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Geneva car hire - warning re. WTC petrol station

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks to the many threads on here about Geneva car hire (especially this one) I've happily used the Swiss car hire and petrol station at Geneva airport a couple of times. However on Saturday we had an interesting episode at the petrol station under the World Trade Centre, next to the car hire return.

I parked the car up next to a pump and went to the control terminal, inserted credit card, typed PIN and tried to select the relevant pump. Unfortunately it said the pump was already in use (someone who hadn't read the snowHeads threads had filled up from that pump in the opposite lane prior to inserting his card). No problem thought I, and reversed back and successfully used one of the other pumps, again following the same process at the other control terminal and paying a total of 46.10CHF (about £28 ). Twenty minutes later I received a call from Barclaycard Fraud Protection telling me there had been two identical charges of about £101 on my card, and asking if this was legitimate.

After much to-ing and fro-ing (telephone conversation with a machine then 2 different operatives, back to petrol station which is unmanned, then a visit to car hire desk) I found out that the petrol station takes a large deposit at the outset and then returns any unused funds left over when you have filled up, which apparently may be 3 to 4 days later. However it seems to take the large deposit even if you are then unable to fill up, as was the situation at the first terminal.

I am watching my credit card statement online with interest ...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
mfj197, useful, thanks.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hey @Mfj197 same thing happened to me can you share the service station contact no

Thanks
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We discovered driving down through France that we can no longer used our FairFx cards on the automated petrol pumps or on the tolls. The latter doesn't worry us as we have a doofer, and the FairFx cards work inside the petrol stations. Apparently it's because there is no mechanism for FairFx to check that you have sufficient funds on the card with the automated side of things.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Pamski wrote:
We discovered driving down through France that we can no longer used our FairFx cards on the automated petrol pumps or on the tolls. The latter doesn't worry us as we have a doofer, and the FairFx cards work inside the petrol stations. Apparently it's because there is no mechanism for FairFx to check that you have sufficient funds on the card with the automated side of things.

I understand this is a problem with all prepaid cards; I have recently got a WeSwap card and they warn that tolls and automated pumps are likely to be a problem and advise against trying to use the card on them. Even if they work you can find a large chunk of your available prepaid cash is locked up and unavailable.
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@MadMountainMan, yes we knew about the card often taking 100 euros for 24 hours and allowed for that. Bit annoying this time round as OH had loaded the card for fuel and also for PDS season passes, and then forgot to take that card with him when we bought the season passes so ended up using a different one.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If you are coming into GVA from the A40 (Chamonix, Morzine etc) then fill up at the Air on the motorway at Bonneville. Brim the tank and you will not use enough fuel getting to GVA to register below full. It def works and never had a problem. Much less hassle than the fiddly rip off at the WTC. I don't know about other directions but worth thinking about.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Or drive up Avenue Louis Cassei (follow signs to Geneve Centre Ville). 3 petrol stations within a couple of minutes of the WTC.
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Standard practice for pay at the pump to take a deposit which shows as a pending transaction for a couple of days then disappears...
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Note that on Sunday evenings the filling station in ferney-voltaire has a single automtated pump and no attendants. The queue can be 15 minutes so allow extra time when returning to the airport. Or fill up in St. Julien
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Coming from the East (Valais) I always fill up at the "La Cote" services on the E62/E25. Fill it right up and drive gently and it will still show full at the airport.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@DJL, What DJL says.....never a problem.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
sanman wrote:
Coming from the East (Valais) I always fill up at the "La Cote" services on the E62/E25. Fill it right up and drive gently and it will still show full at the airport.
Had a discussion with the Avis rep on returning a car at GVA, who said that it didnt matter what the gauge showed but if they had to put more than a litre of fuel into the car we would be charged the full 80 EUR refuelling charged. We then got back into the car , drove down the road and topped the fuel up.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I tend to go to this BP as its one junction before getting off the motorway for the aiport and very easy to then get back to the airport itself. Don't know if it is significantly cheaper but would guess it must be slightly.

https://goo.gl/maps/TUBNgMZYFer
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

if they had to put more than a litre of fuel into the car we would be charged the full 80 EUR refuelling charged

Well that has never happened to me.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nor me. I've done the "fill to the brim at La Cote and pootle to the airport at 90 kph in top gear" option a few times and never had an excess charge. Its about 20 miles so if you drive really carefully that is probably about 2 litres. Mind you if you keep topping up carefully you can get at least an extra litre in after the automatic cut off of the pump.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We've done the La Cote fill up over 50 times I would say.

Never, ever, had our "full" reading questioned on returning the car.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I did wonder about the Bonneville fill up last Saturday, but went with WTC just to be sure.

You could just take an empty 3l bottle, fill that up, cane it from the Aire and refuel to the top....
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Matt1959 wrote:
@DJL, What DJL says.....never a problem.

Deffo, the Migrol service station is 06:00-22:00, is ++CHF's cheaper than WTC and has real people on the desk!
https://goo.gl/maps/DneRehqLzZ52
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mfj197 wrote:
Thanks to the many threads on here about Geneva car hire (especially this one) I've happily used the Swiss car hire and petrol station at Geneva airport a couple of times. However on Saturday we had an interesting episode at the petrol station under the World Trade Centre, next to the car hire return.

I parked the car up next to a pump and went to the control terminal, inserted credit card, typed PIN and tried to select the relevant pump. Unfortunately it said the pump was already in use (someone who hadn't read the snowHeads threads had filled up from that pump in the opposite lane prior to inserting his card). No problem thought I, and reversed back and successfully used one of the other pumps, again following the same process at the other control terminal and paying a total of 46.10CHF (about £28 ). Twenty minutes later I received a call from Barclaycard Fraud Protection telling me there had been two identical charges of about £101 on my card, and asking if this was legitimate.

After much to-ing and fro-ing (telephone conversation with a machine then 2 different operatives, back to petrol station which is unmanned, then a visit to car hire desk) I found out that the petrol station takes a large deposit at the outset and then returns any unused funds left over when you have filled up, which apparently may be 3 to 4 days later. However it seems to take the large deposit even if you are then unable to fill up, as was the situation at the first terminal.

I am watching my credit card statement online with interest ...


Any unmanned ones i use in Switzerland normally block 130 CHF on your card and it is then sorted within a few days, never had a problem
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Driving from the Vaud/Valais on the 1/E25/E62 I usually fill up on the autoroute at the Vernay Tamoil service station, or if I have time, a bit further on at the Nyon Co-Op superstore, which is just 5min off the motorway exit at Nyon. I usually top-up to the brim and have never in 20 years been charged extra. I've not used the airport one as there are sometimes queues and I don't want to faff-around if there are queues or any problems with the electronics.
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