Gas prices have been falling for months, but drivers may not necessarily be getting what they are paying for.
The state has inspectors who are tasked with ensuring drivers aren’t getting ripped off.
Each day, the state’s Department of Consumer Protection has inspectors to make sure the amount of gas the pump says a driver has purchased, is actually going into the gas tank.
“The meters that are inside these dispensers wear and so we want to make sure they’re accurate within plus or minus 6 cubic inches for every five gallons,” said Jim Turner, a supervisor for the Department of Consumer Protection.
Eyewitness News rode along with the state inspectors recently and stopped at a Mobile station in Wethersfield.
The inspector first opens up the pump and verifies the serial number.
“We check and make sure they’re no leaks, we look at the meters. Everything seems to be alright,” said John Daha, of the Department for Consumer Protection.
Then, five gallons of gas is pumped into a steel tank. The inspector keeps a close eye on the meter to make sure it is filled up to zero.
The amount of gas has to be within one hashtag over or under zero.
If it’s not in compliance, the pump will get a red tag and be placed out of service.
But, if it passes, the inspection is done and new stickers are put on.
“Every time we stop at a gasoline station and verify that the meters are accurate, we’ll place a paper seal so that it’s visible to the general public,” Turner said.
The state said it inspects about 1,500 gas stations every year.
In about 10 percent of cases, the price drivers are paying at the pump isn’t what they are getting, but that’s not always a bad thing.
“About 5 percent are in favor of the consumer and about 5 percent are not in favor of the consumer,” Turner said.
Which means that in some cases, gas stations are giving drivers more gas than what they are paying for, but in other instances, gas stations are shortchanging the driver.
“I don’t think that’s acceptable,” said driver Mark Schnubel. “My biggest complaint with many gas stations is that they have a price for cash and a price for credit.”
According to the state, the reason why gas stations do that is because gasoline operators pass on the fee that they are charged by credit card companies, to the driver.
While it is something the Department of Consumer Protection gets a lot of complaints about, it is legal.
Inspectors check to make sure drivers are getting what they are paying for, cash or credit.
To save the most amount, drivers can pay with cash.
If you suspect a gas station isn’t in compliance, contact the state’s Department of Consumer Protection here.
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