Current Affairs
When filling vehicle with fuel pay attention to price, not only to the meter

During inspections this year by the Metrology Directorate on petrol stations no results emerged on manipulations which may have lead to consumers being denied the fuel they paid for.

On the other hand, a petrol station owner called on consumers to pay attention, not only to the meter on the fuel pump side, but also to the price of every litre indicated in the pump.

At least once a year, officials of the Metrology Directorate inspect some 600 fuel pumps at petrol stations in Malta and Gozo to ascertain that consumers are being served with what they pay for.

Engineer David Francis Bartolo said that they sometimes they find shortcomings which are not always in favour of the station’s owner. “We meet with a few cases, but the majority give a good service”. Asked about the type of shortcomings, he said that sometimes fuel pumps fill less and sometimes give extra fuel.

Engineer Bartolo added that no manipulations were found on any pump meters during inspections this year. “There wasn’t any tampering as such because you immediately are aware of it as the seal has to be cut off. All seals were found in good order; what they have is what is called as drift, a normal occurrence as the pump starts drifting after certain time in use and is not precise. It is the owner’s responsibility to repair it and we check that the work has been done”.

However, Television Malta is informed that the petrol stations’ fuel price may be easily changed, through a computer programme that they have. A station owner, Mario Camilleri said that consumers have to pay attention to the price for every litre on the fuel pump because it determines how much fuel the spout is filling in the tank.

“It is good to check it because the price may change, obviously by the owner or due to an increase or decrease in the price, however one should always check. A driver should himself check and not rely on the attendant or on the owner”, Mr Camilleri said.

The Metrology Directorate within the Competition and Consumer Authority has the power to inspect and carries out verification on every measuring instrument which has a direct impact on consumers, such as scales, gas cylinders and speed cameras.