Dockside Chat - Possible cheating at the pump

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View Full Version : Possible cheating at the pump


mikeloew
03-21-2012, 02:29 PM
Guys I received this email a few weeks ago, and I have received 9 emails back from people on my list, saying this has happened to them. I am not saying its wide spread, but it is worth keeping an eye on.
However, a couple of months back I stopped at a station near Orlando International Airport to fill up a rental car. Fuel was selling all over for about $3.25 per gallon. When I printed my receipt I looked and I had been charged $5.79 per gallon. There was no large sign advertising the price of fuel at that station and I made the mistake of not looking at the pump when I started to fill up. I called the Chamber of Commerce and they immediately knew which station I was talking about, but said they could do nothing about it.


WORTH KEEPNG A EYE ON.

CHEATING at the gas pumps (PRINT OUT YOUR RECEIPTS!!!) This e-mail was sent to me by a friend whose cousin is the LA fire captain.

This is true. It happened to them three weeks ago somewhere in Pomona on our way to Pechanga. The pump should have totaled @ $68.00 (and change). When the receipt was printed, and she checked it was $ 77.00 (and change). She got mad, went inside the store, asked for a calculator and let them do the math. They refunded her. she told them that if they cheat, they had better make it right. Normally, her husband would skip printing the receipt. Not her

We saw on the news the other night that this is happening everywhere.

Brian pumped exactly one gallon of gas. The price did not match the cost of one gallon. It was higher.. He went inside and complained, got a refund.

There is also a number on each pump that you can call and complain.

This is a true story, so read it carefully.

On April 24, 2008, I stopped at a BP gas station in GA. My truck's gas gauge was on 1/4 of a tank. I use the mid-grade, which was priced at $3.71 per gallon. When my tank is at this point, it takes somewhere around 14 gallons to fill it up. When the pump showed 14 gallons had been pumped, I began to slow it down. Then, to my surprise, it went to 15, then 16. I even looked under my truck to see if it was being spilled. It was not.

Then it showed 17 gallons on the pump. It stopped at 18 gallons. This was very strange to me, since my truck has only an 18 gallon tank. I went on my way a little confused, then on the evening news I heard a report that 1 out of 4 gas stations had calibrated their pumps to show more gas had been pumped than a person actually got.

Here is how to check a pump to see if you are getting the right amount:

Whichever grade you are using, put EXACTLY 10 GALLONS in your tank, then look at the dollar amount. If the dollar amount is not EXACTLY 10 times the price of the fuel you have chosen, then the pumps are rigged.

In my case, as I said, the mid-grade was $3.71 9/10 per gallon; my dollar amount for 10 gallons should have been $37.19. I wish I had checked the pump. It doesn't matter where you pump gas please check the 10 gallon price. If you do find a station that is cheating, contact the state Agriculture Department, and direct your comments to the Commissioner the info is on the gas pumps.

Please don't delete this until you have sent it to all people in your address book. We need to put a stop to this outrageous cheating of customers. The gas companies are making enough profits at honest rates.

This is the same thing as the butcher with his finger on the scale the company has nothing to do with the station owner's practices. Yes the big oil is making big bucks but the dishonest guy will still be dishonest


Bamby
03-21-2012, 02:42 PM
Snoops (http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/cheating.asp)

mikeloew
03-21-2012, 02:52 PM
Ya I did snoop it first, it is NOT conclusive, that why I said keep your eyes open;) Also does Spoops have to confirm everything you believe could happen? Is there a snoops for snoops for snoops? I know I have put as much gas in my tank as the book said it holds, It still showed 1/8 tank. Go figure.


Johnny Dreamer
03-21-2012, 03:08 PM
I put 18.5 gallons in my 17 gallon tank at the weekend - beat that Criss Angel.

Tommysmicroskiff
03-21-2012, 03:37 PM
there was a BP station in Bell Fl I put 6 gallons in my 4 gallon motorcycle tank I was furious !!!

ScarabChris
03-21-2012, 03:48 PM
On the other side of this I had my boat filled up by the local dockside fuel delivery service. I was sure the boat would take 230 gallons but it took 200 gallons even. If the truck would have metered 250 gallons I would not even have questioned it. The boat holds 275 and I was sure I had I only had about 40 gallons left.

But I guess at $4.50 a gallon for non ethanol they suspect people will be watching closely. But they could have easily taken me for an extra $225.00 and I would not have even questioned it.

I guess my point is if the advertised sound too good to be true it probably is.

Tainui
03-21-2012, 04:34 PM
At the Killingworth Shell station I apparently put 6.5 gallons into a 5 gallon red portable has can. They declined to refund me the difference and I did call that number on the pump. Nothin ever came of it but they never got another dollar from me.

s_ebels
03-21-2012, 05:02 PM
Ya I did snoop it first, it is NOT conclusive, that why I said keep your eyes open;) Also does Spoops have to confirm everything you believe could happen? Is there a snoops for snoops for snoops? I know I have put as much gas in my tank as the book said it holds, It still showed 1/8 tank. Go figure.

It's pretty well accepted as fact that the guys running snoops are pinko communist bed wetters from what I have read. Liberals to the core.

mikeloew
03-21-2012, 05:06 PM
Lol

Sprockets
03-21-2012, 05:21 PM
I know the station in question. The name is Sun something or other. They have been cited many times for not having their prices posted. It is one of the last stations before the airport, so unsuspecting tourists are stuck paying up before returning rental cars. It's not that the prices don't match, it's that they are not posted other than on the machine itself. The local media is all over them.

yarcraft91
03-21-2012, 05:49 PM
Years ago 60 Minutes documented a common gas pump scam. The state inspectors checked each pump by filling a calibrated 10 gallon container. So the station owners set up their pumps to read-out they had delivered 10 gallons when they had actually delivered 10 gallons. However, if you only pumped 5 gallons, the pump would read-out you had pumped 7 or 8. Once past 10 gallons, the pump read-out accelerated again and by the time you had pumped 15 gallons it said you had delivered 17 or 18. At 20 gallons, it was once again exactly right. 60 Minutes had a great video showing pump read-out numbers speeding up, slowing down, speeding up again, etc while pumping gas at a constant rate.

jimsea
03-21-2012, 05:50 PM
I know the station in question. The name is Sun something or other. They have been cited many times for not having their prices posted. It is one of the last stations before the airport, so unsuspecting tourists are stuck paying up before returning rental cars. It's not that the prices don't match, it's that they are not posted other than on the machine itself. The local media is all over them.

Yes, seen this on the news. These guys will clip you big time if you don't look at the price on the pump before filling the tank.

ragan7
03-21-2012, 09:54 PM
I have a good friend that works on gas station pumps.
There is no way for the store owners/operators to recalibrate or alter the amount of gas pumped vs the amount shown. The only thing they can do is change the price per gallon.

Curmudgeon
03-21-2012, 10:20 PM
These guys will clip you big time if you don't look at the price on the pump before filling the tank.

Yes, friends and neighbors, Walt Disney and his empire will improve life so much in our fair city and state. Clean, moral entertainment value to be built on land once only swamp and orange groves, how could we not prosper? Yes, if we allow it to be built, they will come and we will prosper. Why would anyone be surprised that visitors are getting screwed, and probably with full knowledge and tacit approval of the BBB and and city council ... :nono:

Rodbndr
03-22-2012, 04:11 AM
Last time we filled up at the local marina my center tank took 89 gallons in an 80 gal tank.
I complained to the attendant and got some shrugs and headscratching.
I should have followed up with this but was in a hurry.Gotta find that receipt.

fldmax
03-22-2012, 04:54 AM
I look at the 5 gal and the 10 gal price to make sure I am getting charge what should be correct. easy numbers because 5 is 1/2 of the 10 gal price.

t3rockhall
03-22-2012, 05:08 AM
I have a good friend that works on gas station pumps.
There is no way for the store owners/operators to recalibrate or alter the amount of gas pumped vs the amount shown. The only thing they can do is change the price per gallon.
If that were true, then why do they have state pump inspectors at all?

ragan7
03-22-2012, 05:15 AM
If that were true, then why do they have state pump inspectors at all?

The state inspectors are to ensure the calibrations are correct. If you read my statement, I'm saying the store operators have no control over the calibrations. The guys who service the pumps have the control.

mikeloew
03-22-2012, 05:18 AM
I have a good friend that works on gas station pumps.
There is no way for the store owners/operators to recalibrate or alter the amount of gas pumped vs the amount shown. The only thing they can do is change the price per gallon.

Wrong, pumps are very easy to change, in allot of cases its as simple as turning a ratcheting screw. If they were not adjustable how could you ever calibrate them to begin with, or in the future? In Wisconsin you are required to have your meters calibrated once a year and you are allowed so much tolerance + or -. The service company's bring out a 100 gallon very accurate tank with a glass sight tube and it is so accurate that one ounce will change the graduation marks substantially. Even if you are a honest station owner, would you not be at the - end of the legal standards?

catfever24
03-22-2012, 05:25 AM
The state inspectors are to ensure the calibrations are correct. If you read my statement, I'm saying the store operators have no control over the calibrations. The guys who service the pumps have the control.

So it sounds to me like the service guys are getting paid under the table to set the pumps to what the owner wants.

Wolakrab
03-22-2012, 05:49 AM
There's a corner store near my house that I used to fill up at. Got tired of seeing one price on the sign out front, then seeing a higher price at the pump. I complained a couple of times, and all they said was they forgot to change the price on the sign out front. After a few weeks went by, the sign wouldn't change, and I'd stop back in...sure enough, higher at the pump. I went inside and said I wanted to fuel up at the price shown on the sign...they said nope. I'll never stop in again.

Because Boat
03-22-2012, 05:56 AM
I have a Shell station nearby that is across from a Sunoco. The Shell station has their gas posted at $0.10 cheaper per gallon than Sunoco. Everyone sees the difference and flocks to the Shell station. What the customers fail to see is the small sign below the posted price that says $3.50/gal with car wash.

Years before the Sunoco station opened up, it was a privately owned station, I think a Citgo. The pumps always were 85, 87, 89, and 91 octane from left to right. Then one day the owner had them all switched to 91, 89, 87, and 85. People were so accustomed to grabbing the pump on the far left that they ended up paying for 91 octane.

t3rockhall
03-22-2012, 06:05 AM
http://gasbuddy.com/ is pretty useful.

Ghetto Lobster
03-22-2012, 06:17 AM
I always wondered how do you know if in fact you're getting 91 octane and not a lower grade. I was pumped gasoline from a diesel pump into my diesel truck once. Sumbitchen gas jockey. I still hope he gets infested with the fleas of a thousand camels.

Eyeball
03-22-2012, 06:28 AM
There is another, bigger problem happening out here. Micro card readers are being installed by folks that steal your credit card info. The micro reader installs into a legit card reader on a pump. When you insert your credit card, both the pump and the micro card read collect the information and you never know it. The gas stations don't even know they have been "bugged". A major grocery store chain in the SF bay area, Lucky's / Albertsons discovered the micro card readers were installed on the self check-out machines in their stores.

glacierbaze
03-22-2012, 06:46 AM
Here is how to check a pump to see if you are getting the right amount:

Whichever grade you are using, put EXACTLY 10 GALLONS in your tank, then look at the dollar amount. If the dollar amount is not EXACTLY 10 times the price of the fuel you have chosen, then the pumps are rigged.

This makes no sense at all. If they are going to show that you pumped 10, when you only pumped 9, then the price will be 10X also. Why would they rig the gallons, but not the dollar amount.

Bob's Cay
03-22-2012, 08:19 AM
Ok, here's another one for you to consider. In the late 70's I had a VW Scirroco that had a bad odometer. It was off by 10% so it showed you had gone 1 mile when you had only gone 9/10's. After I noticed it, I started checking against mile markers on both long and short runs. On an interstate it would show I had gone 110 miles when the markers showed 100. Sure made the mpg I was calulating look better, but also meant the warranty ran out faster. I took it to the dealer and he said there was nothing he could do about it.

yarcraft91
03-22-2012, 09:41 AM
There's a corner store near my house that I used to fill up at. Got tired of seeing one price on the sign out front, then seeing a higher price at the pump. I complained a couple of times, and all they said was they forgot to change the price on the sign out front. After a few weeks went by, the sign wouldn't change, and I'd stop back in...sure enough, higher at the pump. I went inside and said I wanted to fuel up at the price shown on the sign...they said nope. I'll never stop in again.

Up here, that would be a violation of the state's consumer protection laws and the station would be in a whole heapa' trouble.

PP1
03-22-2012, 12:32 PM
That station in Orlando is in the news all the time. See link below for one of the stories.

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/hefty-fines-nearing-gas-stations-near-airport-not-/nFK8C/

Saw some 60 minutes or 20/20 type thing years ago where someone changed the chips in some of the pumps. Whatever volume the state tests at (I believe it was 5 and 10 gallons) the pump delivered exactly that. Any other amount you tried to put in your tank it would short you.

Pays to know what to expect when you fill up.

Alex Stanley
03-22-2012, 12:48 PM
I rarely check my bank statements. A month or two ago, I was bored, so I started opening the satck of statements and checking them. I noticed something strange immediately. There was a bunch of 'doubles'. It would read like 'BPstation-123SmithRd 6:45 am-------$88.00' This charge would appear twice in a row. Same amount and same time. I called my bank, and when I started explaining, the guy said 'let me guess, it's a BP station'. I said it was, and he told me that a very large percentage of over charge complaints were about double dipping from BP stations. He told me they are notorious for doing so when you use your credit or debit card at the pump. I quit using BP stations since this happened.

glacierbaze
03-22-2012, 03:54 PM
My card company would call me and ask if I was filling up two cars, or did I leave my card at the pump. Computers are supposed to catch anomalies like that.



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