I had a bad experience last Friday at the local Chevron gas station. I won’t be doing business there until this incident is corrected.

Among California’s legions of regulatory bureaus, offices, and agencies is our important department of Weights and Measures. The serious and blatant nature of this incident compels me to file a complaint with our federal, state, and county bureaus.

These are the agencies responsible for “Ensuring the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring devices”. These offices have many other responsibilities but in this case I seek reimbursement for being cheated out of approximately $30.00. How often had this happened before when it was less obvious?

Here are the facts: For the first time in 50 years I managed to run completely out of gas, a short distance from the station. I retrieved a 2 gallon canister, took it to Chevron (Hwy. 126 and A Street) and had it filled for $8.00 and change. I returned to the truck, put in the 2 gallons and returned to Chevron where I added $60.00 more to fill the tank, (22.01 gal tank). About $60 usually fills the tank, paying cash.

Upon leaving the station I noticed the gage read less than three-quarters full (after putting in $68). I returned and explained the problem. No help. I told them which pump was used; the manager informed me that no cash transaction of that amount had been completed. This conversation lasted several minutes. I pointed to my truck, now at a different pump, and told them, to be sure my gage was working properly, that I would put another $20-worth in the tank. I did this, and the tank swallowed it without a burp – still showing about an eighth of a tank empty.

Returning to the manager, who watched the transaction, the demonstration meant nothing. In the meanwhile she had found the receipt for the first $60.00. I told them their metering was faulty to the tune of about $30.00 – the pumps or the bookkeeping was wrong, and after spending $88.00 I was still an eighth short from being full according to my gage. I have been a customer at this station for years. I wish Bob Brown still owned it. No help, no concern, no refund, not even an apology. Nothing. The manager and her associate were completely unconcerned. Easy money.

Fuel pumps are easily manipulated at some point, and are often inaccurate. Whatever happened here, I was shortchanged by $30.00. It was easy to determine this because the tank was absolutely dry before this adventure. Thousands of dollars of consumer loss (per day) is possible when automatic pumps are out of adjustment, which was clearly the case here.

Beware pump 7 at Chevron, at least. I’m short of space this week. More to follow as my complaints to the various departments of Weights and Measures are processed. This being a matter of principle, the manager at our local Chevron is in for a long year until this issue is resolved. I will provide up-dates from time to time.