Man Versus Meter

Find out how to protect yourself from meter creeping at the gas pump.
4:11 | 06/26/13

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Transcript for Man Versus Meter
Abc's "the lookout" continues and now, holster that gas pump, or you may end up paying too much. It's high noon and man versus meter is next up. ♪ it add up after a while. You see it rolling, 20, 30, 60 bucks. It just doesn't stop. Now, no one is happy about the high fuel prices, but could these pumps bein taking more than they deserve? The pump nozzle is in my hand and, yeah, it's still going up as if I'm pumping gas. How big of a problem is this? How often is this happening? It's a big problem. I think you'll find out it's happening really all over the country. This is not just arizona we're talking about? No. Gas dispensers are just big gum machines. And these things take a beating. But as they say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't following you. In fact, one out of ten of these pumps is broken. People are pumping millions of gallons through these dispensers, and it takes a lot of money to keep them up and keep them maintained. But it turns out, the pump can fight back. Weapon of choice? Meter creeping. Meter creep is really an anomaly, it's really something odd. What we see happening is, after somebody engages the nozzle, let's say it clicks off. Then you start washing your windows or something, all of a sudden the meter starts to roll. The gallons starts to roll, very slowly. The total sale. But the bad part is, no gas is coming out. What's going on there? That's just it. There really doesn't seem to be a simple explanation. The stations aren't doing it. It just sort of creeps in. So as they say in arizona, we're one armadillo short of a fezz. We wonder if he could catch a machine in the act. The problem is, now it's creeping. So the consumer is not getting any of the fuel. The state of arizona takes issue with the insubordinate pumps the only way it knows how. I will shut this pump down. Or as they say in the industry, tag them and bag them. Tag this out of service. Classic 5-12 code violation, violation of arizona revised statute 41-20-64 aach 20-246104 f 3, charging the customer with no gas coming out. They're immediately locked down. We issue penalties. They're not allowed to use those again until a certified technician comes out and verifies it's been repaired. The meter is not going to fix itself. It might be just ten cents, but you don't want to get cheated. It just pisses you off. You don't cheat people and you don't want to be cheated. The reality is, creep seems to be one of the ravages of time. Sometimes they even break in favor of the consumer. The customer is getting a little free gas here. Soon as I push on the nozzle, nothing was calculating. In my eyes, the customer is probably getting about a dollar of free gas. So, some tips. Tip number one, if you see something, say something. Keep your eyes on that gas pump, and if it creeps, call your state weights and measures department immediately. We'll conveniently show you the numbers on the screen. Press pause when you see yours. If you think your gas pump gave you free gas, well, tip two, nothing to see here. Keep walking. No, really, you should contact weights and measures, because it might go in the other direction soon enough, and it's good karma.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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