Pain at the pump: NYC 'gas police' conducting random checks at stations

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- In New York City, prices at the pump have hit an eight-year high. An average gallon of gas in the five boroughs is $3.79 a gallon - up 25 cents in just the past month.

But are you getting what you're paying more and more for? The city has its own gas police of sorts - conducting random checks on stations and7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda was allowed to tag along.

With gas prices so high, customers need to make sure they're getting every drop of what they're paying for.

7 On Your Side watched Special Enforcement conduct an inspection at a Gulf gas station in Greenpoint.

The NYC department of Consumer and Worker Protection randomly checks all 6,303 pumps at roughly 700 gas vendors each year.



"The meter of the pumps can be off, and we check for the accuracy of that, and if it is found out of tolerance, we have it condemned," said Armando Sosa with the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

They check to make sure the correct price is advertised for the customer and that devices are maintained properly.

7 On Your Side watched as inspectors took gas samples from the pump to be sent to the state for analysis.

"It's important for all of the stations to know we are going to inspect them annually, and they are surprise inspections," said NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Peter Hatch.

Hatch says crews are looking for any compliance issues, like meter calibrations being off, or prices not displayed correctly.

Over the past year, 115 summonses were issued across the five boroughs. Queens had the most with 40 and Manhattan had the least with just five -- that's a 99.5% compliance rate.

The commissioner reminded consumers to look for the blue inspection stickers on the pump, make sure they're not paying more for cash, and insert a chip instead of swiping a credit card to avoid fraud.

He also says shop around. Apps like Gas Buddy will help find the cheapest prices.

Also, keep your receipt. Bad gas can cost thousands in engine repairs and you'll want to prove where you got your petrol if there's a problem.

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If you've gotten behind a wheel lately there's no doubt you've felt a ting of pain at the gas pump. CeFaan Kim has more on why gas prices could keep rising.



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