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Are Petronas Petrol Stations Cheating Customers?!

A viral message on social media claims that Petronas petrol stations are cheating customers… AGAIN.

Find out what this Petronas fuel fraud accusation is all about, and what the FACTS really are!


Claim : Petronas Petrol Stations Are Cheating Customers!

An audio message and video clip are being circulated, as proof that Petronas petrol stations cheat at the pump.

Here is our edited transcript of the audio message.

Everywhere, in Petronas [petrol stations], they are stealing our money.

You put money for 30 ringgit, only 15 ringgit petrol got. 15 ringgit they sapu (steal).

They really cheat their customers. Be careful, guys.

Last time, Petronas already got [a similar case] I think 1, 2 years ago. They stick back to that.

The lady who poured the petrol, look at how much petrol is coming [out]. The meter is running.

If you pump RM 30, you may get RM 15, or even just RM 10 of petrol.

So if you are refilling at Petronas petrol stations, be careful. They are cheating us in Malaysia.


Are Petronas Petrol Stations Cheating Customers? Nope!

From what we can determine – Petronas petrol stations are not cheating their customers, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : The Video Was From October 2017

The video that was posted isn’t new. It went viral in October 2017, showing a Petronas pump attendant dispensing petrol into a metal bucket after a customer accused them of cheating at the pump.

It went viral again in July 2020, and once again in October 2022.

Fact #2 : It Was A Dispensing Speed Problem

Petronas investigated the issue, and confirmed that the problem was the pump was dispensing fuel very slowly, but the amount of fuel dispense was correct.

In their Facebook clarification, they explained the problem and labelled the claims as false :

With reference to the social media and WhatsApp postings circulating pertaining to an incident at PETRONAS Station Simpang Pulai Arah Selatan, PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) has carried out an investigation and wishes to clarify that the issue was with the rate of dispensing and not dispute of fuel-up quantity as claimed.

PDB has taken immediate action and is pleased to inform that the said pump has now been rectified.

PDB would like to emphasise that all of its fuel pumps are regularly calibrated and that this is an isolated case of technical glitch, which does not affect top-up quantity at all.

We hope the above clarifies the matter and we seek your kind co-operation to refrain from further sharing the false claim.

Fact #3 : The Dispute Was Small

The man on the voice message alleged that Petronas petrol stations will cheat you of half or two-thirds of what you paid – If you pump RM 30, you may get RM 15, or even just RM 10 of petrol.

But the October 2017 case involved a much smaller sum. The lady alleged that she only received RM 18 worth of petrol, after paying RM 20.

Fact #4 : It’s Impossible To Cheat So Much

We motorists will roughly know how much it takes to fill up a full tank, or a half tank.

If you usually pay RM 50 to fill half a tank, and RM 100 to fill a full tank, you would immediately realise that something is wrong if you end up paying RM 150 or RM 200 to fill a full tank.

So it would be quite impossible for Petronas petrol stations (or any petrol stations of other brands) to cheat so flagrantly.

Fact #5 : The Pumps Are Regularly Calibrated

It is possible (technically) to cheat at the margins – by calibrating the pumps to dispense 2-3% less petrol.

That would be unnoticeable to the motorist, but would earn the petrol station a nice sum of money due to the amount of petrol being dispensed daily.

To curb that, petrol pump operators are required by law to calibrate their pumps on an annual basis. On top of that, the Malaysian government conducts enforcement checks to prevent fuel fraud.


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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