Gas stations rip off


Nov 15, 2009
Just a word of notice. I guess most of you guys heard about taxis counter cheating the kilometers to count a double fare...well, seems like this trick is also used in gas stations.

Tonite i had 220 km on the counter of my motorcycle and decided to fill up in Flores. This would normally be about 10 liters missing. Well, the guy managed to put 15 liters in a 13.5 liters tank, while i was not even on the reserve yet. I didnt know what i could do so i just paid the 20 pesos extra, which quoted the liter of basic naphta at 4.70 p.

Anybody has an idea of what should be done if this happens again?
The easiest thing to do is to just forget it. I never heard of this problem before, but it doesn't surprise me at all. Next time try choosing a service station downtown or in areas with a lot of traffic; go for YPF, Shell or Esso. The major problem with small stations is that they could be selling adulterated nafta. That is, they might mix it with something else that's cheaper (I assumed this happened in a small service station).

If it does happen again and you do want to do something, you can try, first, arguing with the attendant, but I think that will get you nowhere. Be sure to get a receipt for your purchase and take the atendants name. You could file a report with the police, as what happened to you is a crime. You would have to do this immediately and get the police to detail the motorcycle you're using on the report. This is important as evidence could pose some difficulties (you have the receipt that says 15lts, but their defense could try to argue that it was a different vehicle).

Criminal prosecution in Argentina is in charge of a prosecutor (fiscal) but the affected party may file a private prosecution (querella). If you leave it only to the State prosecutors, they'll likely dump the case with any excuse they can find. The private prosecution will have costly lawyer fees. The whole process could take, in all, up to 3 years.

Another option could be to file a complaint with the consumer defense office. Procedures there are shorter (a couple of months) and they are generally pro-consumer. However, the evidence will pose the same difficulties stated above. Procedure in consumer defense has a mandatory conciliation meeting so you'll have the chance to see someone from the company (but again, it could only be their lawyer). You will also have lawyer fees involved in this, but certainly lower than in a criminal case.
HowardinBA said:
take it on the chin then eh?

Definitly. This is a country where you need to learn what to do and not to do, where to go and not to go. Argentines themselves dont count on corrupt police to solve their problems, they consider them more as a danger than as a rescue.

I now know that i have to choose my service stations and that the brand does count.

Thanks attorney for your detailed answer, much appreciated.:p

I should have learnt tho, i had the exact same problem in Agadir, Morocco, in a small gas station a few weeks ago
Attorney in BA said:
What do you mean?

Tough it out.

Chalk it up as a learning experience.

Another real British term is to "keep a stiff upper lip".