More Customers Find Outrageous Charges From Mapco

More Customers Find Outrageous Charges From Mapco

CREATED Jul 12, 2012

By Jennifer Kraus
Consumer Investigator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There are new developments surrounding an $84,000 charge for a single tank of gas. 

NewsChannel 5 Investigates first revealed the story on Wednesday, but it turns out that Ray Crockett was not the only person slapped with an outrageous charge by Mapco.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates has now found others facing the same troubles, yet  Mapco has been unwilling to answer questions about exactly what's causing the problem.

In fact, NewsChannel 5 Investigates has now confirmed that at least three Mapco customers have been seriously overcharged at area Mapco stations.

"That is insane. That is just beyond mind-blowing crazy," Nikki Johnson told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Johnson was at the Mapco on Memorial Boulevard in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

"I bought a coffee drink, and I pre-paid for gas," she recalled.

Johnson paid $22.47 with her debit card.

But her bank statement shows she was charged $58,278.35.

When she showed friends, their reaction was, "What in the world? Did you buy the Mapco?"

There was Ray Crockett who spent $30 for a tank of gas on Friday at a Mapco in Donelson. As NewsChannel 5 Investigates reported Wednesday, his bank statement shows he was charged $84,522.54.

And the same thing happened to another customer at a Mapco in Hermitage on July 4th. He bought $10 worth of gas and was charged $84,073.85.

In all three cases, the banks processed the charges, effectively cleaning out the customers' accounts and leaving them severely overdrawn.

"How do you not fix that problem as soon as you see that it's happening?" Nikki Johnson asked.

Johnson is more than frustrated with Mapco, especially now that she realizes the company had known about the problem for at least several days when it happened to her and because she says she had to fight to get Mapco to help her get her money back.

"The people at corporate just didn't seem at all concerned that they had wiped my bank account completely and were in really no hurry to get it fixed," Johnson said.

And Mapco has been in no hurry to explain what the problem is.

We've called the corporate headquarters in Brentwood repeatedly the last two days. We've been hung up on, left countless messages and still we couldn't get anyone from the company to assure us that the problem is being addressed and won't happen again.

Here's what we do know: All three customers used debit cards, went inside to pay and used their Mapco rewards card.

"That's bound to hurt business. It makes you seem less credible as a business," Johnson said.

Moments before the story aired, we got an email from Mapco, saying that they believe the problem is limited to a few stores where a major oil company processes debit cards for the company and that the problems have been resolved or "are expected to be resolved soon."

But, again, we still have lots of questions that they won't answer.

As far as the three customers, Nikki Johnson said she finally got her bank account reinstated Saturday night after she spent most of the day on the phone.

The customer who bought gas on July 4th still hadn't been able to get his situation resolved, even though it's been eight days.

And Ray Crockett said that Citibank finally reinstated his account on Thursday morning.

The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs says it does not have any complaints so far about this situation. But, they are strongly encouraging anyone who has been overcharged like this to file a complaint. You can call their office at 615-741-4737.

Here's the statement from Mapco:

Credit and debit card transactions are processed and settled by third parties.  When we discover a processing error at our stores, we often resolve the issue quickly and with no harm to our customer.

We believe Mr. Crockett's problem is the result of miscommunication between the third party debit card processor and his bank.  The incorrect amount was not funded to MAPCO, and our efforts are focused on helping him address the issue with his bank.  We are, and have been, in regular communication with Mr. Crockett on this issue.

Errors in electronic transactions are rare, but like any other type of transaction, errors sometimes occur.  These errors can result from a variety of reasons, including technical failure and human error.  Some of our customers have experienced issues similar to Mr. Crockett.  We believe these issues are limited to a few of our stores where a major oil company acts as the third party card processor.  We do not believe that any of these issues are related to the MAPCO Rewards loyalty card.  We are, and have been, in regular communication with these customers.  All issues known to us have either been resolved or are expected to be resolved soon.  We apologize for any inconvenience these issues are causing.

As always, we remain committed to providing safe, secure and accurate credit transaction capabilities at our stores and are constantly seeking ways to improve our technology to better serve our customers.

Damon Bail
MAPCO Express
Nashville Divisional Manager

E-mail: jkraus@newschannel5.com