Meter Creep: What to Do If a Gas Pump Charges Money When You're Not Fueling

With gas prices hitting infuriating levels, some are recording something even more maddening: watching the gas meter continue to tick up the cents when the pump isn't even inserted into the car.

Weeks after another resident recorded a meter creep video at a Hacienda Heights station, Margarita Valencia Perez shared a video on Facebook showing her experience at a Riverside Mobil station.

The video taken at the station at Arlington Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard shows her removing the pump from the tank, and the cents continue to tick up and up. She even notes in the video that she hasn't engaged the pump at all.

Her video got more than a thousand reactions on Facebook, with some outraged. 

She immediately told the attendant, and a manager shut down the pump until it could be inspected.

"I've never felt that somebody who owns the store was trying to cheat consumers at the gas stations," Ruben Arroyo said.

Arroyo is the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures for Riverside County.

He says in almost every case the problem is just a malfunction.

"A lot of times it's just the wear and tear on the device," he said. "It could be a leaky hose from the vapor recovery or a valve that's gone bad."

He also said if it happens to you, record video if you can. Then tell the gas station owner so the pump can be shut down. And most importantly, give his office a call to ensure you get your money back.

"Most retailers will try to make it right," he said.

You can call his office for meter creep issues in Riverside County at (951) 955-3045.

You can submit Los Angeles County complaints here

Gas prices in Southern California were finally beginning to drop after record highs to $4.066 Tuesday.

The drop came after prices hit $4.125 in the early weeks of May.

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