Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The great indian petrol bunk fraud

This fraud is nothing new to most people who fill petrol to their bikes/cars in India. Neither to me -- but a recent recurrence was too enraging that I want to atleast shout out here in my blog.

For those very few who are not aware of this fraud (most likely because of not personally going to fill petrol), here is the how it works:

1. Assume a person in front of you fills petrol for Rs 100.

2. You go next and ask him to fill in the petrol for Rs. 200 (here is the catch, they would be able to do this easily and successfully when your fill amount is higher than the previous one).

3. He shows you zero and exactly then, a guy standing on the opposite side of the meter across your vehicle will call you 'sir how much sir' or 'sir is it by card or cash sir' or 'sir sir sir...' until you get distracted and turns towards him.

4. If you aren't aware of this trick, you would naturally react to your impulses and turn towards him (away from the meter) -- at this point, the person who is (actually pretending to be) filling just presses a button on the machine which shows the previous reading (which is Rs.100).

5. When you turn back, he pretends as if he has already filled for Rs.100. You would obviously say it is for Rs.200.

6. With the happiness of looting Rs.100 in a matter of few seconds, he would again configure the meter and fill in for Rs.100 more.

That's the end of the trick and you have just lost Rs.100. We would feel like an idiot and he is ready for the next attack. Someone is waiting in queue to get looted.

Having explained the fraud, let me come to the recent incident. I'm very much used to this fraud that I've never been cheated like this (except once -- when I learnt it the hard way). Last week, I was in a petrol pump (Beware: it is the BP petrol pump in udipi garden signal, BTM 1st stage, Bangalore) in queue. I could clearly see this fraud happening just in front of me and unfortunately that guy infact got cheated. I was atleast 5 bikes away that I could not do anything about it (maybe I should have). In some ways it was very enlightening to see those people's expressions at the time of fraud. The guy after looting Rs. 100 immediately became so polite to the bike rider; after all he is the one paid Rs.100 for nothing in no time. I felt like kicking him in his face. There is one guy who keeps a look out for the amount that people are going to fill so he can time their attacks. And if you somehow manage to crack their effort, they look at you like enemies. grrrr..

Ok, then came my turn in the queue. The guy in front of me filled in for Rs.100. I wanted them to try this against me and so asked him to fill in for Rs. 200. Ok, all set. This guy shows me the meter reading zero and puts in the nozzle into my bike's petrol tank. I could see the other guy coming around me to distract. I was just looking at the meter, it wasn't moving at all. The other guy calls me, I showed no response while still looking at the meter. After a delay of around 10 seconds, there was still no petrol and no meter movement (as he was waiting for me to turn around, to press that magic button to get him Rs.100 in no time). At this point, I really got pissed off and I shouted at him that I know what he was trying to do. He pretended as if he is innocent. Then I told him that I even noticed that they cheated a guy infront of me and I'm going to complain about this. This is when I got the shock of my life. He simply laughs at me and tells me 'Talk in Kannada, no english, no hindi'. I'm sure he understood whatever I said, but found an easy and daring escape. The kind of dare he had in his tone was so shocking; both were just laughing at me --- I should admit I felt like an idiot. After staying in bangalore for 4 years, I regreted that I never bothered to learn kannada (atleast bad words so I could have bashed them). The kind of confidence he had in this act, shows that he is not doing that alone or just with two. Almost every other filler in the bunk does this, and every bunk does this. If someone complains to their manager, they will play an immediate drama and bash that employee or even fire him infront of us -- but nothing really happens. I believe someone sitting in a AC room also has a stake in this.

It is really disgusting that we really have to fight for basic loyalty and that we are unable to do anything against such a common fraud. It has become so common and widespread that if you are ever cheated, instead of blaming them you would be blamed for your negligence.

I'm sure just like me you might have heard and experienced a number of such incidents.


  1. Fucking bastards.. Seems like they do this all over this fucked up nation.. This happens to me most of the times in the petrol bunk(indian oil) in Adyar, chennai

  2. It happend to me with same BTM BP petrol bunk(near udipi gardens). One lady cheated me same way..she didnt filled for 200 ..she filled for rs 100 and showed meter reading 200...

  3. it happened to me once.. after that I am always careful and ask him to show me zero twice and I do all the things before and after the filling only..