Bulletin Two (Shorted At The Pump/Over Paying At The Pump)  

AzCdKayle 62T
24 posts
6/18/2006 5:30 pm

Last Read:
6/18/2006 5:31 pm

Bulletin Two (Shorted At The Pump/Over Paying At The Pump)


Up set with high gas prices, well this might really tic you off, that is if you don't pay any attention to what your doing.

Gas prices are already high. Imagine paying for gas you don't get. One of our local ABC affiliate Investigator Teams shows what has been happening around the Valley and what you can do about it. Watch what your doing, pay attention to the pump, if you pull the nozzle out and there is already .05 cents even before you begin to pump fuel that is what they call Meter Jump, when you turn the pump off and the meter keeps going very slowly that is what is called meter creeping.One station the team was at shut the pump off and the meter kept creeping until it hit .18 cents when the manager finally came out and shut it off. Can you imagine a station pumping 5,000 to 10,000 gallons a day and making extra money that you didn’t get the gas for what you paid for!

You can go to your State’s Department of Weights and Measures web site and file complaints on line. Here in Arizona they investigate every single consumer complaint.

Statement from Exxon/Mobil:

"We are certainly not happy with the number of violations at this specific service station.
I don't know why this station has more than other stations in the area, however, we have several programs in place to help alleviate the issue.
Twice a year, contractors are sent out to each of our service stations to calibrate the gasoline dispenser meters. We have also placed a 4-5 second delay to the gasoline pump when it is activated. This seems to help alleviate the problem as well. We also encourage our customers to let us know immediately when they experience any problems so we can rectify the problem by dispatching our maintenance contractor.

"These actions have been in place for some time and are not newly implemented programs."

Statement from Valero Energy Corporation, owner of Diamond Shamrock at 4305 E. Ray Rd.:

"Prior to February, our Diamond Shamrock station at 4305 E. Ray Rd. had a perfect record with no violations from the Arizona Weights & Measures inspectors over the past three years. While an inspector did write up five meter jump violations during the February inspection, we are contesting those violations because we were unable to recreate those infractions when we tested the pumps ourselves.

With that said, we are always looking for ways to improve our operations, and over the past year we have made a couple of improvements that have virtually eliminated meter jump issues in our Phoenix area stores. We reprogrammed all of our dispensers with new software that charges the pump hose after every 30 minutes of inactivity. So when a customer begins using the pay-at-the-pump feature and the hose has not been used for 30 minutes, the hose will automatically charge before the sale is authorized. This feature virtually eliminates the meter jump problem because it will not allow the sale to occur if there's a problem. This software upgrade was issued by the dispenser manufacturer to all service stations that use these dispensers.

In 2005, we voluntarily began weekly meter creep inspections by our store managers. These inspections are kept at each station and reviewed by Arizona Weights & Measures during their inspections. To our knowledge, we are the only retail service station company that has this type of program and that is so proactive in checking for and fixing any issues.

We also participate in a voluntary Weights & Measures program that requires inspections every four months for vapor recovery equipment and includes meter check inspections. Initiated in 2005, these inspections are completed by a qualified service vendor.

In the unlikely event that a customer suspects one of our pumps of meter jump, we will provide a refund and initiate an investigation immediately.
For your information, some of the reasons that meter jump occurs are outlined below:

1) Internal check valves in the nozzle or turbine are allowing fuel to leak past the check valves causing the dispenser to register a sale.

2) Fuel in the hose or nozzle that contracted due to temperature variations (warm days & cool nights like in Arizona) or has escaped into the vapor recovery path of the hose.

3) Customers that have prepaid for fuel typically squeeze the nozzle (multiple times) after the dispenser has stopped pumping. This can create meter jump for the next customer."

Statement from Bj's Auto Spa:

"We strive to keep our facilities in top operating condition; however there are occasions that we have faulty equipment. It has always been our position that we maintain the highest level of standards, which is why we employ a full time technician for general maintenance, and contract with a petroleum specialist for our regulatory maintenance. Our annual inspections include line and tank tightness testing, dispensing accuracy, and routine tank monitoring. Furthermore we do a daily inspection which includes 22 point checklist. I have included a sample for your review. The problem of what is called a meter bump which the Department of Weights and Measures notified us of today was in no way malicious or intentional. The problem is due to a faulty seal or gasket in the dispensing handle or product hose, and we have requested our technicians that the problem will be fixed immediately.

Chris Bjurlin
Bj's Auto Spa"

Statement from Danny's Family Carousel Car Wash:

"If there was a violation it was handled by the state and corrected from there."

Statement from Circle K:
"We respectfully decline to comment."

Well you can bet that I do pay attention when I pump gas into my tank and wait after I finish to make sure that the meter is stop.

Well as I said my last post I have learned my lesson. That is what I thought yesterday! I had the the experience of Nozzle Jumping, I was filling up my car at AM/PM and when I picked the fuel and put the nozzle in the tank the meter read .08 cents, I didn't even pump anything. I called the manager and she came out and took a look at it. Nothing was on the gallons just the price and she said she will adjust the amount after I finish pumping and to top it all off, she gave me a free refill and a breakfast sandwich. She than went out and shut the pump down. Now that was service! I put this last part in Red because it was the best service I got from a manager who went out of her way to assist me and made sure I was happy with the station and her staff.

Kayle



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