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Cheap Gas Pains

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Hey, buddy, want to buy some cheap gas? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a ThirdAge.com report on computers and technology. At first glance, it looks like a great deal. Sign up at a Web site called carclub.com, and save ten percent on gasoline. Up to 200 dollars worth every month. The idea comes from J. D. Power, where Michael London says for a fee of 5.99 a month members are supposed to be able to save lots of money. Just deposit money into what amounts to a debit card account...

"The carclub membership card is actually a gas discount card that is good anyplace that MasterCard is accepted. Every gas station in the country. And there's no games... there's no gimmicks."

So I gave it a try. I transferred money from my bank account into the carclub account. It worked great! I was able to buy fifty dollars worth of gasoline for only 45 dollars. I went back onto the Web and added more money to the account. But when I went to buy gas... the carclub card was declined. I called all of the carclub numbers to find out what happened. No one had an answer. I tried again to add funds, but the same thing happened. Finally I gave up and cancelled the carclub account. The club does offer some other benefits, insurance savings in some states and deductible reimbursements. But for me, there were too many gas pains and headaches. You can find us on the Web with a full archive of reports at Bootcamp.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.