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Petrol Pump Ploy: One In 20 Bowsers Short-Change Drivers

Inspectors will be conducting an inspection into fuel pumps after some service stations were found to be short-changing consumers.

The most recent Trade Management Compliant report found that nearly five percent or one in 20 tested bowsers were under pouring drivers, but motorists were still being charged full price for fuel.

Experts from the National Measurement Institute (NMI) tested 1900 fuel dispensers across the country and found that five percent, or 95 of those tested, were to the consumer's detriment.

The report also found 1.6 percent of bowsers tested were giving customers more than they paid for.

One in 20 petrol dispensers are disadvantaging consumers. Image: Getty Images.
Consequences Tougher For Repeat Offenders

This rate is the double the rate of non-compliance of the fuel industry from two years ago. Due to these findings, the NMI will continue to monitor if consumers are being short-changed and closely audit petrol stations.

"To underpin the analysis used to develop targeted risk programs, NMI will continue to capture data on likely financial loss suffered by customers in trade measurement transactions across a broad range of industry, including a focus on audits of petrol stations," NMI said in their National Compliance Plan for 2018/19.

READ MORE: Why Is Petrol So Expensive And Why Does The Price Change So Quickly?

READ MORE: Do The Economics On Electric Cars Add Up?

The NMI also confirmed industries that are continually non-compliant will be targeted for more regular audits.

"The results of these inspections will be used to determine the level of future engagement with these industries in order to address any systemic failure to commit to long term compliance."

Some customers are paying the same price for less petrol. Image: Getty Images.

The NMI found that 65 percent of the 7283 traders included in the report were already following government regulations.

For the most part, the businesses and industries found to be non-compliant with government standards were quick to rectify their mistake. Once traders were made aware of a breach, the number of compliant business jumped from 65 to 81 percent.

"... most businesses are keen to do the right thing and promptly rectify trade measurement breaches once they are made aware of them," the report stated.

The Problem Not Just In Fuel

The fuel industry wasn't the only area where there were high rates of non-compliance.

Some beverage dispensers were found to disadvantage customers. Image: Getty Images.

The NMI tested 1000 weighbridges across the country and found 6 percent of these were inaccurate with government standards to the detriment of consumers.

Five percent of weighing instruments and three percent of beverage dispensers were also found to disadvantage customers.

Featured Image: Getty Images. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au