasterCard and haven’t maxed either anywhere since the initial post-Katrina panic. During the height of that panic, though, the Summit gas station at our nearest freeway exit was cutting everyone off at $50. I think they stopped that eventually, but since they stopped being among the lowest of the low-priced stations we haven’t been going there.

  8. Veronica »

    2 January 2007 · 10:28 pm

    Yes, but can Don tell us if anyone ever actually buys those hot dogs, or if they’re just decorative?

  9. Ron »

    3 January 2007 · 10:31 am

    OKC could sure use a bunch of QT stores to offset these shoddy Shell operators (the ones who bought out the Texaco’s around town). There “generic” ATM’s with the wacky third party billers and goofy fees and the general third worldy feel of a lot of the stores surely would make QT a shoo in.

  10. Don Mecoy »

    3 January 2007 · 11:17 am

    OK, folks, I’m going to start selling newspaper subscriptions here in a minute. I wrote a column about the dearth of QuikTrips in Okc despite the fact that the company is based in Tulsa, and despite the fact that the clean and clever stores are franchised all over the Southwest.

    Most folks believe it’s a gentlemen’s agreement between QuikTrip and Jim Brown. Both deny it (in fact, Brown said he cannot build 7s-Eleven in Tulsa), but insiders hinted broadly that you’ll never see a QT sign in the metro.

    And that’s it. I’ve talked to Brown three times in my life, and you’ve now covered all those topics. Next time I speak with him, I’ll ask about the hot dogs.

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