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BackTrack: How Petrol Attendants Cheat You [A Must Read]

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How Nigerian Petrol Attendants Cheat You In Filling Stations and precautions to cut the cheating attendants

The rise in the price of petrol from ₦86.50/L to ₦145 Naira/L still leaves a heavy toll on Nigerians, most  have gotten used to the excruciating fact that a litre of petrol now ₦145 Naira.

Sadly, as if the skyrocketing price of petrol isn’t enough, the ‘friendly’ fuel station attendants have found numerous tricks to add to their regular income, and undercut the customers who at the first place are paying through their noses.

The nefarious activity perpetrated by petrol attendants nationwide has gone unnoticed by many motorists as they drive into the filling stations to fill their tanks.

Fuel Station scams are not something new. There are plenty of foul plays which can leave you cheated at a fuel station.

Why do the petrol attendants cheat you?

First of all, the petrol attendants in Nigeria are one of the least paid in the country.

In fact an average petrol attendant is  paid between ₦10,000 – ₦15,000 monthly, but a smart attendant can make his salary in one day by cheating customers.

Ideally, when a petrol attendant resumes for work, he/she takes the reading on the meter on the fuel dispenser, which they call The Opening Meter, and after they close for the day,  the reading on the meter, called The Closing Meter is taken by the attendant.

Then, they multiply the difference in the readings by the cost per litre, which is the amount they deliver to the manager. If there is any surplus cash, the attendant takes it.

Unfortunately, the surplus money is simply a product of manipulation/cheating of petrol buyers by the fuel attendants on a daily basis.

HOW NIGERIAN PETROL ATTENDANTS CHEAT CUSTOMERS IN FILLING STATIONS 

I have compiled a list of some of the most common dirty tactics which are used to cheat customers at Nigerian fuel stations based on my research and conversation with some petrol attendants across the country.

TRICK 1: RECALL OR TIM/CAL BUTTON

On the fuel dispenser there is usually a button labelled ‘Recall, TIM/CAL’ or any other label, depending on the machine. The essence of the button is to enable the attendant to see the past sales.

If you want to see your last ten sales, you just press Recall, then the number you want to see etc, depending on the number you want, and it shows you the amount.

Beyond seeing  past sales, petrol attendants use it to cheat and make money from the customers.

For example, if a petrol attendant sold ₦5,000 worth of fuel to (Customer A), and the next customer (Customer B) also wants to buy ₦5,000., the attendant will clear the screen to ₦00.0 and tell Customer B to look at it (A way of gaining your trust and making you relax).

Then when they observe that the second customer (Customer B) Isn’t paying attention, they will sell some quantity, like ₦3,500 for example and press Stop or Cancel, depending on the machine, then press Recall 1, and Ok.

With that, ₦5,000 will appear on the screen and that is what the customer will see on the meter, believing the sale is complete, meanwhile the attendant recalled the previous sale.

My investigations revealed that this can be done in less than one second.

In fact, some attendants could go to the extent of writing out some past sales on a paper where they can easily have a glance to know which number to recall when a customer is distracted or looks away, since many people prefer to buy based on price and not litre.

For example Recall 1 can be ₦5,000, Recall 2 – ₦3,000, Recall 3 – ₦2,000, so based on the customer they want to cheat, they look at the paper to recall, and the customers would think the machine was fast, so they wouldn’t always suspect anything

TRICK 2: FAKE-HANG THE NOZZLE

Almost every petrol consumer is knowledgeable that when the nozzle is hanged on the pump, the readings revert to zero. Thus the fuel attendants have also found a way to manipulate it to make some money for their pockets.

What they do is that they gently hang the nozzle, such that it won’t click to rub off the old sales and revert to zero.

So, they fake-hang the nozzle while the dispenser is still running. If a new customer comes, they simply continue from where they stopped from the previous customer.

This trick is used a lot during fuel scarcity, or when customers are in a hurry to buy fuel.

This trick is also easier for the fuel attendant if the last sale was in a small quantity.

TRICK 3: THE OKADA/KEKE NAPEP ADVANTAGE

Most times, the Okada and Keke NAPEP’s tend to buy petrol in small quantities, for example like 2 or 3 Litres of fuel.


DISCLAIMER: Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of Elombah News

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