A civil list report in January of 2017 alleges that a gas company (go to the sma civil list on yahoo for more info) used a magnate to lower the fill percentage on the tank gauge thus justifying a larger amount of fill and a higher bill. (using a magnate does not change the printout, where does the extra gas go ???)….. So now as a consumer I am concerned that the receipt I get is not from my fill but from another more empty tank or near empty tank fill. They can reprint these receipts. I believe there has to be 2 components to the “scam”.
I see no date stamp or anything on my receipt that identifies it as mine. There is a “Numero de Nota” example #13638. There may be the possibility to imput this type of information on the 3 lines below the amount that show asteriks ***** . There is hand written date and a total showing my VIP discount. My total was 96.8 liters at $7.19 per liter for a Total of $695.99. The handwritten total was $595 for my VIP discount ($100mp which is too much and also raised my suspicious nature) which Imperial gas will give you even though it is Providencia Gas that is the official VIP gas company. I got mixed up and called the wrong company. Please report any “hanky panky” with caution but as a group, if we stop using one of the suppliers, I think this will have an impact on the company and make them clean up the problem whether internal or external. So again, be sure, be cautious.
My suggestions (if you cannot climb on your roof have a trusted gardner or cleaning person help out).
- check (or have someone check) the gauge just before filling and give the gauge and tank a good thump to see if it is stuck. This is important even if the fake or recopying of receipts from other tank fills is happening. Please send us an email if the gauge moves after thumping so I can confirm that this can occur. Write on the receipt your prefill and postfill gauge percentage so you establish a relationship between percentages and liters to fill. Please note this is going to be different depending on temperature, time of year/angle of sun on the tank etc. Not an exact science. Aaaah such is life…!!
- Ask when you call and before they fill if the receipt they will print is readable (I have gotten unreadable very faint receipts). Then ask them to wait to print until you are standing there and can watch the receipt print (can there be a discrepancy between the meter and what you get ?? possibly yes but we are trying to tighten up our process best we can). Before you let one of them go up to the roof, ask them to wait to reset the meter/printer mechanism until you return. If you have two people then you can send someone up while you watch the setting of the meter. I know….what a hassle !!
- Escort the filler to the top. I have arrived up top late only to smell a lot of gas and when I asked what the hell is going on they said they were just checking the valve. Although this doesn’t put money in their pocket directly, filling a tank that is more empty helps the company and also shortens the time it takes them to empty the truck tank (perhaps there is incentive from the company ??). We as consumers should understand how it all works.
- If the filler guy goes to the roof through the house and you only have one person, then after they reach the roof, lock them out of the house and apologize that you have to do this and will come back to escort them through the house. This is not being paranoid, it is common sense. If you have a fill valve on the street you can supervise it all from there.
- Go down and supervise the meter reset, the printout and pay the bill. Go escort the roof top person down but ask for an “porcentaje exacto”. Write both pre and post fill percentages on your bill and over time you can get an idea of how many liters you will need. By buying a set amount each time you can also calculate how many percentage points this $500 or $1,000 pesos represents on your gauge (at that time of year or temperature). Good luck and be vigilant.