Report: #790333

Complaint Review: ARCO Gas Station

  • Submitted: Tue, October 18, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, October 20, 2011
  • Reported By: Piper in LA — Los Angeles California USA
  • ARCO Gas Station
    11748 West Olympic Boulevard
    Los Angeles, California
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I was running low on gas, the computer said I only had 1 mile until empty. So, I pulled into this Arco gas station to put some gas in it.  I gave Mario, the cashier, $2 dollars for pump # 10. 

This was for a Ford Fiesta.  The going rate for 1 gallon of unleaded was $3.93. So, $2 would have gotten me about  20 miles which would have put the miles per gallon meter at 21 miles since it was at 1 mile when I pulled in. It's not much gas but 20-21 miles would be enough to get me to the car rental place to return the car.  

After I filled it with the $2 of gas, I noticed the computer still said I only had 1 mile til empty. I pulled the car aside, waited for a few minutes. Restarted the car and it still said 1 mile. Half a gallon would have purchased more than 1 mile. Especially when I only had 1 mile when I pulled into the gas station.

Well, I took the chance that it was the car's computer that was faulty and continue to drive it to the rental place and the MPG meter went from 1 mile to empty to 0 miles to empty.  I was only 2 blocks away from the Arco station when I ran out of gas and had to coast into another gas station.  

This time I put $ 4 of gas in which would get me about 40 miles on the car and immediately, when I started the gar. The computer said I had 40 miles til empty. That makes a lot more sense because one gallon of gas gets you 40 miles. So, the 2 dollars should have gotten me 20 miles but it got me ZERO because the guys running that gas station are cheating their customers.

I went back to dispute this with Mario, the clerk, and, like any dishonest person caught in a lie, he denied it.  Saying $2 is so little gas and that's why I ran out. 

Well, it may be little but it should have gotten me 20 miles for the Ford Fiesta which would have been enough to get me back to the rental car place. But since I got LITERALLY NO GAS for my $ 2. I ran out of gas 2 blocks away from that dishonest Arco gas station.

These guys should be investigated.  I have a feeling they have their pumps rigged up to cheat every customer out of a little bit of gas with every purchase. They got caught red handed by me this time because I purchased so little that it
was immediately noticeable. 

If it happened to me I'm sure it's happened to a lot of other people and they just don't know it.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/18/2011 04:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

The rental car company may have a bad policy as well

AUTHOR: Southern Chemical and Equipment LLC - (USA)

That rental car company is probably part of the problem here.

Probably has some kid running it for 8 bucks an hour.

It is very poor practice to run a vehicle's tank that low for several reasons, one of them being safety.

Especially in CA!!

Knowingly putting people out on the road in a car with an empty gas tank poses a safety risk. Just think about being unfamiliar with the area and running out of gas on a CA Freeway! You could get killed or at least cause a pileup!

Furthermore, the fuel in the tank is what keeps the fuel pump cool. Continuously running the tank empty, especially in hot weather, will most likely cause fuel pump failure.

Running the tank empty will also increase maintenence and down time as the fuel filter will always suck that crap off the bottom of the tank resulting in a clogged filter, and subsequent breakdown.

I really wish the OP would have posted the name and contact info for the rental car company, as they are the majority of the problem here.

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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Susan - (USA)

Which car rental company gave you a car with and empty tank and told you to return it with an empty tank?
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#3 Author of original report

Apologies for acting hastily before thinking it through

AUTHOR: Piper in CA - (USA)

After listening to everyone's comments, I think there is some truth to be found in all of it. 
I figure if you pay for half a gallon, you should be able to go at least 2 miles before running out of gas, regardless of whether it registers in the gas meter.  Half a gallon is still half a gallon, it should get you further than 2 blocks, on
a regular city street, no rough terrain, no luggage in the trunk, A.C. was not on, and going at normal speed.  It is strange that I wasn't able to even go further than 2 blocks before running out of gas. And yet, when I got to the second gas station and put in $4 (or 1 gallon) of gas it registered immediately.  That seemed odd.

However, someone did point out that cars are different. And it is a rental (that the rental company told me to return on empty since they rented it to me on empty), and I'm not familiar with that particular car since it's a rental.  I'm just on business and had a bad experience running out of gas in an unfamiliar town. 

Mario's name wasn't supposed to be on the post either. I had deleted before posting it but some how it still showed up.  Sincere apologies to him, if that's even his name. It was the name on the vintage bowling shirt he had on. It probably wasn't even his name. However, he was just the guy who happened to be running the cash register at that time and he had nothing to do with any of it.  

Sincere apologies to everyone. Chalking this one up to user error and my ignorance that I don't know every single car out there and for being naive in thinking that half a tank of gas can actually get you further than 2 blocks.  Case closed.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Look At It This Way

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

If you pumped $2 worth of gas into the tank and gas sells for $3.93 per gallon, you put in, at most .51 gallons. A tad OVER a half gallon of gas. That whopping HALF GALLON may not have even register on the guage. On a side note, a couple of times that I have rented a car, the rental place was selling gas at 20 or 30 cents BELOW the cheapest price of gas in that town. Hell yes, I gave 'em back an empty tank. You had to "prepay" for a full tank of gas but it saved me $5 or $6. The car rental places figure they're gonna get most cars back with a quarter of a tank or more saving themselves 3 to 5 gallons. So it's a gamble to get away with how little gas you can return your vehicle with.
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#5 Consumer Comment

The real key is,,,

AUTHOR: oldman49 - (USA)

The accusations you made were were based on the computer of a car?  When you pumped fuel did you happen to notice the amount of fuel pumped which is measured out in at least 10ths of a gallon? Fuel pumps are measured for accuracy and carry a certification tag on the pump from state regulatory board. Was the computer on the car calibrated and certified? I bet you got every drop of fuel you paid for,,you just did not plan wisely.  What rental car lets you return a car on empty?  Lets face it,,your economical ways finally caught up with you. You owe Mario an apology. Good Day Sir.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Who buys $2 worth of gas??? That's just plain stupid.

AUTHOR: Southern Chemical and Equipment LLC - (USA)

It appears that once again, there is no "rip off", but just plain stupidity.

I can't get away with buying only $2 worth of gas for my lawnmower!

How could you possibly think that $2 worth of gas would get you anywhere but out of the parking lot?

This is just plain common sense.

And, I have never seen any rental car company that doesn't have the rent it full, return it full policy, except those who charge you a surcharge to return it the way it is and they fill it and bank your credit card for double the price per gallon.

You are obviously too stupid to live, or at a minimum just very cheap.

Why didn't you just put in that $6 you had the first time?

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#7 Consumer Comment

Education is KEY!

AUTHOR: A Nony Mouse - (USA)

You need to learn more about the model of the car you are driving before you start accusing people of cheating you.

The Ford Fiesta gets 29 mpg city, and even then only on average and under optimal driving conditions. If you were leaving a gas station, and had the ability to pull into another, it's safe to assume you weren't on the highway and therefore your assumption of 40 mpg is incorrect. Even then, $2 of gas at 3.93 a gallon would have gotten you the 14 city miles only if your three assumptions are true: first, that the car would get 100% optimal gas mileage all the time, which wouldn't happen because of the acceleration coming out of the gas station; and second, that you had exactly 1 mile left at a cruising rate of speed, not 1 mile left at 5 mph coasting into a gas station (you can get 5 miles coasting downhill versus .5 miles powering uphill on the same amount of gas). Cars fuel economy varies depending on speed, acceleration/deceleration, whether you have the A/C running or not, and a host of other factors. Third, that the amount of gas you put in, which was roughly half a gallon, added to the roughly .03 gal you had left (1 mile divided by 29 mpg), was enough to register on the electronic fuel gauge, which it seems it was not. You also didn't factor in the amount of gas necessary to crank the car, which is pretty much impossible to calculate.

Also, the Fiesta has fuel reserving features that likely kicked in to protect the engine and fuel injectors. The main feature is the aggressive deceleration automatic shut-off, which would have turned the engine off automatically if you slowed down for a car in front of you, a stop light, etc. With as little gas as was in the tank, it is completely possible that there simply was not enough gas to start the engine back up. It is also possible that the engine shut off to protect the injectors from the damage that can occur by running out of gas.

Bottom line, no one cheated you. You should be ashamed of yourself for putting Mario's name out there like that and saying such things without any grounds or evidence. I hope he sues the crap out of you for libel and defamation of character. Next time, don't be so cheap and you won't run out of gas.
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#8 Consumer Comment

You do understand that a car with that little gas in the tank


can "run out" VERY quickly depending on terrain and how the fuel pickup tube in the gas tank is positioned,
Also, the "miles to empty" indicator updates according to usage and fill amount.  It takes it a finite time to update.

You made a lot of unfounded, inaccurate assumptions.

NOBODY needs to be investigated.  I'll bet "Mario" is still telling everyone he knows how ignorant you are. Too bad he wasn't a huge guy in a bad mood, you'd have learned a valuable lesson.
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