For Immediate Release - May 24, 2013

As Memorial Day Weekend Approaches Division of Standards Inspectors Check Gas Prices

Division Performed Over 100 Three-Point Price Checks, Issued Two Fines

BOSTON – As one of the busiest travel weekends of the year approaches, Massachusetts drivers can get behind the wheel this Memorial Day weekend confident that gas stations across the state are following the law after state inspectors spent the week performing three-point price checks.

“News reports show that nationally, gas prices are skyrocketing,” said Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Barbara Anthony. “At a time when every penny counts, Massachusetts consumers can fill up the tank this weekend knowing that they are not paying one cent more than they have to."

The Division’s field inspectors fanned across the state earlier this week and checked a sample of over 100 stations for advertising and signage accuracy. During these three-point price checks, inspectors verified that street signs, posted pump signs, and computer signs all display and register the same price for gas. When a station raises the price of its gas, it must also adjust the street sign to the higher price before changing the pump price. Any discounts for paying with cash or other incentives must be clearly labeled on the street signs.

“The Division regularly checks gas station signage for price issues and we have been lucky in Massachusetts that most businesses follow the law,” said Charles Carroll, Director of the Division of Standards. “However, any consumer that is concerned about an advertising problem with a gas station is encouraged to call our office right away and we will go out and investigate the issue.”

Two stations were fined for having no pump signs posted at all. Gaytari Petroleum Corporation located at 18 Springfield St. in Agawam was fined $600 for missing 12 required pump signs. GVF/Hi-Lo Gas located at 795 Main St. in Southbridge was fined $400 for missing eight required pump signs.

Consumers can contact the Office of Consumer Affairs at 888-283-3757 to report issues with gas advertising.

Undersecretary Anthony also offered the following tips to help conserve gas, emphasizing the importance of comparison shopping for gas and driving efficiently:

  • Shop around. Make sure to fill up at the cheapest nearby gas station – a two block drive could save you 20 cents a gallon.
  • Control your speed. Drive at or below the speed limit and avoid sudden changes in speed.
  • Use loyalty cards. Take advantage of loyalty cards that offer rebates or lower prices for filling up at certain stations.
  • Consolidate trips. Plan to fill up while you are already out – don’t make a separate trip.
  • Maintain your car. Properly inflating tires and keeping your engine in top shape can drastically increase fuel efficiency.

The Division of Standard enforces laws, rules, and regulations relating to weights and measures and the use of weighing and measuring devices in commercial transactions. It consistently checks item pricing and pricing methods at retailers throughout Massachusetts. The Division is part of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office at its blog, on Facebook and on Twitter @Mass_Consumer.