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Union County Officials To Crack Down On Price-Gouging Gas Stations This Memorial Day Weekend

UNION COUNTY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Before you set off on your holiday weekend road trip, you might want to pay close attention to how much you’re paying for gas.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, officials in Union County, N.J. are on the lookout for price gouging as Memorial Day weekend gets underway Friday.

“You just want to get the gas and go to the Shore and wherever you’re going to hang out to party. Who’s really paying attention? You’re usually pulling up, most of the time cause you on ‘E.’ So, nobody’s really paying attention,” said Linden resident Anthony Ragland.

“What we are doing is making sure as people drive through our county that they can be assured that vendors that are selling gas are charging them correctly and not gouging them and taking advantage of the holiday season,” said Christopher Hudak, with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The Division of Weights and Measures will be randomly checking stations throughout the county to make sure gas stations are running a clean business.

Last year, they inspected about 150 gas stations. Of the 3,010 gas pumps that were tested, most were correct, Sanchez reported.

One hundred and fifty were incorrect, dispensing less gas than their gauges were saying, or pumps were calculating the price incorrectly.

County officials said they believe some faulty pumps were the intentional acts of unscrupulous owners.

“What we’re doing is making sure those pumps are shut down and repaired and not put in service. And if those individuals try to put them back in service without proper inspection they get fined,” Hudak said.

Officials are also warning consumers to make sure the price sign matches the pump and to watch that your attendant is dispensing the grade of gasoline you asked for.

One woman told Sanchez she’d been tricked into buying more expensive fuel.

“A couple times I did go get gas, I’m telling the guy regular, but he’s putting premium in and he’s arguing with me. So now I do pay attention,” she said.

“You have to sit there in the car anyway. It’s not taking anymore of your time to check, so why not turn around and make sure people are giving you the cash price for the cash price and the credit price for the credit price,” said Linden resident Debbie Alexander.

Officials also suggest that when you gas up, regardless if you pay cash or credit, the best way to protect yourself is to get a receipt.

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