Faulty gas pump in Bond Hill has customers angry

BOND HILL, OH (FOX19) - A woman who paid top dollar to put premium gas in her SUV called FOX19 to look into a so-called faulty pump at a Shell station at the corner of Tennessee and Paddock Roads in Bond Hill.

You're already paying a lot for the gas you put in your tank, but what about the gas that spills out, when the pump mechanism fails to recognize your car is full and keeps on pumping?

Ella Thomas has repeatedly complained to the gas station's managers about a faulty pump and why they failed to fix it right away.

One manager said, "Hey it's fixed, it's been taken care of."

"It doesn't cut off," said Thomas about Pump #6 at the Shell station. "So, you're filling the car with the gas and it just keeps going."

So Thomas complained to the manager on two separate incidents, but he placed the blame on a sensor in her gas tank.

"He was telling me, it was my car, it's my car," she said. "That there's nothing wrong with the pumps."

Until after some prodding, Thomas said the agreed to try and fill-up his own car.

"Gas poured out, on the ground," Thomas said. "He said, I'm going to shut this pump down right now and I'm going to call and report it."

Thomas said she drove by repeatedly, but saw no sign and said the manager never threw down any absorbent material to contain the spill.

So, what's the big deal over a little bit of spilled gas? With prices up, it all adds up real fast.

"If it's 50-cents and he has ten people coming-in, and they're spilling 50-cents worth of gas on the ground, that's 150 dollars a month, and that'd be 25-hundred dollars a year," Thomas said. "That's ripping-off the community."

She paid for the gas that spilled out of her tank on both incidents.

"He said there's nothing he could do about it," she said referring to the manager's comments about the gas spilling out.

Except maybe fix the pump?

"He's having a nice chunk in his pocket," she said wryly.

Thomas said she's happy to support a business in her neighborhood, so it will stay in her neighborhood.

"People won't have to drive you know, 2 to 3 to 4 miles to get gas," she said.

"It's ridiculous," she fumed. "It's unfair."

Ella confronted the managers again on Wednesday.

"Have you fixed the pump? Have you called and reported it?" she said to Sam Singh, one of the stations two managers on-duty Wednesday afternoon. "He said he was going to shut it down, put a sign out that says do not use because gas spills out," she continued.

Singh answered back, "He just fixed it."

A second time Singh confirmed the pump had already been fixed.

Singh even offered a look at their security cameras as proof that the pump had been fixed.

"You want to check the cameras back there?" he asked. "I can do that too."

Singh was asked if he thought it was fair for people to pay for gas that's on the ground and not in their car.

"The whole thing is, if you go to the law, they have to pay attention if the pump is shut down or not, they can't put the pump in there, sit in their car and wait, it's a machine, it can fail down, it's something that can happen, it's a computer thing," Singh said. "It's their responsibility to stand up there and see how it's pumping."

So, we wanted to test the pump and see if it was working correctly. We went outside, when another manager appeared and had the brand new nozzle in his hand.

That manager declined comment on camera, but pointed to a sign close to wear the nozzle hangs that reads, "You must remain in attendance outside your vehicle while fueling."

And as he changed the nozzle, gasoline spilled out all over the place. It too was never cleaned-up.

He pointed out sometimes these things go bad and there is an expiration date to change the nozzle out, by December of this year, right there on the side.

Will Thomas still patronize this particular neighborhood gas station?

"Probably not," she said.

We are still checking into it, but ultimately it is your responsibility to pay for whatever gas you pump, even if it's not getting into your gas tank.

Inspectors are going to stop by that Shell station Thursday, to check and make sure the pump is working correctly and not posing a pollution hazard.

Hamilton County Health and Environmental Services said spilling gas on the ground poses a two-fold danger, especially when our air quality has been in-question with the hot and humid weather.

Gas that is not cleaned up, could explode if someone carelessly tosses-away a cigarette. It also impairs the air that we breathe.

"That is emitting about six pounds of volatile organic compounds or VOC's into the air," said spokesperson Sarah Dowers. "So every gallon of gas that's spilled and not cleaned-up and it evaporates is putting six pounds of VOC's into the air and the VOC's are one of the pollutants that when mixed in the presence of sunlight, does create ozone and contributes to our smog problem."

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