Getting Screwed At The Gas Pump
A gas station on Jacksboro Highway offers regular gasoline at 5 cents a gallon cheaper than most other stations, so I stopped to take advantage of the savings.
Except that, when I finished filling the tank on my 2005 Ford F-150, my total was $89.97 – higher than normal.
That’s when I noticed something peculiar: The pump indicated I had put 27.027 gallons of gas in my truck.
My gas tank only holds 26 gallons.
Thus, my inner guard dog was unleashed. If I feel someone is taking advantage of people (especially me) I will lock my jaws into the situation with the fierceness of a pit bull on a postman’s leg.
I’ve had the truck for eight years, and I usually run the gas tank down to empty before I refill. Yet I have never been able to squeeze more than 25 gallons in the tank.
Suddenly after eight years my tank is able to hold two more gallons than ever before?
Something didn’t add up, literally.
I asked the store clerk if anyone had complained about the pumps ringing up too much gas.
“Never,” he said.
So I called the state agency that regulates gas pumps – the Texas Department of Agriculture – and reported my experience.
State inspections are required at gas stations once every four years, although inspections can be done more frequently in case of complaints.
State records show that the Department of Agriculture has done two inspections at the Jacksboro Highway station since 2010, and that two complaints have been filed during that time (not counting mine).
But both inspections revealed no problems with the pumps or their calibrations.
The Agriculture Department website mentioned that stations are required to display in plain sight the original Certificate of Registration.
I drove back to the station to look at the gas pump and see the certificate. There wasn’t one. So I went inside and asked the clerk to see it.
“I don’t have to show you anything,” he said. “You are rude.”
“How am I being rude?” I asked. “I simply asked to see the pump’s registration.”
“This morning you said we are liars and cheats,” he said.
“No I didn’t,” I said. “I told you the gas pump said I pumped in more gas than my tank holds, and I asked you if anyone else has had the same problem, and now I’m asking to see your pump sticker from the state regulatory agency.”
“I don’t have to show you anything,” he said. “If you don’t like it, call the state and complain. They’ll send out an inspector and they’ll see there’s nothing wrong with the pump and that will be the end of it.”
I called the state, and I also called the store’s corporate office. Corporate sent me a $10 gift card.
But I still feel like the store is getting away with something.
Anybody else out there had similar problems at gas pumps?