Georgia state inspectors closed two large Cisco gas stations just across the state line from Florida last week in what the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture described as “one of the worst cases of shorting gas customers he’s seen since he took office back in 1969.” (Why Ag? Why not?) An inspector found that a five gallon test pump turned up over a quart short at the Cisco Travel Plaza off Interstate 95’s Exit 6, and a similar test revealed a suspiciously similar shortage at another Cisco Travel Plaza off Exit 1.
“The cases where we’ve found substantial shortage on all nozzles leads us to believe it’s a good possibility it might prove to be deliberate. If it’s deliberate, we’re going to bring criminal charges,” the commissioner promised.
Those charges may mean prosecution, plus fines that Irvin says could hit $1,000 for every gas customer allegedly cheated by these stations.
Staff members at the Georgia Department of Agriculture have contacted their counterparts in Florida, Irvin said, so the Sunshine State can keep a close eye on stations south of the border.
The Consumerist reader who tipped us to this story writes,
I live in Florida, and frequently drive up to this Cisco gas station just over the line in Georgia for cheaper gas. Usually this place is booming, they have probably close to 100 pumps, a convenience store, and a few restaurants. Yesterday, it was a ghost town. The state has shut them down for ripping off customers and found the regulatory seals on the pumps had been broken. I had suspected something was up, as my car was consistently taking more to fill up from empty when using their pumps. Greed=0 Consumers=1
We’re glad the stations are closed, but we’ll wait to see whether or not former customers actually see any refunds before awarding a point. But hey, if Georgia manages to fine the station owners $1,000 per customer, they should make out just swell.
(Thanks to Jay!)
“Investigators Freeze Hot Spot for Gas Across the Georgia Border” [First Coast News]