Keep the change?

I drive a car with CNG (as does a majority of the population in Karachi). However, one trend that I have noticed is that CNG pump people tend to round up the amount to the nearest rupee when you pay. Even though it makes a little sense when you are dealing with cash, they do the same thing when using prepaid cards.

There is one specific PSO pump at the foot of Karsaz flyover on Shara-e-Faisal which I pass daily on the way to work. Because it is mostly empty at the time I pass it (around 7:30am), I tend to fill up if I am low on CNG. Further, I have a PSO fuel card (thanks UBL Credit Card!) which I sometimes use to pay. Today, the amount was 168.76, and the guy had charged me 169.00 (on the fuel card). When I asked him why he didn’t charge 168.76, he said something about them not having the correct system to process decimal places. I got out and showed him the decimal point on the keypad of the machine, and then he sheepishly admitted that it is their usual practice to round up. He also said that they round down if the fractional part is less than 50 paisa, but I have never seen this personally except for at a few pumps. Mostly these people just round up.

I know that after I left, they must have been wondering what a cheapskate I am to be complaining about 24 paisas, but my question is this: even though it is just a matter of a few paisas, is it right to do this? What are your thoughts?

17 Comments so far

  1. Shamsi (shamsi) on April 25th, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    its been a common practice to round off the money to nearest rupee., at ALL fuel stations, they take from us, but doesn’t spare theirs.

    like SSGC, KW&SB PTCL & KESC round off to nearest Rs.10.00 if amount exceed over Rs.5 to our utility bills,

    Is there any consumer right protection AGENCY alive :)

  2. sabih on April 25th, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

    this is standard practice throughout the world, amount is rounded off to the nearest dollar/rupee/euro/pound, that’s why you see psychological pricing on products, like MSRP Rs. 18.7 GST 3.3 or in the States $29.99 however they return you the balance 1cent as the denomination of 1cent is still in circulation in USA

  3. Nadir (nadir) on April 25th, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    Yes, rounding up is a general practice. BUT considering it understood and keeping the money is not ethical.

  4. kaasu on April 25th, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

    You are absolutely right that it seems cheapstake but who has given these pumps the right to round amount. I was in Pakistan in December last year and was always annoyed with this practice. IMHO, we should all work together to stop this nuisance.

  5. mvohras on April 25th, 2008 @ 8:27 pm

    if you go any UK super market, petrol pump or whatever; they always return you the remaining money even if thats a penny. I seen how english, african people dare to ask for a penny if the sale person didnt return it – though they normally put them into charity but – Asking for your money isnt shame. but in pakistan every thing taken as granted and normally there is no trend of reciept as well.

  6. karachite on April 25th, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    baat paisay ki nahi bat usool ki hai….:)

  7. barristerakc on April 26th, 2008 @ 7:37 am

    Quite a relevant post mate, cheers…

    Another incident which is on rise and what I personally witnessed – is that the petrol stations charges not once , not twice but thrice from your credit or debit cards and gave you one receipt to sign – unless and until you don’t check on your bank statement you won’t even know.

    Multiple Charges

    I filled up my tank from this PSO pump (right next to the McDonalds) and the amount was Rs.1765.80p – I gave the bugger my debit card to charge and he returned it back. After couple of weeks – I checked my bank statement where 3 payments of Rs.1765.80p were charged in space of 3 minutes was charged. I send someone from office with the bank statement and took the money back – apparently, ‘they said they had a new worker and the terminal was not working properly – so he swiped the card unknowingly, ‘sorry’ they said’

    Another fraud which our petrol stations are doing is

    ‘When you park your car for petrol and asks for the petrol – someone from the station comes up to clean your windscreen and suddenly out of blue the petrol meter shows the money is at ‘Rs.700’ in a minute – which actually is happening that the forecourt managers at the petrol stations are involved in fixing the meters and using the cleaners as ‘attention diverters’ – so when someone comes up to fill petrol for Rs.1000 – they start the meter from Rs.200 or whatever – while we are busy checking how clean is our windscreen. It’s always good to concentrate on the petrol meter and check it – so that it shows ‘0000.0000’.

    Barrister Ali K.Chishti

  8. MB (kar_munib) on April 26th, 2008 @ 11:50 am

    Thanks for the help chisti saheb

    I had a question in this regard. Do let me know what the LAW says and i would be thankful to you if you can quote the exact statement from the book:-

    When we part our car in a parking done they charge us 10,15,20 rupee and give us a small chitti but at the back of it they mention that THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR CAR (being parked in their parking zone).

    If you ask them that for what they are taking the money for, they say its for the SPACE/PLACE for the car to be parked.

    Does law allows any such provision ?

    If they are correct then why not we park anywhere outside the parking zone and be responsible for our car’s safety anyhow because they are absolving themselves of the responsibility anyway?

  9. faylasuf on April 26th, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

    Chishti saheb

    i d advise u to use credit card (provided u hav sms alert service availble on yr CC.

  10. barristerakc on April 26th, 2008 @ 5:46 pm


    As to your question,
    “There no law in Pakistan which makes the owners or the management of the car-park responsible”.

    Although there(s) a chance you can name the owners of the car-park if (God-Forbids) your vehicle is stolen (in following cases):

    i) The owner of the car park advertises that he / she is taking responsibility of your vehicle for the certain amount of time – your facile is parked.

    ii) The owners are involved in stealing or counterfeiting your vehicle.

    As to there rationale of ‘asking money’ for parking – they are bound as per municipality act to charge you for space not give you security.

    Unfortunately, this is a common practice even at the most advance countries (UK being one) although due to CCTV – there(s) virtually no crime inside the specially designated parking areas.

    faylasuf, cheers for your advice..

    Barrister Ali K.Chishti

  11. arfeeng on April 27th, 2008 @ 9:31 am

    Most of their transactions are cash anyways, so I guess rounding off is just a procedure that they’re used to. And a few paisas doesnt make a difference for us when we’re spending 200-300 rupees on fuel ..

  12. hbrehman on April 27th, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    rounding out should be done….. its more convenient… but i have personally never seen then round off to a lesser number if the decimals that come up are under 50 paisas…
    this is not that small an issue….
    in a day around 10000 cars will come to the station…. figuratively speaking…thatz like a huge increase in profit …HARAM profit….

    itz a good thing they raised this topic here….

    i would like to point out an incident that took place at the CNG station at sunset bulvd. opposite to altamsh hospital…..
    the guy charged the person in the car in front of me 290 rupees…..the guy in the car was least bothered to check the meter… when my turn came.. i woz a little occupied on the phone…. otherwise i always get out of the car to see what they are doing….
    this time…after the cng was filled up he comes up and says itz 290… now i just said for the sake of making conversation that do u guyz have fixed rates?
    the guy gets nervous and says sorry…itz 250 sir…
    now i get suspicious… i got out of the car… and looked at the meter… it read 235!!!!….
    my dad in the car exploded at the people…..demanded to cal the supervisor….
    the supervisor came… scolded the guy and asked him to leave right there and then…
    the very next day the guy woz at the station again :S…

    now if u see…10000 cars at a station in a day…. 50 rupees from atleast a 1000 of the people who dont look at the meter means these people rip off 50000 above their prices EVERY DAY!!!

  13. faylasuf on April 28th, 2008 @ 1:47 pm


    when my turn came.. i woz a little occupied on the "phone…." <??

  14. hbrehman on May 2nd, 2008 @ 12:21 am

    yah was talkin on my cellphone…

  15. faylasuf on May 3rd, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

    well..dont u think that u shudnt b?

  16. hbrehman on May 5th, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

    brother…i never talked onda phone while refueling then i got curious and did a lot of research regarding this issue…there is no solid evidence that links cell phone use to harm u while refueling…. except that u might get seen by thieves and get robbed….

  17. faylasuf on May 7th, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    My friend, I wz not tryin to warn u bout sum hazard of cell phone usage at the fuel station.

    Hav u nvr seen a sign of “switch off yr mobile phones” at ne fuel station? Or u just don’t do it cuz u don’t agree?

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