Have you ever wondered of the different petrol pump scams and the possibly ways in which you can get cheated each time you roll into one? Over the years, different petrol pumps have devised and perfected various ways to reduce the quantity of fuel dispensed and other ways to siphon off your hard earned money. As clever these plans are, here is the list of potential cheats and possible ways to avoid them. Make sure you when you notice a scam, do raise a complaint against the specific fuel pump, so that no other can fall prey to their devious ways.

The Long Hose Trick

Have you noticed that most of the fuel dispensers have longer than required hoses used to fill fuel? After fuelling a set quantity, there is still some fuel left in the long hose that has been already metered that remains inside it. It could be as much as 100-150ml of fuel. Imagine the quantity of fuel siphoned off on a busy day. Solution is to make that even the last drop is dispensed by raising the hose before taking out the nozzle.

Diversionary Method

Diverting your attention while fuelling-up is a common trick used in many outlets across the country.  This is done in many ways, one way in which you ask for say 1000 rupees of fuel, while the attendant is refueling your car, your attention is diverted with silly fuel additive offers, car maintenance products by an another employee. All the while, the attendant filling the fuel would have stopped refueling at 950 rupees and had reset the meters.

Another way is – in the middle of refueling, the attendant pretends to be confused by the amount of fuel required to fill in your car. Say, you asked for 1000 rupees, and the attendant filled it to for 200 and pretends to reset the meter but in fact he starts from the 200 mark and finishes off the refueling at 800. This trick is executed while you are getting distracted by another person as before, disabling you to check the meter while pretends to reset it. Hence, a customer losses say fuel worth 200 rupees in this case. Both these instances of fraud can be avoided if you set your eyes firmly on the dispenser meter throughout the process.

Short Change Method

This happens mostly to bikers who fill smaller quantities of fuel and pay in cash. Say, one is filling in fuel worth 100 rupees and since most of us are in a hurry, the attendant pretends like counting the right change while returning back the money. While in fact, they would have returned say, 50 rupees less. This can be avoided by either paying through card or making sure you count the change before leaving the counter.

Continuity Method

Again, bikers normally are more vulnerable to this trick. For example, if a biker before you have filled for 100 rupees and then, you step in and ask for fuel worth 500 rupees. The attendant pretends like he has reset the machine and continues to fill in fuel, hence duping the customer of 100 rupees of fuel. Again, making sure that the dispenser meter is reset to zero before refilling, which thereby, would help avoid this fraud.

Start-Stop Method

The attendant deliberately fails to lock the nozzle while refueling, and keeps juggling it during the whole process. Every time they press and release it, some quantity of fuel is held back due to an air lock inside the dispensing machine. This is estimated to be as high as 150-200 ml for every 10 litres of fuel dispensed. The solution is make you ask the attendant to lock the nozzle while refueling, which is a common procedure in many a  pumps now.

Machine Tampering

There have been various accounts of these fuel dispensers having been tampered with a cheat device – the same is available in the market for less than 3000 rupees. These devices make the dispenser meters jump a few digits while refueling hence, putting less than what is shown on the dispenser. If you feel like you are getting lesser quantity than before, you can always ask the pump attendant for a quantity check, in which they have to fill of specified quantity of say 250 ml or 500 ml to a measured can. This will indicate if the meter is tampered with.

Here are a few tips that will genuinely help one fight these petrol pump scams

  • Make sure you regularly fill fuel from a reputed pump with latest model dispensers and request for a printed bill from the dispenser each time.
  • It is always advisable to get down from the car and check the meter before refueling.
  • Keep your eyes on the meter and avoid silly distractions till you finish the refueling process.
  • Insist that the attendant locks the nozzle and step away, the process will automatically stop once it has dispensed the required quantity of fuel.
  • When in doubt about the quantity dispensed, feel free to ask for the measuring can and report the same to the police if any discrepancies are found.
  • Last and not the least, try to pay using your debit/credit card, if possible.

Feel free to share more petrol pump scams that you have noticed in the comments section below, and we sincerely hope this article will be helpful to each one of you to fight this menace. Always remember wear your seat belt or helmet while on the roads!