Officials to inspect petrol stations meters

November 12, 2009

LookAtVietnam – Officials plan to carry out regular inspections of petrol stations following reports that customers were being short-changed.

Pham Quang Vien, deputy director of the Market Watch Department, said recent price hikes had tempted petrol retailers to cheat motorists to boost profits.

The city’s market management team No 12 recently caught a petrol station on Kim Giang Street in Ha Noi’s Thanh Xuan District, overcharging motorists by fiddling pump meters.

Nguyen Duy Ban, the team’s deputy head, said that the station had installed an electronic chip in its meters to give false readings so that customers ended up paying for more petrol than they actually received.

“According to Government regulations, petrol pumps are allowed a 0.5 per cent margin of error. The petrol station [on Kim Giang Street] was out by 5 per cent – 10 times higher than permitted,” Ban said.

He added that the current retail price of petrol was VND15,700 (US$0.87), which meant the petrol station was overcharging customers by VND785 a litre.

“We will continue to carry out unannounced checks on petrol stations if we receive customer complaints,” he said.

Vu Nhu Hanh, deputy head of the municipal Department of Science and Technology, said that the current maximum fine of VND20 million ($1,100) was not severe enough to deter petrol retailers from cheating customers.

“In a bid to tackle the issue, the department has implemented both regular and impromptu inspections of gas stations,” he said.

Duong Thu Ha, who lives in Thanh Xuan District, said that motorists should ensure that petrol pump meters were on zero before their tanks were filled.

She also said that motorists should use different petrol stations to compare prices.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


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