www.Plesums.com (logo)

The horrors of using Speedpass

The Exxon Mobil easy pay fob

Speed Pass sounds neat - wave it near a gas pump, and it knows whether you want a receipt, need a wash, and where to charge the gas - connected to your credit card. Lately you can buy things with the Speed Pass in the Exxon convenience store, in addition to fuel. For a while, Exxon gas was competitively priced in our area, so we enjoyed the convenience. Lately ExxonMobil has rarely been competitive priced, and the Speed Pass often does not work on the diesel pump at the station that occasionally has competitively priced fuel for our diesel car. Bottom line, we haven't used it much lately. But we had a fob for each vehicle.

One Thursday morning I saw a credit card charge for $66.33 worth of Exxon fuel on Wednesday, so I checked - the Honda van was open and the Speed Pass fob was gone. I immediately cancelled the SpeedPass. Later I found a charge for $97.74 worth of fuel on Thursday - apparently before the cancellation of the Speed Pass had gone through.

What's the problem? Notify the bank and they will reverse the charge. I filed a dispute on the first charge, and a couple days later (after the weekend) filed a dispute on the second charge. I had not made either charge - neither of our vehicles would hold $97 worth of fuel, and neither of our vehicles needed fuel on the Wednesday of the first theft. And we certainly had not given the Speed Pass to anyone to use with their vehicle.

After a few weeks the bank responded that the station had reported that my card was present at the time of the purchase, and was used to complete the transaction in question. Therefore the bank was unable to credit the disputed amount. I could complain to the station (but where is station 45684735 and when is someone with authority beyond running the cash register available?) The bank suggested that I should call SpeedPass. I did, and they were no help at all - they do not handle disputes - I should call my bank. Basically this is an Exxon Mobil scam that hides them from the regulations (and losses) associated with stolen credit cards.

If I wanted to treat it as fraud (it was) my bank would have to cancel my credit card and issue a new one. It didn't matter that the SpeedPass Fob that was an extension of my credit card had already been canceled, I would have to give up my primary card. Since I have 18 different charges linked to that credit card, from phone to health insurance, and since some of those charges come at random times (like when I run out of money on my TollTag or Skype account) I would need to transfer most or all of those charges to a different credit card (a half day job), then when the new card arrived, transfer them back to the primary card (another half day effort).

My dilemma is whether I want to eat the theft of $164.07, or whether I want to spend a miserable half-day moving all the linked charges to different credit cards, and a week or two later, another miserable half day moving them back. Jenny says that, even though I am retired, a day of my time is worth more that $164 (maybe she was counting how cranky I would be after those miserable days.)


Immediately cancel any Exxon Mobil Speed Pass fobs you have (you know, www.speedpass.com, or 1-877-733-3727). I have canceled both of mine - the few extra seconds it takes to use a credit card instead of the fob are not worth the $164.07 it is going to cost me. If I had used the credit card directly (and the card had been stolen) the bank would have covered me. Exxon Mobil Speed Pass was a substitute for the credit card, and they did not cover me.

If you search the web, there are a number of other scary ways the Speed Pass can be hacked. That wasn't my problem - my pass was stolen, but the law doesn't protect me as it does for a stolen credit card.

Back to the woodworking page at www.plesums.com/wood

Back to the home page at www.plesums.com

Send e-mail comments to Charlie@Plesums.com