How it works:
- Situation: besides scamming tourists, even locals are not spared at some gas stations in Vietnam, where a multitude of tricks can be used to pump less and/or to charge more. In Vietnam, an accepted range of error fuel/gas dispensing is within 0.3%. However, government inspectors have found stations with an error range of 2% and up to 15%!
- Formal stations: one infamous method is to rig the meter with a chip/integrated circuits. This allows the attendant to manipulate how much fuel/gas is actually dispensed and to display an incorrect amount on the meter. Another trick is to use residual fuel/gas from the previous customer for the next customer.
- Informal stations: avoid going to informal stations as they may be using illegal fuel which can be very dangerous.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Check with your accommodation staff on which is a reliable gas station to head to.
- Before proceeding, demand and check that the meter is reset to zero.
- Be clear how much fuel you need. Ask for $x amount of fuel (e.g. 50,000 dong for motorbike) instead of being vague (e.g. asking to fill up the tank). Watch that it is filled correctly.