Multiple gas stations reported not giving consumers amount of gas they paid for

Updated: Nov. 27, 2019 at 5:40 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Around 20 gas pumps in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee were labeled as “out of tolerance” during inspections over the last two years, according to data obtained from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

SCDA inspectors are responsible for checking more than 64,000 gas pumps across the state annually. They look for pump accuracy and function, fuel level in storage tanks, advertised pricing, and safety issues.

“Consumer protection is a key part of our mission,” said Eva Moore, a SCDA spokesperson. “The inspection program protects both consumers and businesses.”

Sometimes the inspections uncover that the gas pumps aren’t giving consumers the same amount shown on the meter displays, which means customers could be getting short-changed.

Eighty percent of the pumps were out of tolerance in favor of the consumer, meaning they released more gas than the consumer paid for.

“We’re not talking huge amount here but obviously it is going to be a benefit for the consumer and a determent for the gas station so really our role here is to make sure both sides are coming out on the good side of the deal,” Moore said.

More than half of the 20 out-of-tolerance pumps were located in Horry County; six were in Florence. Georgetown County and Marlboro County each had one pump out of tolerance, while Marion and Dillon counties reported none.

Each gas pump has a SCDA sticker that shows when it was last inspected.

“While a couple of ounces of gas may not seem like a lot, that adds up for the people who are putting gas into their cars and for gas stations who are selling it,” Moore said. “So we’re a very important part of that business transaction.”

Although pumps were marked as out of tolerance during the inspection, the department works to get the pumps back in tolerance.

Anyone who thinks they’ve had a problem at the pump can call the SCDA at (803) 737-9690.

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