Ways to avoid getting duped
at a petrol station
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Fuel prices are getting dearer by the day but
are we getting every drop of fuel paid for? Well, if the outpouring of woes
online is any indicator, then no, we have a long way to go to prevent being
cheated at fuel stations.
These are some who have realized the bluff, though may not have taken the outlet
to task - but there are many others who aren't aware of such nefarious deeds.
Hence the possibility of them getting duped is even more likely, and often
So as customers, how can we ensure we aren't at the receiving end of this
trickery? What are the precautions that need to be taken and how do we get our
grievances addressed? Here's more-
Keep a keen eye on YOUR fuel pump - especially in the beginning and just before
the end of the fill. Avoid all distractions - it's indeed a blessing that cell
phones aren't allowed in fuel stations. Other distractions like your car stereo
or balancing your 2-wheeher can be avoided too.
Make sure the fuel attendant has heard the amount right. To be doubly sure, ask
the attendant to repeat, just as you in restaurants, though this should be a lot
easier for him.
Pay the amount ONLY AFTER the filling is complete. In most cases, either due to
our overzealousness or simply being told by the attendant, we often end-up
fiddling our pockets or wallets, in the process neglecting the fill.
Keep track of your fuel indicator during every refill, for this reading can be
good source of verification. If your 2-wheeler fuel indicator takes that little
longer to reflect, do wait by the side until it shows up. You really wouldn't
want to find out being duped in the middle of traffic.
Also, it's a misplaced notion that meters in fuel pumps are tamper-proof. While
meter tampering is a grave issue, it can only be checked by specialists.
However, this can be checked by informing the concerned fuel company.
In spite of these precautions, if you still get duped, it's best to file a
complaint. Take my word, the process isn't as cumbersome as one may imagine, in
fact it is a lot more effective than creating a ruckus at the petrol station.
You can share your complaint at the 'Indian Consumer Complaints Forum' or even
better - register it directly with the respective fuel company. Their websites
have contact details of various regional offices that you can directly walk-in
to as well as an online complaint form and even a toll-free number.
And if you're wondering if they do ever respond, well, in our case the
field-officer from one of the regional offices promptly called to enquire, and
ensured that the grievance was addressed. Nevertheless, we could have avoided
all this, had we practiced what we just preached :)