TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Since gas prices started spiking, there's been an increase in complaints about gas stations overcharging consumers. So how many of those complaints actually result in gas pumps going out of service here in southern Arizona?
Since July of of 2021, there have been 70 complaints here in southern Arizona filed with the state. The Arizona Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Services Division found 17 of those complaints to be valid. Back in December, a pump off Benson Highway and Valencia at Circle K was taken out of service for a short time. An inspector had found one of the pumps off by negative 7 cubic inches. Any pump negative more than 6 cubic inches will be taken out of service by Arizona's Department of Agriculture.
In March, one pump in Bisbee was found to be negative 7 cubic inches and was also taken out of service.
"Now a valid complaint could be the meter was not accurate, the pump jumped, the auto shutoff didn't shutoff correctly," Kevin Allen, Associate Director with the Arizona Department of Agriculture said.
For the consumer that might cost them small change, but as a whole it can add up.
"It may not impact an individual consumer as much, but the consumers as a whole are at a disadvantage and the business is benefiting from a meter that is inaccurate," Allen said.
Allen says when it comes to their findings, they find twice as often, gas stations are actually giving away product rather than overcharging.
"Less than one percent of the time we find meters that are actually registering in favor of the owner operator," Allen said. "So it doesn't happen that often, but when it does, of course the consumer is not getting what they're paying for and we want to make sure that meter is repaired."
Gas pumps are checked yearly to ensure they are properly calibrated. The checks are done in order to make sure you're getting the gas that you're paying for.
If you think you're being overcharged at the pump there are several things you can check:
- The pump should start at zero.
- The pump should stop charging you when you stop the nozzle.
- If your meter says the amount of gallons you're getting is more than your vehicles tank can hold, there may be something off.
Allen says sometimes vehicles may be able to hold one to two gallons more depending on the temperature and way they are parked.
If you need to file a complaint or have an issue with a pump, visit agriculture.az.gov/weights-measures.
Denelle Confair is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Denelle is proud to call Southern Arizona home. It's been her dream to tell your stories for the past decade. She is extremely curious and wants to continue to use her storytelling for the greater good.
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