Can you say for sure that your petrol pump is NOT ripping you off? Petrol pump scams in India can end up costing you as high as Rs 200 per fueling. That could range from Rs 2400 per year to Rs 5000 per year depending on how frequently you need to refuel.
Luckily, with digitization, almost everything can be tracked. But, it still needs car owners to be vigilant while fuelling. Here are a few common frauds that you might be falling for:
- Always make sure to check the zero before fuelling: Although most station employees tell you this themselves, it is still your responsibility to check that the previous transaction has been completed and the machine reset.Sometimes, the attendant will place himself in a way that you cannot see the meter. ALWAYS get out of the car when you visit a fuelling station and check the meter.
- Filling the tank in two turns: Say you need to fill Rs1000 worth of fuel. The attendant points to show you that the meter has been set to zero. After you acknowledge this, he fills the tank with fuel worth Rs250. When you point this out, he apologizes and sets the meter to Rs750 and fills the rest.However, he DOES NOT reset the meter after the first fuelling cycle meaning that you only got fuel worth Rs750 while you paid Rs1000.
- Manual overriding at automated pumps: Automated pumps are NOT tamper proof. Here’s how attendants scam you with a few litres of fuel. After having shown you the reset meter, the attendant starts pumping fuel into the car. This is done by setting the nozzle trigger lock which automatically pops off when fuel flow stops (with an audible click).However, there is a time lag between the meter stopping and the lock popping off. This is because the meter stops as soon as the machine stops pumping the fuel but the lock only goes off when the residual fuel in the pipe has left. The attendant usually manually overrides this lock as soon as the meter stops. The longer the pipe, the more fuel you were cheated of.
Some of these scams are untraceable and that makes it very difficult to inquire about and for you to be compensated for your loss. Here are some simple practices to keep yourself safe of these scams:
- ALWAYS get out of the car to visually check that the meter has been reset to zero.
- If the attendant fills the fuel in two turns, demand that he reset the machine after the first cycle. End the transaction if the machine stops for ANY reason (power out, etc).
- DO NOT be distracted by any other attendants trying to talk to you for anything. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the meter
- The attendant is NOT supposed to be holding the nozzle after the machine starts pumping fuel.
- ALWAYS demand a printed bill copy. It can be used in the future to trace your inquiry.