Watch: Gas pump keeps charging after nozzle is removed


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/21/watch-gas-pump-keeps-charging.html


#2

i found it to be more common that the charge will begin at 5¢ rather than 0.000.

i’ve had a gas station shut down by the state for not fixing this “issue”.


#3

The metering of these pumps is regulated - report the station with specific information.


#4

Retail sales pumps are not supposed to have a lag, and are supposed to be metered from above ground. There could be a software glitch/hack/scam there, but there is definitely a wetware glitch in letting it stay in operation.

My most likely suspect cause is a leak in the dispenser, after the pump gauge. Possibly inside the hose itself. If there is a vapor recovery system in place it is probably recovering the leak from the inner layer of the hose to the outer, as designed, but if so there should be an alarm going off somewhere in the building.


#5

Recently I pulled up to a pump that had red sticker on it that stated it failed weights and measures yet, “could be operated until” … a month later.

A trio of pumps at this station had failed inspection. It’s not known if someone called it in or the result of a routine inspection. There have been LOTS of credit card skimmers being installed around here so I’m not surprised that pumps are being monitored more closely.

I see pumps that add $$ to totals often. Especially noticeable when filling an empty tank. “Wait! I have a 13 gallon tank why am I being charged for 15 gallons?”


#6

I always pay first, in cash. Then they sure as shit will care if I start getting more gas than I paid for.


#7

I’d make a run for the emergency shut off valve for the whole station. “It’s still pumping! OHMIGAWD!”


#8

Could have blown up the station by using a cellphone next to a pump.


#9

My state has a couple unmarked trucks with metered gas tanks where the normal gas tank fills should be. The sealers of weights and measures take turns anonymously visiting stations in each others towns and filling up. They get all cloak and dagger about it, it’s kind of funny.


#10

You think the cashier is in on the grift? Would you break the law for eight bucks an hour?


#11

A bell above a sign saying “Money! Money! Money!”


#12

At 8 bucks an hour you take the bag off the pump when your boss tells you to take the bag off the pump.


#13

I think the cashier isn’t the one who’s going to catch flack for making the owner more money than he was supposed to. You bet your ass he’d be looking for a new job if the pump was undercharging customers and he didn’t take it out of service.

The cashier’s incentive is, presumably, just to keep his minimum-wage job. If this is an at-will state – which Texas is – how do you think the conversation would go?

“Hey, minion, why is that pump out of service?”
“Well sir, it was overcharging customers, so I turned it off.”
“I don’t give a crap about that, I’m down 12% in throughput. Turn that blasted thing on, now! And the next time you pull that sort of stunt without clearing it with me, you aren’t coming back.”


#14

This is quaint, thanks Alon, I mean Elon for getting me to break the gas habit!


#15

I complained when it happened to me at $localGasChain and I was overcharged by a a quarter. It had a bag on it for a month until it was fixed.

My guess is Hanlon’s razor applies here: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”


#16

I noticed that the security seal on a pump was flapping in the wind and notified the clerk who told me that “It would be one of those 911 things.” It was at a secluded station where someone could easily place a skimmer inside at night and no one seemed to care. I no longer get gas at that station.


#17

I was a gas pump attendant at one time (although at $2.10 an hour, I think) and eventually a gas station manager. There was a thing we called “hanging the pump” where the pumper gets a customer who comes in and only gets $2 worth of gas, and he leaves that on the pump so he can pocket $2 from the next customer. You’d be surprised at how many people come in and get vanishingly small amounts of gas - some of them coming in multiple times in a single night.

Statistically, the less a person earns, the more likely they are to commit petty crime. And the greater the social differences between two individuals, the more tempted they will be to exploit each other. Gas station attendants - who are barely getting by - are in constant contact with people much better off than they are… not everyone is strong enough to resist!

Bingbingbing We have a winner! :wink:


#18

This Sunoco is just down the street from my neighborhood. I guess I know where I won’t by buying gas.


#19

My bet would be on incompetence + glitch.

I’ve had gas stations where they had a regular nozzle on a diesel pump, which for just about any non-truck vehicle (and some of those) renders it mostly unusable and completely unusable on VW’s. I complained about it and they looked at me like I had 5 heads.

Luckily, I carry a diesel pump adapter at all times for these situations.


#20

That sounds like the opportunity… is the motive. That might be a good assumption for some times and places, but it doesn’t seem to me to make a whole life!