Recently I was buying gas at a gas station. I was paying with my credit card and the machine asked for my zip code. If you read my previous post, you know what happened: I got furious. First, I tried 00000 as a zip code. The machine was smart enough to tell me that it was invalid. No matter what combination I tried, it wouldn’t accept another zip code.
Finally, the machine got frustrated with me and printed on its screen that I needed to talk to the cashier. Then, I argued with the cashier. He could have suggested that I pay cash, but he didn’t. I left without gas.
Luckily, for me I had dinner that day with my son, Alexey Radul, and his friend, Grem. Grem explained to me that gas stations are not collecting customers’ zip codes. They use zip codes as a security measure for checking that the credit card is not stolen. I guess that means I behaved exactly like a person who stole a card. Protecting your own privacy sometimes makes you look like a thief.
After dinner, I went back to the same gas station to conduct some experiments. This time I was armed with several valid zip codes. It didn’t work. Grem was right — only the zip code corresponding to the card could have worked. I looked like a thief again. I paid for my gas with cash and left.
The next day I called my credit card company and asked them about this. The manager I talked to told me the same thing as the manager Grem talked to. Apparently credit cards do not give your zip code information to gas stations. Your zip code is used instead of a pin number to verify that your credit card is not stolen. So in this case you do not need to worry that you are providing extra information, since credit card companies know your zip code anyway.Share: