Beware at the Gas Pump!


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PEMEX is the Mexican state-owned petroleum company that is responsible for setting the price of fuel and oversees distribution to the public, but the individual gas stations are privately franchised.  In theory it’s simple to get gas around town. Almost all stations are open 24 hours and they all sell the same fuel at the same price.
However, some stations are more popular that others. Is it the location? Partly so, but there are those amongst franchise owners who skim up to 20 percent off the amount they pump into your tank. PROFECO, Mexico’s Consumer Protection Agency, regularly visits the stations to check their liter counts.
But wait.  Did you check your fuel gauge?  Does it look like the 200 or 300 pesos that you asked for at the pump was actually put into your tank?  Unfortunately, scams at the gas pump are common occurrences and the only way to combat the problem is to be vigilant when you at the station.  Pay attention and make sure that you get the amount that you are paying for.
First, always make sure that the gas pump is always at 0.00 before they start filling up your car.  Get out of the car and check if you can’t see from behind the wheel.  Secondly, when the attendant is finished filling up your tank, make sure the amount you asked for, whether it be 200 pesos or 300 pesos, is registered on the gas pump.    Sounds fairly simple but often times, you can get easily distracted and later realize that the 300 pesos of gas that you paid for doesn’t even register half a tank on your gas gauge.  After the fact, it is very difficult to do anything about the situation, other than just feeling like you were taking advantage of.
This is also a reminder to be careful if paying with a credit card.  It is a good idea to never let the card out of your sight.

Asking for a fill-up is an invitation to be taken advantage of. It is better to ask for a specific amount. You can specify the number of liters you want or the amount in pesos.
If a problem has ever occurred to you at the pump and you would like to file a complaint, please head over to PROFECO, the Federal Consumer Protection Agency in La Paz, which is located on the corner of Jalisco and Francisco Madero.  They will help you file your complaint and investigate the problem.  A complaint must be filed in person and they do have translators to help you in the process.
Be vigilant to get your money’s worth at the pump during this summer driving season.
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