A DISABLED grandmother has spoken of her distress after she said she was left with just £3 to spend when a £100 deposit taken for buying ‘fuel at the pump’ was not returned to her account for two days.

Deborah Karim purchased £20 worth of fuel from Sainsbury’s petrol station in Trinity Street, Bolton, on Wednesday, July 28.

She now wants to warn people who use pay at the pump facilities at other Sainsbury’s petrol stations. 

As she is disabled she paid at the pump, which she usually does, but says the £100 deposit taken from her account was not immediately refunded. The deposit was returned on Friday morning - around 36 hours later.

This left the 60-year-old with only £3 in her bank account, causing her to worry in case any other payments were taken from her account.

The charge came as a shock as there was no indication that the money would not be returned immediately.

Ms Karim said: "I couldn’t believe it when I found out. I didn’t see any signs to warn you about it and there was no notification.

“Usually they return the deposit to you immediately but the money wasn’t back in my account for another 36 hours.

“I had no idea that they could take your money for this long, I was mortified.

“I actually cried my heart out as it’s incredibly worrying – when you’re on a low income this really impacts you.

“I’d promised to take my grandchildren out on Thursday as well, and I had to ask my daughter for money as I had none. It left me feeling embarrassed. I was worried as I have direct debits due to.

“I have arthritis which affects my mobility, along with depression and anxiety so it was very stressful.

“It’s much easier for me to pay at the pump as it saves me getting my walking stick out.

“But from now on I will pay in the store because I don’t want this to happen again."

Sainsbury’s has been contacted for a comment.

It has previously been reported that Sainsbury’s has joined Tesco in charging drivers who use Pay at Pump machines a £100 deposit fee to use the service.

Drivers who fill up their car at the supermarket forecourts could see a temporary deposit of £100 taken from their bank accounts. The deposit will be taken out of drivers’ accounts the moment they put their card into the machine.

The petrol station will then calculate the correct fee after the car has been refuelled, and the money will be refunded on the payment card, minus what is owed for petrol.

Sainsbury's previously confirmed that £100 will be "ringfenced” prior to fuel being authorised and dispensed before the final transaction is calculated.

How it works:

The system will require you to pay a deposit before filling your tank with fuel.

Your bank or credit card issuer will then hold this deposit until the actual amount you paid for fuel is debited.

This means that if you pay £40 for petrol, your bank will hold £99 until your £40 payment is processed.

When the payment has been processed, your bank or credit card issuer will release the remaining £59 of your £99 deposit.

Andrew Cregan, payments policy advisor at the British Retail Consortium, said: "The banks have recently changed the policy for how customers must pay for fuel at self-service pumps.

"However they have not properly communicated these changes to consumers, and our members are bearing the brunt of their frustration.

"Banks must raise customer awareness on the changes and address their concerns, they must take responsibility for the change by dealing with customer complaints on social media and contact centres and they must enhance their banking apps which are currently slow to update the transactions and can cause financial distress.”