Slip the credit card in to the slot, pull it out, wait for authorization. Simple procedure to get gas, one that has been done countless times. Not so simple when the message that flashes includes the word declined.
Immediately the mind goes into a panic mode. The heart races, blood pressure rises, the bottom falls out of your stomach. What could be the cause of this? Has someone stolen the credit card number through air waves? Miles from home this is not the message one wants to read.
Another credit card is used for the gas, so we can continue the trip, but I must also begin the task of finding out the cause for being declined. A quick call to the customer service number on the back of the card sets the mind back at ease.
“Did you purchase gas in Apple City, Minnesota this morning?”
“Did you just now try to purchase gas in Bethany, Missouri?”
“So sorry for the declined purchase, but everything is fine now. You may use your card. I will put a note on your account that you are traveling.”
“We will be home later this afternoon, so our travel is almost over. Thank you for keeping an eye on our account.”
A moment of panic, followed by relief. It is comforting to know that someone is watching for unusual activity.