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HOUSTON It s a common practice for gas stations to put a hold on some of the funds in your bank account when you pay with a debit card at the pump.

But one Houston man ran into serious trouble when the gas station he visited tied up more than $100 on his account.

Pre-authorization holds have been a common practice at gas stations for years, with most of them ranging from $50 to $75.

But Steve Mueller said his $10 gas purchase at a Kroger station led to a $120 hold on his checking account.

I thought that someone had gotten a hold of my credit card number and was using it fraudulently, he said.

Not all customers 11 News talked to were even aware of the holds.

It just surprises me that there s nowhere to know this information. It s not anywhere visible for anyone to see, customer Brook Armbrister said.

A Kroger spokesperson said the temporary holds are in line with industry standards, and are usually lifted within three business days.
Between $50 and $150 is what s typical now, spokesperson Rebecca King said. It is a protection to protect industries, so that when there s theft, we don t have to raise those prices.

Avoiding the holds is fairly simple: Customers just need to swipe inside and pay in advance for their gas.

But the president of the Better Business Bureau believes consumers should be given advance warning about the holds.

These are your customers. You don t want to surprise them. They don t like surprises, and they have choices, the BBB s Dan Parsons said.

It s certainly something for us to take a look at, King said.

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