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Cheating at the Gas Pumps

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Email rumor claims a consumer was cheated by a rigged gas pump while refueling at a BP service station in Cartersville, Georgia (or Chatham, Georgia, or Ridgetown, Ontario, depending on version).

Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: April 2008
Status: Specific stories are unsubstantiated, though gas pump cheating does occur


Example #1:
Email contributed by Kay L., May 2, 2008:

Subject: cheating at gas pumps.

This is a true story, so read it carefully.

On April 24, 2008, I stopped at a Kangaroo BP gas station, located at 1325 Main Street, Cartersville, 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 gallon's 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 had been pumped. It stopped at almost 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. If I had only 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 Georgia Agriculture Department, and direct your comments to Tommy Irvin, Commissioner. In other states contact proper authorities. 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.



Example #2:
Email contributed by Russ K., May 26, 2009:

Subject: Cheating at the gas pumps

Cheating at the gas pumps (PRINT OUT YOUR RECEIPTS!!!)

This email was sent to me by a friend whose cousin is the Ridgetown, Ont. fire captain.

This is true. It happened to them three weeks ago somewhere in Ridgetown on our way to Kingston. The pump should have totaled @ $38.00 (and change). When the receipt was printed, and she checked it was $ 47.00 (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 liter of gas. The price did not match the cost of one liter. 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 March 24, 2009, I stopped at a gas station in Chatham . My truck's gas gauge was on 1/4 of a tank. I use the regular grade, which was priced at $0.885 per liter. When my tank is at this point, it takes somewhere around 45 liters to fill it up.

When the pump showed 45 liters had been pumped, I began to slow it down. Then, to my surprise, it went to 50, then 55. I even looked under my truck to see if it was being spilled. It was not. Then it showed 60 liters on the pump. It stopped at 62 liters. This was very strange to me, since my truck has only a 65 liter tank. I went on my way a little confused, then on the evening news I heard a report that 1 out of 10 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 LITERS 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 $0.885 per liter; my dollar amount for 10 liters should have been $8.85. I wish I had checked the pump. It doesn't matter where you pump gas, please check the 10 liter price. If you do find a station that is cheating, contact the MTO, 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.



Analysis: It's easy to see why folks found the earliest (April 2008) version of this story plausible, appearing as it did mere weeks after authorities closed the pumps of two Cisco service stations in Camden, Georgia because they were rigged to short customers on the fuel they purchased. State inspectors determined that customers were being cheated out of as much as a quart on every five gallons paid for. Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said the station operators may be subject to fines and criminal charges.

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