All of us have suspected, at some point, that a gas station overcharged us on a fill-up.
But the State of Kentucky confirms it found two faulty gas pumps at a Speedway gas station in Florence KY, a problem that came to light only after a video about it went viral.
Construction worker Nick Poff posted this Facebook video of what he claims is a gas pump ripping him off.
In the video, you can hear him narrate:
"The gas meter is running, but the nozzle is sitting on my truck. This is in Northern Kentucky, in Florence, this is showing you how they are burning you on our fuel. Haven't squeezed the trigger once, and its already up to 8 cents."
Poff says this was not a case of air stuck in the hose, where you don't receive fuel for a few seconds. That is normal, and happens everywhere.
He claims the pump started charging him even before he pulled the trigger.
"I had my cup of coffee in my hand," he said, "so I took the pump, put it on the back of my truck, walked to the front of my truck, put my coffee in my truck, turned around, and saw the pump on 6 cents."
It appeared to be charging him even though he hadn't pulled the release handle, charging a cent every few seconds.
So he posted it to his Facebook page, and the reaction was immediate: the video was shared more than 36,000 times, turning the gas station into a tourist attraction of sorts.
One man who briefly stopped by the station told us "I had to come up and see it for myself!"
Inspection Finds a Problem
State officials noticed too: The Kentucky Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Division stopped by unannounced and inspected the pumps.
"We found that two pumps were advancing before delivering," a spokesman for the state told us.
A spokesperson for Speedway gas stations said "we immediately replaced the nozzle, hose and associated hardware." (Full statement below)
Speedway also said it acts immediately to fix a pump if it learns of a problem, and says it takes all complaints seriously.
Complaints Get Results
Poff is glad he had an impact, saying if you see something wrong, post it online.
"I'm a single father, I've got a daughter, and that 10 cents could go in her piggy bank," he said. He also wonders how many customers before him paid an extra 10 cents for their gas.
If you suspect a gas pump is ripping you off, at any station, alert the manager and your county or state weights and measures officials.
That way, you don't waste your money.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
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Full Speedway/SuperAmerica Statement:
"Following a thorough inspection of all dispensers and hoses at Speedway locations in the Florence, Ky., area, we found one dispenser at one store location that was not operating properly. We immediately replaced the nozzle, hose and associated hardware. The dispenser was tested and placed back into service. Speedway takes all customer concerns and complaints seriously."