Buc-ee’s, iconic Texas chain, has nearly 100 complaints from BBB

A Warton man told the Better Business Bureau that a full tank of Buc-ee’s diesel gasoline is responsible for $8,500 worth of repairs to his truck’s fuel system. 

A La Feria Woman told the nonprofit that she purchased a jar of cinnamon honey at the New Braunfels’ Buc-ee’s only to discover that the honey inside had “either finger marks or a tongue mark, and what appeared to be lip marks inside the lid.”

BEFORE AND AFTER Here’s what Buc-ee’s around Texas looked like before they were travel centers

These are just two examples of almost 100 complaints and customer reviews about the Texas-grown chain filed with the Better Business Bureau since 2006. Many of these customers, unable to resolve issues with the company, turned to the nonprofit for help. 

Dan Parsons is the president of the BBB of Metropolitan Houston and South Texas, which serves as an intermediary on behalf of customers and works with them to get their concerns resolved. 

Businesses are not required by law to respond to the BBB and their customers. With the exception of Whataburger, the Houston Garden Center and Buc-ee’s, most businesses respond, Parsons said. 

Shoppers browse the selection during Black Friday at Buc-ee's in Luling in 2012. 

Shoppers browse the selection during Black Friday at Buc-ee’s in Luling in 2012. 

Michael Miller/San Antonio Express-News

Buc-ee’s doesn’t “answer and they’ve told us they’re not gonna,” Parsons told the Express-News. “That’s unusual. I only have two companies in my marketplace that have formally told us to our face that they’re not going to answer complaints.”

Among the complaints filed with the BBB against Buc-ee’s are shoppers who were charged for gas or snacks they didn’t purchase or who tried unsuccessfully for months to reach customer service representatives, according to the nonprofit. 

A NIGHTMARE: Daughter was nearly trampled during family’s Buc-ee’s trip

Other complaints included defective food products and vehicle damage that people allege was caused by Buc-ee’s gasoline or its car wash. 

Jeff Nadalo, general counsel for Buc-ee’s, told the Express-News that unhappy customers can be directed “to our store to talk to the manager and we welcome them to interact with us on our website.”

He added, “I would challenge them to actually go to the store and talk to the manager. They are there 24 hour hours a day, seven days a week.” 

But many customers told the BBB that is exactly what they did. 

One customer told the BBB that she found a fingernail in her sandwich. When she brought it up to a manager, “he told me I had 10 minutes to get off his property or he was going to call the police.” 

Buc-ees serves up a number of food options, including barbecue. 

Buc-ees serves up a number of food options, including barbecue. 

Craig Moseley/Houston Chronicle

Another customer told the BBB that he attempted to exchange several “defective” food and drink items but wasn’t allowed.

“Buc-ee’s stole my money,” the customer told the BBB.

According to one complaint in 2020, a customer’s debit card was declined. Her husband, with a different card from a different bank, paid for the purchases. Days later, $103.56 was taken out of her account for the purchase that was declined at the store. 

“No one answers the phone, no way to get ahold of anyone in the store and I just want my money back,” the person wrote in the complaint. 

Others had their vehicles damaged in car washes or purchased gasoline that led to costly repairs to their engines and fuel systems. 

EVERYTHING IS BIGGER HERE: Proposed new Texas Buc-ee’s would match a Tennessee store as the largest in the world

A customer told the BBB that days after he purchased diesel for his truck in January 2020, his check engine light came on and his dealership’s mechanic discovered “sulfur in the fuel.” 

The man contacted Buc-ee’s, who told him to send the mechanic’s report. The company concluded that the diesel fuel sold at Buc-ee’s was not of “diminished quality.” He said Buc-ee’s never asked him for a fuel sample. 

The Buc-ee's store in New Braunfels as seen in 2012. 

The Buc-ee’s store in New Braunfels as seen in 2012. 


Still, the complaints “aren’t earth shattering,” Parsons said. “They’re not super serious, or super bad. They’re little things.”

“They’re building the next big pyramid,” Parsons said. “If you’re going to do it, prepare for what goes with that. And with more customers and more interactions, you’re gonna have problems. Just address them with the customer. It’s not a hard thing to do.”

Below are some of the complaints filed with the BBB. They have been edited for length. 

‘It had a chemical cleaner aftertaste’

“Purchased Deli Smoked Turkey at Buc-ee’s in Bastrop, Texas. The jerky made multiple individuals feel ill and had a chemical cleaner aftertaste. Reached out to the company multiple times and have had no response other than to request information about the transaction. No refund offered. No follow up or explanation of why the food tasted like floor cleaner.”

“I purchased a package of Southwest Trail mix form Buc-ee’s store near Fort Worth on Interstate 35. Unbeknownst to me there was a foreign article in the package that broke two crowns in my mouth. I contacted customer service, asking for only my teeth to be fixed. I sent detailed photos of the foreign article as well as the damage that had been caused. They denied my claim because they couldn’t see anything wrong with their product. So now I have to file a lawsuit against them.”

‘They damaged my car in the car wash’

“I went through their car wash at the Katy Freeway location on Aug. 2, 2021 around 3 p.m. They damaged my car in the car wash and refused to pay for the damages. The blower ruined my not even year old car’s weatherstrip. They have a sign that says that they do not take responsibility for damage to “trims” and they say that a weatherstrip is a “trim” … a weatherstrip has functionality and is not considered a car “trim”. So I’m confused as to why this company refuses to pay for the damages that they made? When I asked their claims department head, Donna, to explain to me what their policy considered a trim, she ignored me. Still no answer from her and still refuses to pay for damages.”

‘They can and should do better by people’

“I got gas on February 2 2020 from bucees I barely made it home I had two of my friends who are mechanics to look at it they couldn’t not tell me what was wrong with my truck. So Feb. 3 I took off work and took my truck to Toyota. Toyota called me later on and said it was bad fuel. So I emailed Buc-ee’s to let them know and filled out the claim form and sent all the information that they needed. I have a sample of the fuel that Toyota took out of my truck. Buc-ee’s is denying my claim because no one else filed a claim. I have a witness that was with me when I filled up and my truck started to act up. I would like to get the money back for the repairs of my truck and my lost wages.”

“Bought gas at Buc-ee’s in Pearland in February 2022 and it contained water. Totaled my wife’s car by ruining her engine and fuel system. Corporate refused to take responsibility despite proof of receipt and confirmation from a mechanic shop. I’m very disappointed in how this Brazoria county based company is representing our community. It is beneath our standards and is wrong. They can and should do better by people.”

‘Lacking in following through’

“On Dec. 24, 2021, I was about to use my debit card at the pump. But I didn’t and my card was still charged $120 dollars that still hasn’t been refunded back to me. There is no customer support at all. I’ve tried to call the main office and no response. I’ve also put in many requests on the website and still no response.”

“Purchased a brand new Buc-ee’s beaver stuffed animal for our 2 year old son. As soon as we walked out, the stitching on the tail came off and the tail came loose. Store manager refused to exchange it because according to her, there are no refunds or exchanges unless the item is in the same exact condition. Clearly we wouldn’t be back inside the store had the tail not come off of the stuffed animal. Poor customer service due to an error in the completion of their product. She was careless about their product error or malfunction, even with a 2 year old customer in front of them. For being a store that sells an extreme amount of religious products, they are lacking in following through.”

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