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Poached pennies at the pump: How grocery-gas discounts disappear

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Poached pennies at the pump: How grocery-gas discounts disappear

CREATED Mar 25, 2013
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Every penny counts -- especially at the pump. So you'd want to stop someone stealing a penny, nickel or dime from you every week, right? One 9 On Your Side viewer found you have to be on the lookout first.
That viewer noticed someone was using the discount on gas she earned by buying groceries at Fry's Food Stores in Tucson.
After getting groceries, when taking part in the program, a customer can save up to a dollar a gallon filling up their tank.
The viewer noticed her discount was disappearing and figured out someone was entering her phone number at the pump, stealing the reward.
Fry's told 9 On Your Side it happens.
“It's a rare occurrence, but it's an easy fix if it were to occur,” said Teresa Tucker, Tucson district manager. “That’s probably the biggest thing that we want our customers to know. If it happens, just get a hold of us immediately, use the 1-800 number, reach out to any one of our store management groups and we'll take care of the problem.”
The number to call -- listed on the back of a Fry’s card -- is 800-828-5235.
The company said the vast majority of the time a stranger isn't the one stealing a discount -- a friend or family member is. If you think it's happening to you, Fry's suggests you talk to your family first and ask if anyone's using your phone number at the gas station.
To protect against theft, the company said anyone can ask for a unique PIN to use at the pump instead of a phone number.
Fry’s also points out you can keep an eye on your rewards by checking the bottom of your receipt after checking out.