A man trying to fill up his tank at the gas station noticed something odd, the meter kept going up but there wasn’t any gas coming out of the nozzle. He posted his video to YouTube and it quickly went viral. It turns out he wasn’t the only person to encounter this problem, but the cause isn’t entirely clear.
Although fraud is a possibility, it is far more likely a mechanical malfunction at the pump itself. Milt Hargrave of the Virginia Office of Product and Industry Standards told NBC 12 news, They don’t do that. Usually it’s failure of the component.” It could be indicative of a malfunction known as ‘meter creep.’ Hargrave continued to say “That means that the display is indicating delivery but no product coming out of the nozzle.”
After the video went viral, some gas station owners reached out through Facebook comments to explain another form of fraud carried out by the previous user. After the pump cuts off, the fraudulent customer re-opens the nozzle and lifts the hose to drain any gas remaining in the line. They could get a free extra quarter gallon from some longer hoses while the next customer foots the bill.
If you encounter a similar problem, inform the store manager and contact your local office of Product and Industry Standards. There should be an inspection label with a phone number clearly visible somewhere on the gas pump.