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By Contributed photo
BY BLAIR LOONEY Contributing columnist
Editor's note: Action Line is a weekly column from the Better Business Bureau answering consumers' questions and concerns about money and business issues.
Dear Action Line,
My name is Kathy. I went to a gas station and paid for $20 of gas and only received $16.94. The first gas pump was broken. The gas kept spilling on the ground.. I told the manager and showed him the gas on the ground. He claimed it was water and told me then said it wasn't even that much gas that leaked out.
He would not work with us even with the proof. The scam is he is not giving us what we paid for. I asked for a receipt and told him I was going to call the BBB.
This is happening to every customer that stops there for gas. What can be done to stop this?
With the price of a gallon of gas these days, every penny's worth counts. You have come to us with your complaint. That is a great place to start (www.bbb.org).
We will contact the company on your behalf to see if we can help get this resolved. Sometimes it just takes a neutral third party to get things on the right path. And there are other paths you may choose to travel as well.
Gas stations are a highly regulated type of business in the state of California. We have:
* The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), www.cdfa.ca.gov.
CDFA has a Petroleum Products Program, which maintains and enforces the minimum performance and drivability standards for most petroleum and automotive products (gasoline, gasoline/oxygenate blends, diesel fuel, motor oil, kerosene, brake fluid, automatic transmission fluid, engine coolant and gear oil) sold in California. Additionally, the program regulates the advertising and labeling of these products. However, the program does not regulate the cost of these products. You can file a complaint here: www.cdfa.ca.gov/dms/programs/general/complaintform.pdf.
* The California Weights and Measures Office at the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
It enforces laws and regulations about the labeling, weight, measure or count of packaged items including food and household products. These offices also regulate the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices in supermarkets, gas stations, taxicabs, etc. Some city and county offices have weights and measures functions in addition to the state offices listed here that might be listed under either the city or county bureau of standards, agriculture or consumer protection: www.cdfa.ca.gov/dms.
* The California Environ Protection Agency has the Air Resources Board (ARB). A primary component of the ARB's Motor Vehicle Fuels Enforcement program is the inspection of California gasoline and diesel fuel at production, transport and dispensing facilities.
ARB fuels inspectors conduct frequent, unannounced inspections of refineries, service stations, distribution and storage, bulk purchaser and consumer facilities throughout the state of California to obtain samples of gasoline and diesel fuel. The samples are then analyzed in the Mobile Fuels Laboratory. You can contact them at 916-327-1522.
Blair Looney is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 1601 H. St., Suite 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or email@example.com.