Ag Commissioner Says New Laws Handcuff His Ability to Stop 'Pump Jumping'

Are you being 'pump jumped?'

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, whose office is responsible for maintaining the accuracy of gasoline pumps, says as many as 15% of all the gas pumps in the state are ripping you off, and he says a measure approved by the Legislature in 2017 makes it far harder for him to crack down on the most common fraud, what is called 'pump jumping.'

"Pump jumping is when it starts ringing up your bill before it actually starts discharging any gasoline into your tank," Miller told News Radio 1200 WOAI.  "It's like paying for air."

He says the fact that, unlike most purchases, the buyer cannot see the product being dispensed leaves gas pumps open to all sorts of scams.

But he says the Legislature is no friend of the consumer when it comes to gas station fraud.

Under the new law, it requires that three complains be filed before his inspectors can open an investigation.  Miller says previously, one complaint would spark an inspection within days, and the gas station owner would then have no more than thirty days to fix the problem.

But he says under the new law, a pump could be 'pump jumping' for a year before he is able to do anything about it.

"I'm embarrassed as the head of the consumer protection agency at the Department of Agriculture that we are treating the customer of this state with so much disdain," Miller said.  "We let people just flat cheat 'em."


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