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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to mute those ads at the gas pump

See this? I hate these things.

Annoying gas pump screen

This is the new credit/debit card interface at local gas stations. After you go through the usual sequence of feeding it your card and picking a fuel grade, the screen starts playing this obnoxious advertising. It also does it at a completely unreasonable volume.

I'd started going around to the other side of the car as a visible display of contempt for such crap. Over there, not only do I not have to look at it, but I can attempt to not listen to it as well.

The other day, I noticed something at a new place. There was a sticker which apparently had been on one of the buttons and had found its way down to the vicinity of the card slot. It appeared to be a red X over a speaker icon, so maybe it was a mute button!

Trouble is, which of the buttons would do it? I decided I was going to push all of them until I got a result. If it screwed up my gas purchase by cancelling it or similar, I'd live with it. I was willing to potentially suffer through restarting the transaction in exchange for learning how to shut these things up.

The answer: hit the upper right button. It will shut up, at least on this particular pump at this particular gas station. If that doesn't work, go ahead and smack all of the other ones. None of them seem to do anything bad when you're already fueling.

I just wish I could use that keypad to do an old-school T9 style text message to the advertisers. It would go something like this: "You are evil and obnoxious, but I found a way to shut you up at last. Five dollars a gallon and you play ads at us? Go to hell."