Fuel Bowser Error

Submitted: Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 01:26
ThreadID: 34000 Views:3107 Replies:11 FollowUps:10
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Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone knows the allowable delivery error for fuel bowsers, and which gov't body to report such complaints to?

I've recently had issues with local servo who have a pump that I think is ~ 15% out. Almost always fill with diesel at this place and firstly fill my sub tank which takes ~ 30L (range 29.5 to 30.5 seems average). Last Sat it took 35.5L! What the... suffice to say I didn't fill the main tank. Notified store and also phoned (on Monday) the national customer service number. I figured they'd get onto this straight away.

Tonight needed to refill, so off to the same servo, same pump and you guessed it - the same result except this time it took 35L. Have complained again to the guy at the desk and will call national # again in the morning. I am very surprised this hasn't been fixed. I suppose this wouldn't be checked o/night but figured something would have been organised after 5 days, especially given customer complaint. These guys are doing OK if charging an extra 15% - not what you need with diesel at $1.45/L (essentially makes it $1.67/L).

If in Perth, be wary of diesel purchases from Coles Express Glengarry - pump # 12.

Regards,
Hugh
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Reply By: David from David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 02:55

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 02:55
Office of Fair Trading is the place to report such matters, however you should be aware that your tank capacity is not an accurate measure according to them. There is a fair bit of info on their web site

Buying Fuel Link

http://www.consumer.qld.gov.au/oft/oftweb.nsf/AllDocs/CBEE44610FC6F6B54A256B99000A0503/$File/Buying_fuel.pdf

Others

Site Link

http://www.consumer.qld.gov.au/oft/oftweb.nsf/AllDocs/2CABB9420D04C59F4A256B99000521E6/$File/Tips_for_Consumers.pdf
AnswerID: 173276

Reply By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 08:25

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 08:25
I wonder how you'd go short changing them by 15%. Stealing is what they would call it, so in my book stealing is what it is. I to have a GU and use the sub tank to check pumps every time I use them. The reading is always 31litres. I think everyone who bought diesel from that pump should get a refund....would need the reciept though. This is one of the things the government should act upon strait away. maybe the ____heads from ACA or TT should get in on this one

Cheers Andrew

AnswerID: 173297

Follow Up By: Muzzgit (WA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:12

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:12
The penalty to the owner and/or operator for such errors is massive. The reason is very simple, every one would be doing it !!

About 25 years ago a service station owner in the South West was busted with bowsers that did not read properly and the penalties put him out of business.
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FollowupID: 429400

Reply By: crewser - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 08:44

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 08:44
Next time you go to fill up take a messuring jug with the litres printed on it and check if there`s any difference.
AnswerID: 173300

Reply By: Dereck - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 09:08

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 09:08
Hugh.

same thing with me at Coles Pagewood nsw,. sub tank i always get 60-65lt, this pump put 80lt in, i complained but in sydney they "no speak da english"
complianed to shell by email, they gave me a tel nbr where you wait on hold for ever and give up.
i figure this is how they get back the 4cents disc back!!
cheers dereck
AnswerID: 173302

Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (NT) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 12:51

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 12:51
Yes, I NEVER buy discount fuel. In my experience they deliberately recalibrate the pumps to offset the discount, and often the fuel is contaminated as well. There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Those who say something cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

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FollowupID: 429223

Reply By: Peter - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 09:32

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 09:32
Had a similar experience in Brisbane at a Matilda servo. Noticed that when watching the fuel flow it would stop actually delivering fuel but the fuel guage and cost counter kept running. Used the same pump a couple of times to check it and after reporting it and nothing being done just stopped using that servo.
Watching the guage I was paying about $2.00 per tank to just get air pumped into my fuel tank.
Have bought a lot of fuel since then and none of the profits have gone to Matilda, don't make a habit of supporting companies that rip me off!
AnswerID: 173306

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 10:48

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 10:48
Sounds dodgy but does the guage start ticking over as soon as you START getting fuel out the nozzle? if you're getting some for free (so to speak) at the start then it might even out (ie there's some delay between fuel coming out and the actual fuel appearing on the guage?) Not saying this is what's happening, just a thought I had.
Cheers
Scoey!
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FollowupID: 429192

Follow Up By: Peter - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:08

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 15:08
At the time I had a Defender which has a nice wide fuel nozzle so I could see the fuel running in to the filler neck. It happened when I first started to fill, for about the first $2.00 nothing was delivered but the guages on the bowser were running. After that it seemed to run OK but every now and then the fuel hose would jerk, seemed like it was having trouble delivering fuel. Little Paki man who run the servo (aren't they all), assured me it would be fixed. Maybe it has been by now but I don't use that servo anymore so can't say. Wonder how many people who can't see the fuel being delivered (such as in my current Patrol), are actually paying for something they're not getting?
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FollowupID: 429268

Follow Up By: Scoey (QLD) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:42

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 16:42
Yep, fair cop Peter! It's hard enough paying the price we do now without getting shortchanged so to speak!
Just lately I've been getting more and more fuel into my tanks than I used to - might have something to do with the fact that the poor old girls probably running on vapour by the time I can afford to refill her t hese days! haha!

Cheers
Scoey!
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FollowupID: 429293

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 18:08

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 18:08
When I spin my manual rotary pump around and around on my drum of biodiesel I KNOW i'm getting fuel! :-)

Can't say I miss queing up at the servo...
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FollowupID: 429323

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 13:27

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 13:27
Thanks all,

I contacted Trading Standards Branch of gov't this morning. They actually took the matter quite seriously and I was told that one of their inspectors will be out to the servo this afternoon to investigate. I'll let you know what I am told.

Phoned Coles Express national customer service # this morning, who acknowledged complaint (again) but said this time it would take three to four weeks to investigate. A nice little earner - so why rush to investigate.

Hugh
AnswerID: 173346

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:12

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:12
G'day Hugh,

Maybe another approach - you could have suggested that you might have underpaid Coles and asked them to investigate. When they come back to you the next day with the "no" then tell them that you made a mistake you meant over paid and tell them that you will await ther call the following day.

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 429510

Follow Up By: blown4by - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:26

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 14:26
I have rung the Weights & Measures guys on a couple of occasions and I found them to be very professional and helpful including ringing me after they had conducted their checks and telling me the results. I record my fuel consumption at every fill since the vehicle was new and travel the same route to and from work daily 108km round trip and noticed a certain pump at Caltex Woolworths in O'Connor was giving me worse results than anywhere else so I suspected I was being charged for more litres than I was actually getting. Also contacted them once when I purchased some bulk nuts from one of those help yourself bins at the supermarket and the total was a lot higher for the weight than the rate per Kg stated on the shelf. On that occasion I received a written reply.
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FollowupID: 429515

Reply By: Rocky M QLD - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 20:27

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 20:27
Hi to all,ran a service station in Perth a few years ago and weights and measures people used to call around and check volume by filling a 1 litre jug with a large base and narrow neck,which had to be filled as they said to the exact measure,maybe allow a mil or two but they were very strict,all the best Dave
AnswerID: 173409

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 22:43

Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 22:43
Hugh
Take a jerry can in and fill it to it's mark, if over or under, now you will have something to protest about.

Richard
AnswerID: 173446

Reply By: Jugs - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:57

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 00:57
Hi
Had similar problem with LPG tank on my partol. I had it fitted so I know the size and had been running a fuel log to look at consumption. got 97 in a 90 lt tank so stopped went in an asked to make a complaint. paid for the LPG then here comes the fun... asked the attendent to sign the back of the recept where I had noted that I had made a complaint about the pump. He was not happy No NO No I fill out book later.. you go I server other customers.. So I baulked stood in his way at the counter and all polite NO I have made a complaint I want a recpt noting my complaint, Not that it was right or wrong but the fact I had made a complaint. Not happy.. by this time I have the whole servo blocked up you could not get another car on the court and every one is backed up behind me and I won't get out of the way. I kept turning round to the other custmers and appoligising explaining why I wanted to make a complaint, "getting riped off" and asking the attendent to sign the back of my recipet. He was starting to go balistic. In the end another customer said he was a lawyer and I was well with in my right to ask and recive a anocklogment of my complaint. As I now had the whole serve brought to a stand still the guy finaly signed. said he would fill out the paper work for the complaint later and the petrol company would contact me. Weeks now and not a word but I think you can force an aconaligment of a complaint if you stan on you dig. made sure to be really polite so no come back and kept all the other punters on side.
AnswerID: 173463

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 08:45

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 08:45
hehehe
Sometimes that happens with LPG - the shutoff valve inside the tank sticks and you get an extra 7 litres in :-)))
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FollowupID: 429435

Reply By: brian - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 04:09

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 04:09
this has been reported here before funny noone has had the pumps register low..............
AnswerID: 173466

Follow Up By: Jugs - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 09:38

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 09:38
No it was not the shut off valve as it was greater than the Tk capacity not the shut off level. I came back and double checked the paper work.
Though the real point is that if you make a complaint you should be able get a written acknowledgement ! and when the pump is checked be able to find out the results. Through most of the conversation I have had read, herd on this its the fact that no one belives that a complaint is taken seriously let alone delt with that gets up everybodys nose, sure pumps go out of wack and there is a fair share of wingers, If you make a complaint about theft it should be dealt with in a transperant manor. Or we are just stuck with the great Australina vote with your feet.
just my 2c worth

Jugs
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FollowupID: 429446

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:58

Friday, May 19, 2006 at 11:58
As a follow-up, I received a call from an inspector from the weights and standards dept yesterday afternoon. He was a good guy and heading off to the servo today to investigate the accuracy of pump delivery, which he says needs to be accurate to 0.3%. The error I suspect I am seeing is way beyond that (>10%). We'll see what the W&S guys say as I agree that filling my tank is not an accurate source, however given I normally fill here (same pump) and sub-tank normally takes ~ 4L less I suspect something isn't right.

Hugh
AnswerID: 173518

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