6 On Your Side: Faulty Gas Pumps In Texoma

6 On Your Side: Faulty Gas Pumps In Texoma
Wichita Falls, TX - In a 6 On Your Side report gas pumps in Texoma may not be giving you all the gas you are paying for.

Newschannel 6 found more than 10 Texoma gas stations failed inspections in the past few weeks and those stations could have overcharged you. 

Most gas stations usually are not overcharging on purpose, but as we found out it can happen.

"I double check my mileage and read my odometer and the number of gallons I drive," said Greg Mitchell, a Wichita Falls resident. 

Greg Mitchell drives around 40 miles a day and spends about $200 a month on gas. He said he uses a select few places to fill up his vehicle in Texoma. 

"I haven't had any problems in Wichita Falls in a longtime,” said Mitchell. 

The Texas Department of Agriculture, or TDA, is in charge of inspecting gas pumps across the state. 

Newschannel 6 reached out to Brian Black, the department's Director of Communications. He wasn't available for an on-camera interview, but did speak to us on the phone.

He told us the two most common violations consumers should look out for, shortchanging and pump-jumping, and that's exactly what has happened in Texoma. 

We spent two days digging into this story and about three hours sifting through reports on TDA's website. We found more than 50 pumps in Texoma failed inspections between the months of June through the first four days of August.

Pumps were cited for shortchanging, where customers would not get all the fuel they paid for; pump jumping, when a new transaction is taking place it would not begin at zero dollars or gallons; and some were just improperly maintained. 

In the past two weeks, Tami's gas station on the corner of Rhea Road and Southwest Parkway received five citations for its pumps being improperly maintained and delivering fuel two times the tolerance. It basically means customers were not getting as much gas as they paid for. 

Based on TDA guidelines diesel and gasoline pumps when tested must be plus or minus six cubic inches. Inspectors check accuracy by taking five gallon samples from pumps.

The Shell gas station located on East Main Street and State Highway 79 in Olney was cited 11 times for being improperly maintained. The TDA found 60 to 80 percent of their pumps were set in favor of the owner.

Newschannel 6 went to stations in Wichita Falls, Electra, Iowa Park, and Olney to talk to business owners. We were only able contact two, the owner of the Lucky Mart on Fairway Boulevard and the owner of the Shell on Southwest Parkway.

The owners declined on-camera interviews, but did talk with us and were candid with us about citations at their businesses.  

The owner of the Lucky Mart told us their pumps were cited mainly because of lack of use and age. He said a technician was called immediately after they were cited and all pumps except for one were back open the following day.  

He also told us they are in the process of buying new pumps.

Unlike many of the stations that were cited, the Shell on Southwest Parkway was giving away gas. The owner showed me his report from the TDA requiring him to fix problems. 

We filled up one of our news units to see if pumps were operating properly and they were. A resource Mitchell and many Texomans rely on for transportation. 

“As long as the gas keeps flowing, I’m happy,” said Mitchell.

The TDA advises consumers to report faulty pumps by filing a complaint on their website.

Full report

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6