Richmond Hill woman fighting $10 a gallon gas overcharge

Richmond Hill woman fighting $10 a gallon gas overcharge

RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) - Imagine going to the gas station and filling up your tank, to the tune of $10 a gallon!

That was a reality for one woman in Richmond Hill who says she got ripped-off for something that wasn't her fault.

This was an apparent problem with a pump at a Marathon gas station on Highway 144, but when the driver went inside to ask for a partial refund, she was turned away.

"The owner said that since you went and started pumping that gas, that's your problem. That there's nothing they can do about it," said Debra Smith, Richmond Hill resident.

When Smith pulled in to the station to fill up, she noticed tape covering the prices for the "plus" and "supreme" grade gas at every pump, except for the pump where she filled up.

"The plus and the regular was not covered. I always get plus, and that's why I reached for it and put the nozzle in my tank," said Smith.

It wasn't until she was six gallons in that she realized her total was already up to $60.

When WTOC asked the gas station manager for an explanation, he said they only sell "regular" grade gas there.

"That's why we've got the labels cut off. As you can see, we've got no labels. We've just got the 87 label over here, so those two other labels are unavailable. And the sticker fell off that one that shows you the price when you select your gas, what price you're paying for it. So you should read the sign before you press the button," said Rick Patel, gas station manager.

So, technically, the gas Smith was overcharged for isn't supposed to be available at all.

Which begs the question from WTOC's Steven Gallo, "Shouldn't these not even be engaged? Why does gas even come out? Shouldn't they be cut off?"

"Well, technically it was cut off, but probably they have, I guess, an issue. Because of the cold weather, sometimes the computer has a glitch," replied Patel.

He said they're going to have the pumps inspected soon. Plus, he says transactions at the pumps are not their responsibility, because the pumps are owned by the gas company.

WTOC reached out to an attorney for some clarification and he said regardless of who owns the pumps, at the very least it's not the customer's fault.

"Obviously, it's a malfunction in the equipment. You didn't cause the malfunction; all you did was pump the gas," said Stan Friedman, Friedman & Martin.

Smith filed a report with the Bryan County Sheriff's Office. She plans to dispute the charge with her bank as well.

She said it's not even about the money, she just doesn't want this happening to anyone else.

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