‘Stop to save 3¢ on Kroger gas cost me $900, or $81 a gallon’

This happened to me recently but it could’ve just as easily happened to you or someone you know. I’m out approximately $900 for 11 gallons of gas (or $81 a gallon) purchased at Kroger.

On Friday afternoon I filled my car up at the Kroger gas station at Crosstown. Within minutes my car ran extremely rough despite no prior issues. My car had 29,000 miles on it, was in excellent condition, garaged and till then never had a problem.

We informed the gas attendant and the store co-manager. The car was surging, shaking and smoking. He suggested we take the car to get checked immediately. We took it to the first garage we could find. That’s where it promptly died. It was late on Friday, and they couldn’t check it till Monday.

On Monday it failed most of the diagnostics. They changed the spark plugs since they were now completely fouled and partially exploded (Mazda installed new ones 14 months prior). They contacted Mazda to see if they had any idea what it could be. Ultimately they gave up, so we had it towed to the Mazda dealer 20 miles away.

The next day Mazda mechanics found contaminant believed to be diesel fuel. (Imagine my surprise since diesel isn’t sold at this station). They removed all of the fuel, and cleaned all interior parts that came into contact with the fuel. Once “decontaminated” the car was back to normal and luckily drove just fine.

I had the Department of Agriculture test Kroger fuel tanks. The report showed no contamination on that day; however, that test was completed five days later, with deliveries made twice a day, over 75,000 gallons had been pumped in and out. None of the original contaminated fuel remained, rendering that test worthless.

Yet the fact remained that I received contaminated fuel. The diagnosis of diesel fuel contamination is in line with the quick deterioration of the car’s performance, explosive burns on the spark plugs, excessive carbon fouling, smoking, stalling and eventual cessation of the engine.

I dealt with the general manager for Kroger. He told me they would definitely take care of me even if it meant “paying me out of his own pockets.”

For a moment I was impressed. However, I was not handled professionally or in a timely manner by their company. I was made to feel like I’d done something wrong.

I continued to cooperate and patiently waited. They had receipts, pictures, documents and witnesses, yet they closed my case. They never even bothered to tell me. When I asked why, their answer was, “Cars break.”

So far I was without my car, incurred over $900 in bills including $37.11 for one contaminated tank of gas and no one was willing to help.

[The manager] who originally seemed so full of customer service now told me that “he was just the store manager and there was nothing he could do.”

He said that Kroger was no longer involved and did not want to be contacted further. Apparently, their customer service is just an act and managers can’t do anything.

I have given Kroger ample opportunity to do the right thing. The lack of customer support has not only been extremely disappointing but downright disrespectful. I was inconvenienced, lied to, stuck with bills and told to go away.

Kroger pledges “customer satisfaction” but when it comes right down to it they obviously don’t care about their customers.

That was the most expensive gas I’ve ever purchased (so much for the 3-cent savings).

B.L. Greene

Peachtree City, Ga.

ptc_mom_101
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Curious

what day and time did you make the purchase, because i have a neighbor who cuts my lawn from time to time who bought gas, and his lawnmower died on him with in minutes. wonder if he bought it the same time you did.

BLGreeene
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Friday around 3pm.

Friday around 3pm.

moelarrycurly
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BL Greene

Try this and see if you get anywhere. Bruce Lucia, Atlanta Division president, (since 2000)..he comes around to the PTC stores every 3-6 months 2175 Parklake Dr. Altanta 30345 (division office) Ph# 770-496-7400.

Good luck, 900 bucks isn't chump change in this economy.

BLGreeene
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I appreciate the info, and

I appreciate the info, and will contact him as well.

$900 is a lot to pay for a normal gas stop in any economy!

Theprez
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Kind of Off Topic, but still Kroger Customer Service

I was in the store the other day to make a purchase. I am a 60 year old gray haired man. I got to the checkout and needed proof of age for my purchase, and as usual I gave her my birthdate. Oh no not good enough I need to see your drivers license. Well bowtie backed her up and I left without my purchase. I explained I was on my golf cart, did not have a wallet with me because the trip was a spur of the moment thing. Still no go. On my return two hours later I was making the same purchase, the same self check out, only a different clerk I was able to make the purchase, no DL needed, just date of birth. Long story short not many in that store care about us, the old management is gone and Mr Bowtie sucks

Spyglass
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Kroger has asked for ID for a long time...

It's their rule...shop elsewhere if you don't like it. I think it is silly for those who are obviously of age, but they don't give their employees any leeway.

Snow Bunny
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A company wide policy of 'We

A company wide policy of 'We card everyone' prevents all the whiners from screaming about they were discriminated against. If by chance you are not carded then they can claim the employee failed to follow company policies and pretend to reprimand them.

NUK_1
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Kroger ID

I've never been asked for ID at Publix, but I also shop there a lot more than Kroger. I'm a big Publix fan and probably only hit the Kroger a couple of times a year.

Publix employees to me are a much higher grade than Kroger's and I think their meat and produce is significantly better.

I did use to frequent the Braelinn Kroger in the days of Paul Yellina running the store, but rarely go there now.

NUK_1
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Kroger ID Part 2

Went there tonight to buy some kind of bread that Publix doesn't carry, bought alcohol, was NOT carded nor asked what my birthday was. Amazing!

Spyglass
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I too prefer Publix..or Fresh Market..

But the Kroger is a quicker cart ride for me...and since I don't have a license... LOL

No doubt about the meat and produce being better at Publix than Kroger..

NUK_1
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I really like Fresh Market too

I don't like how much I spend there whenever i go in, but oh well :) Good stuff.

Snow Bunny
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You were driving without a

You were driving without a drivers license (even on Peachtree City paths you are suppose to have your license with you) and no wallet but yet you had money with you to buy booze?

Theprez
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I left on spur of the

I left on spur of the moment(keywords), I had been doing my yard work. I had to pick up Claritan, not booze. I have money in my pocket always, never in my wallet. I keep a ten in my wallet for show in case I venture to Fayette Pavillion and meet some of the upstanding citizens from Clayton that need my wallet more than me. The only booze I buy is strictly for cooking and have never shown an I D, just birthdate. A few days later out of curiosity I showed my Medicare Card when asked and was approved for purchase. I question the clerk and she said she just looked down to satisfy the video watching her

moelarrycurly
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Bunny

Golf Cart Rules on city web page...

Carts may ONLY be driven by:

Persons age 16 or older with or without drivers license (unless license has been suspended or revoked)

Persons 15 years old with a valid learners permit (unless suspended or revoked) in their possession. etc...

This is the only reference I see on licenses. By not stating "in their possession" on the persons age 16 and older, I interpret that to mean you do not need to carry your ID.

If that it not the case, the wording is flawed and should be updated.

Snow Bunny
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It sure does! I stand

It sure does! I stand corrected!

Like so many other rules/laws in peachtree City, it's a double standard in wording. You can drive a cart with or without a license unless your license has been suspended or revoked? One could interpret that to mean you don't need to carry a license with you while someone else could look at to mean that you don't need a license period.

moelarrycurly
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Snow Bunny again

Think of it this way. If we all were required to have ID while using a cart, the path not so affectionately called Taco Trail from Kroger on down to the high end Section 8 Villas at Harmony would be virtually empty of traffic!

Snow Bunny
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and the problem there is?

and the problem there is?
One reason I see ID should be required is to verify 'AGE'. There is enough kids who are 13 & 14 years of age who look 16.

ptc_mom_101
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called him out!

good job calling him out. he should have his license. and he is breaking the law by not having his ID to buy liquor.

NUK_1
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He's not breaking the law with ID

First off, Kroger doesn't sell "liquor." Secondly, there is no laws in most of GA that you must have ID to buy alcohol. Maybe Alpharetta still requires it but I think they repealed that stupidity already. It is left up to retailers as far as whether they employ complete idiots and have a policy of "ask everyone!" and then have to ask for ID when a 60 year old buys alcohol or they employ people with a decent amount of common sense and awareness.

It also helps if you haven't busted for underage selling like that Kroger has in the past, but c'mon. Asking 60 year olds for ID...please.

BLGreeene
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contaminated gas

Yes indeed it was the "Bowtie Mgr". He not only lacks in customer service but integrity. He completely wasted my time and energy.

The spark plugs were completely fouled/black due to low compression and the high temps caused from the explosive nature of diesel. I replaced them once because I don't put much mileage on my car, I replace things by age.

Its very possible that I'm not the only person that was affected. A small amount of diesel contamination in a piston engine wouldn't necessarily have suffered the extreme consequences of a full tank in a rotary engine. In any case, Kroger has not shared that information with me.

I'm hoping someone else may come forward with a similar situation.

Small claims will be the next step.

WLVROCKS
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Small Claims/Magistrate Court

Please pursue this. I have been successful in the court system and with full documentation, I believe you should win your case. Good Luck and thanks for warning me off Kroger gas.

Cyclist
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Cross Contamination - Diesel in Gasoline

Most interesting story. One thing about it though, if it happened as he claims then he wouldn't be the only one with that problem.

Anyways, the possibility of getting some "bad" gasoline is greatest when the tanker delivers fuel to the station. Off-loaded product out of the tanker stirs up whatever contaminates are in the storage tank which will take some time to settle out at the bottom of the tank. Station filtration does work as long as it is maintained.

Citizen_Steve
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Diesel heavier than gas?

If diesel sinks to the bottom of the tank then it is plausible that the first car to fill up after a tanker delivery could be the only victim of the contamination. Either way with the right documentation this may be a win in small claims court. Or on Judge Judy.

BLGreeene
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Diesel fuel is heavier than

Diesel fuel is heavier than regular gas and would sink to the bottom. The Mazda mechanics showed me the actual sample removed from my car and it clearly sank to the bottom even when shaken up.

The dept of Ag showed a tanker delivery within the hour of my fill up.

Spyglass
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I have gotten gas with water in it once..

And there were a lot of people who had issues within miles of the station...not Kroger mind you. This ruined my fuel pump..the owners replaced it promptly and gave me a full tank of gas at the place of my choosing.

That is one thing going against you for sure, if you are the only one who has come forward with issues. Good luck.

NUK_1
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Watery gas last year

I filled-up at a QT in North ATL and within 5 miles my Check Engine light came on. I pulled into AutoZone and their test equipment showed TOO LEAN on fuel/air mix. I know QT has a guaranteed gas policy but I wasn't going to deal with that hassle. No damage and as soon as half the QT gas was gone and I put in some premium from Chevron, no more Check Engine light or problems, fortunately.

moelarrycurly
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Kroger "Bowtie Mgr."

is that who you dealt with? Man, anyone could tell you what a waste of human flesh he is. That and the fact there is NO culture of customer service at Kroger. If you have it in you before you are hired, it is forcibly removed from your personality within weeks of starting work there.

The worst thing that ever happened there was to move Paul Y out when they screwed the store up with the shopping center update. He ran that store like a well oiled machine. Old school, what he told you would be done, got done. Fast and efficiently and courteously.

Publix and Sams and sometimes Fresh Market. That's the way to shop.

Just curious why you need spark plugs replaced with less than 30k miles.

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