Leap year glitch means no fuel

Dunedin motorists unsuccessfully attempt to buy petrol at the NPD station in Anderson’s Bay Rd...
Dunedin motorists unsuccessfully attempt to buy petrol at the NPD station in Anderson’s Bay Rd yesterday after a leap year-related software glitch rendered the pumps inoperable. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
Dunedin residents were left dazed and confused after a leap-year payment problem meant unmanned petrol stations were unable to process payments.

Outdoor payment terminals at petrol stations around the country were out of action for much of the day after a February 29 leap-year glitch caused chaos for petrol pumps all over the country.

For Dunedin motorists, the situation was met with initial confusion, then when explained what was going on, the confusion turned to humour.

Dunedin resident Ange Walker said "guess it was time to roll off to BP".

"It’s a bit of a mild inconvenience. I’m just glad I didn’t roll on in here on empty.

"More than anything it’s a bit funny really. Who knew the leap year could cause so much carnage?"

Despite updates from Worldline that the terminal provider was working on a fix, payment terminals were still out across the country by late afternoon.

At 4pm, the NPD forecourt was full of commuters on their way home and was a bustling hive of confusion and furious screen tapping.

When a motorist shouted out what was happening the petrol station was full of incredulous laughs and a loud shout of "What! Oh my life!"

An NPD spokesman said the company was experiencing the same outage as all of the other petrol retailers around the country.

"We’re experiencing the same outage as other petrol retailers due to the terminals. We all use the same terminals to be fair.

"We understand it is frustrating for customers, but people are still able to go to a manned site to purchase fuel," he said.

The payment terminals affected were Invenco branded, which almost all the country’s petrol stations used as their payment providers.

Worldline, which provides the network to the Invenco payment terminals affected, said the cause of the issue was identified about 8.30am yesterday.

"A fix is under review by the terminal vendor and we are continuing to work with the terminal vendor to evaluate a solution for the ongoing issue."

Worldline said the issue was specific to unattended fuel terminals and in-store fuel terminals were processing as normal.

"All other terminals connected to the Worldline network continue to successfully process transactions."

At 2.15pm, Worldline said it was continuing to work with the terminal vendor, which was progressing with a solution for the unattended fuel terminal issue.

The terminals were gradually coming back on line last evening.