Answer: Shell should be able to send you a receipt for your gas purchase. Otherwise, I’m inclined to believe you were double-billed for your purchase.
A $31 charge to top off a car — even a gas-guzzling SUV — seems high. But $62 is more than enough to fill a tank at today’s gas prices. (I drive a fuel-sipping Honda Accord, and I usually come in under $50 for a full tank.)
Whenever a transaction is cut off in this way, whether it’s in error or not, you have to pay extra close attention to your credit card statement. I would have asked the station attendant for receipts of your entire purchase. If you have to swipe your card again, you are initiating a second transaction, so you would get two receipts. Be sure you ask for both.
Your situation is complicated by the fact that you’re in Miami and the service station is in Pittsburgh. It’s not as if you can drive over to the station in person and speak with a manager, but you should be able to call the station, get the manager’s email address, and figure out a way of proving (or disproving) the legitimacy of the first charge.
Shell corporate shouldn’t have handed you off the the station owner so quickly. When something like this is appealed to the corporate level, it needs to take some responsibility instead of shooting you a form letter. I’m not sure why they though they could absolve themselves of responsibility. After all, it’s their name on the station.
I think you could have disputed the erroneous $31 charge on your credit card and won. (Better yet, pay by cash the next time and you won’t have to worry about being overcharged.) But before doing that, I contacted Shell on your behalf. A company representative called you and agreed to remove the first charge.