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“Overcharged at Gas Station”

by Prince Of Petworth April 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm 21 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

On Saturday I filled up my car with diesel at the Shell station at 1765 New York Ave NE (right at the corner with West Virginia Ave). I was overcharged by 30 cents a gallon – the price on the receipt was $2.559 while the price displayed outside the station. I told the station manager who was not particularly concerned.”

  • Anonoline

    And I’m proud of myself if I remember to take a quick glance at the total to make sure it looks sort-of right.

  • hoboinnoma

    The price on the signs sometimes reflects the price for cash (as opposed to credit card, where they incur fees). It would be ridiculous to charge 30 cents per gallon for credit, but could this be their rationale?

    • yes this. many places charge more for CC vs cash, but you only see the higher CC prices at the pump if you look for it

    • JoDa

      Ridiculous and also illegal. The maximum allowed surcharge for credit purchases is 4%. About $.09/gallon in this case. They would also be required to place a sign indicating that there is a surcharge for credit purchases, though that specifies “on the door,” so OP might have missed it.

  • jdre

    What price did it say at the pump when you started pumping? If it said $2.559, the station would likely state that they just haven’t gone out to the sign to change it there yet.

  • AnonV2

    This is going to sound stupid, but I’ve seen it enough to think it’s true: they ran out of 5s for the sign and meant to hang an upside down 2. Maybe it fell down and they just slapped it back up crooked. I think you would have a case if the read out on the PUMP actually said $2.25 and you were charged $2.55, that’s probably where they are legally required to comply with posted prices. Would have been nice if they had acknowledged the error and thrown a couple bucks your way.

    • HillEast

      not disagreeing here, but based on the presented photo, that would indicate that they only have one 5, and at least six 2’s.

  • also anon

    There is a city government department you can report this to. I think it’s called the weights and measures department? Whichever department certifies the volume measure on the gas pump would probably investigate.

  • anonymous

    Just contest with your credit card company. You have proof to submit it.

    • jdre

      Do they, though? The sign at the street and the sign at the pump ‘should’ match, but the pump supersedes the street sign, if discrepant. We don’t see a pic of the price at the pump.

      • stacksp


      • jdre

        The street sign being lower might be “false advertising” of sorts, but (when stations were pulling this, on purpose, very often in other cities I’ve lived in) it’s hard to prove that the station wasn’t “just about to go change it; dang it I told that kid to go change it.” You kind of need evidence of the discrepancy for more than a few minutes – unless this area has a specific customer-friendly law saying the sign at the street must match 100% of the time (digital signs help).

        • Ryan

          In my experience however the credit card company will almost assuredly side with the op in this case.

          • jumpingjack

            Agreed. The credit card will side with the OP and will refund you the extra money. But if the amount is less than $15 (which it likely is) then credit card will just take the loss itself and won’t bring it up with the business.

  • NE

    I try to stay clear of this gas station. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences here. In one case, all the pumps were down but no signs were posted. I tried twice at one pump because the problem wasn’t clear and then tried another pump. After the third failed try, my credit card company put a fraud hold on my card. I learned that the pumps had been down for a while, but countless cars had to go through the process to learn that the pumps weren’t working. I was annoyed that the clerks didn’t seem to care at all.

    I’m not surprised by OP’s experience.

  • NE drive

    I would never buy gas from a station on NY unless I was on fumes. They are always 30-50 cents more than most other places. If they weren’t I would be suspicious.

  • bruno

    It’s also worth checking that sales tax has been calculated correctly. The McDonalds at 17th and Corcoran used to make a few errors I caught….

  • Philippe Lecheval

    In most places, issues such as this would result in a significant fine from the regulatory body in charge of weights and measures, but you have to consider that this is DC we’re talking about. The one or two cartels who own nearly all the gas stations in town are probably immune to fines.

  • Bud Light

    The receipt indicates what the price on the pump was $2.55. The sign is simply incorrect. Not even sure you could find diesel anywhere local for that price.

  • PG

    Stop commenting- this is 3 dollars…. 3 DOLLARS! just don’t go to this station again.

    • dceited

      And that’s the point of the post. No one should go to this gas station. :)


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