Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Recent (bad) Experience of Fuel Theft by HP Petrol Pump

HP Petrol Pump at Koramangla
This is my story of catching the pilferage at HP Petrol Pump at Koramangla 3rd Block, Bengaluru. 

Below sequence of events are from Thursday, 3rd-Mar-2016, starting around 5:35 PM.

1.       I had visited HP petrol pump to fuel-up my vehicle. I always go for full tank while filling in Diesel and I fill the fuel roughly once per month.
2.       On the said day, Thursday, 3rd-Mar-2016, I went to this petrol pump in Bengaluru and asked for full tank.

.       As I drive a Scorpio, my average full tank bill hovers around INR 2300-2400. This time, the attendant filled up the fuel and stopped at INR 1986 and asked me whether I want to top-up. The top-up is a term that the fuel attendants use when the fuel being put in the tank touches the nozzle. The top-up means if I want to fill the fuel to the brim. I usually say No to this request and this is what I did that day too.
4.       Seeing the bill as only INR 1986 surprised me a bit especially given the fact that Diesel price was increased just a few days back on 1st-Mar. By this increase, I should have ideally got higher bill. Since this struck me odd, I checked my fuel indicator in the vehicle, which listed that its just about less than 3/4th filled.
5.       The fuel tank indicator clearly indicated that my tank was not full, which I had originally requested.
Litre reading is blank

6.       I asked the attendant if there is some problem. While I was asking this, I noticed that the measure on the pump only indicated the cost of fuel transaction i.e. INR 1986 but it didn’t indicate how many liters of diesel were consumed. (see the image on the side- the litres reading is blank )

Manual receipt hurriedly created
    .       While I gave my credit card for billing, I asked the attendant on how many liters worth fuel was put couple of times. I didn’t get a clear answer. Then suddenly, one of the attendants created a manual receipt written by hand that said 41 litres and INR 1986. He probably assumed that i will take this and go.

   .       I questioned him back on why the pump is not showing the liter reading as it normally does. Seeing me question so much, they started talking among themselves.

   .       One of the guys from HP who was attending, then attached the machine to the pump where nozzle
rests and generated the printed bill for my fuel transaction. And to my amusement and anger, it showed that the diesel consumed was 33.33 Ltrs (see the image) and the actual cost of transaction was INR 1616.838

After seeing this, I gave the HP attendants piece of my mind and made sure to tell each and every person at the petrol pump who were filling in the fuel on what these guys just did to me. In all the rush, the attendants, seeing me create a scene, quietly said Sorry to me and handed over the remaining INR 370. After handing over, again said sorry to me.
It’s such a shame that fuel companies do such pilferage and have such a corrupt mindset at the grass-root level.

Just wanted to share some of my learnings from this incident in the end-
1.       Please do check the fuel pump reading properly while the fuel is being filled.
2.       Please ensure that post fuel filling the fuel pump shows both liter readings and the amount of the bill. In my case the litres were clearly missing and that would have been intentionally done.

3.       Ask for the machine generated receipt. Do not go for handmade receipt.

    Update on 13th-Mar-2016:
    Thanks to my friends in Facebook for sharing this ordeal, to my surprise, this blog eventually reached the In-charge of the petrol pump under question and he updated the following as a comment in my blog on 9th-March, 2016.
     Anonymous Anonymous said...
     Dear Mr. Anju,
     Thanks for sharing cheating incidence. I request you provide your contact number.
     March 9, 2016 at 1:37 PM

      After a few exchanges over the comments, i requested Prakash to send me an email where i sent my contact details. I received the following email-

     Prakash did diligently call on the same day and even followed-up when i was not able to receive his call a couple of times. I spoke to him around 9:00 PM or so. He said the following to me-
1. He acknowledged why he was calling me.
2. He said that he has seen the CCTV footage since gave exact time and acknowledged that some of his staff has indeed cheated.
3. He further suggested me to come over to Petrol pump. He requested to come with an empty tank and said that he will ask the employees who cheated to completely fill the petrol talk. Post that he will ask them to pay me for full tank from their pocket and will fire me post it. He said to inform me before i came.
4. Though it sounded like a good gesture on his part but it lead to some unanswered questions in my mind like-
   - If he has seen the CCTV footage, then why is he asking me to come ? He can fire the employees just based on that.
   - Why is he asking me to come only empty tank (he suggested that 2-3 times).
   - Why should i trust him ?
5. I did question whether he was not in the petrol pump when the incident happened. He said that he had gone for lunch. It again sounded fishy on why would any go on lunch break close to 6:00 PM in the morning.
I eventually decided to stop following-up due to these open questions but learned a good deal from this experience.


Anonymous said...

Bravo Anuj for standing up against this diesel mafia.

The amount of money they may be swindling must be tremendous! !! Thugs such as these can be referred to as mafia only !

I personally dont blame the fuel companies but these corrupt dealers who a part if this network.

A case seen, a lesson learnt for all of us. Thanks for sharing this Anuj


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Anju,

Thanks for sharing cheating incidence. I request you provide your contact number.

Anuj Magazine said...

Dear Anonymous who posted the last comment on March 9, 2016 at 1:37 PM:
May i know your identity before i share contact number ?

Anuj Magazine said...

Prakash- Thank you for reaching out. You can email me at and i will share the contact details.