Are you getting what you pay for at the pump?

December 28, 2010 12:22:28 PM PST
In case you haven't noticed, gas prices have steadily crept up over the past few weeks and are hovering in the $3-a-gallon range for regular.

That has drivers paying close attention to the accuracy of gas pumps.

"Complaints about gas pumps have been on the increase in recent weeks," said Jerry Butler, who oversees the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Standards Division’s gas pump inspection program. "Normally this time of year we get few complaints, but with the rising prices, we have had more calls."

Department inspectors routinely check gas pumps at the nearly 7,000 stations across North Carolina for accuracy. They make sure pumps dispense a gallon of gas for each gallon they say they pump.

"Pumps that are not operating correctly cost consumers and businesses money, and in today’s economy, people are carefully watching what they spend," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. "Our goal is to ensure fairness in these business transactions." Inspectors say they fail about 10 percent of the pumps they test. They can be locked until repairs are made.

If consumers think they're the victim of a faulty pump, they can report it to the Standards Division at (919) 733-3313.

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