Knoxville man says he got ripped off at the gas pump

Knoxville man says he got ripped off at the gas pump

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Tory Flenniken said he saw a video on Facebook of a friend getting ripped off at the pump. He decided to test it out in Knoxville and what he saw surprised him.  (source: Facebook) Tory Flenniken said he saw a video on Facebook of a friend getting ripped off at the pump. He decided to test it out in Knoxville and what he saw surprised him. (source: Facebook)
"I'm just worried about what it's doing when it's wide open and you're pumping gas at a high rate. What is it adding?" Flenniken said. "I'm just worried about what it's doing when it's wide open and you're pumping gas at a high rate. What is it adding?" Flenniken said.
6 News went to Exxon to check the pumps. We tried two pumps, including the one Flenniken said he used. Both of the pumps worked for us. 6 News went to Exxon to check the pumps. We tried two pumps, including the one Flenniken said he used. Both of the pumps worked for us.
By SHELBY MILLER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville man said he was getting ripped off at a south Knoxville gas station after the pump kept charging him for gas, even though he had already stopped filling up the tank.  

According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, this is a problem people and gas stations face across the state.

Tory Flenniken said he saw a video on Facebook of a friend getting ripped off at the pump. He decided to test it out in Knoxville and what he saw surprised him.

"It's charging me for gas that I'm obviously not pumping," Flenniken said in a video he recorded while getting gas. "Yes, it's slow, but it's charging me for gas I'm not pumping. I don't care how many cents it is."

Flenniken said he was charged an extra five cents. While it may not seem like a lot, he said it adds up.

"I'm just worried about what it's doing when it's wide open and you're pumping gas at a high rate. What is it adding?" he said.

6 News went to Exxon to check the pumps. We tried two pumps, including the one Flenniken said he used. Both of the pumps worked for us.

Dave Garrett owns a car shop next door to the gas station. He fuels up at Exxon daily. "We've done business with [Exxon] for 8 years and we've never been over charged for anything in this store," he said.

Garrett wanted to test the pump too. "It's exactly what it's supposed to be," he said.

While the pumps at Exxon worked for us, Tennessee's Weights and Measures Division said issues are bound to happen. They want customers to pay attention and said, most of the time, the station doesn't even know it's going on.

"Pumps are mechanical devices that are subject to wear and tear and sometimes they need repairing. It's very rare we find someone intentionally cheating customers," said Tom Womack, who is the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's director of public affairs.

Although Flenniken feels cheated, he agrees it's important to get the word out. "Hopefully people kind of test out gas pumps whenever they go," he said.

The owner of the Exxon, where Flenniken got the gas, said they don't believe they're cheating their customers and haven't had any other complaints addressing this issue. According to state workers, a routine inspection was last done at the Chapman Highway Exxon station on Nov. 20, 2013. They said there were no issues found at that time.

Out of about 93,000 gas pumps across Tennessee, each year, state workers get about 300 calls that address issues that deal with gas pump or fuel quality.

If you have a concern, first, let the gas station know directly. You can also call the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Weights and Measures Division at 1-800-OCTANE1 (628-2631). Workers will send an inspector to the station within 24 hours.
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