You Will Not Believe How A Gas Station Almost Stole 700 Indian Rupees Worth of Gas From This Guy
BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, February 26 2014
Even without the Upworthy-esque headline, one man's Facebook video explaining how routine petty larceny occurs at gas stations in India went viral and spawned spontaneous organization around the topic. It is an example of the culture of civic engagement in India that breeds successful projects like I Paid A Bribe.
According to The New Indian Express:
Kiruba Shankar, a popular blogger and director of 5Five Technologies had stopped at a petrol filling station next to Anna Arivalayam on Friday and asked them to fill fuel for `2,000. “They asked me to park the car (a Hyundai Accent) at a right angle to the pump and then began to fill the fuel. When the meter had reached `1,300, another guy who worked at the station stood right behind the car and attempted to distract me by asking for my car’s number. It was pretty stupid because he was standing right behind the number-plate, so I turned and saw the guy at the pump resetting the meter to 0, thus cheating me of `700,” he said.
[That number only translates to a little more than $11 USD but Shankar makes the point that $11 USD from every customer adds up quickly.]
Kiruba created a scene at the BPCL filling station and refused to ‘compromise’ and let the matter go. Turning to a space that he was most comfortable with, Kiruba shot several photos of the staff who tried to con him and the petrol pump and also shot a video, reliving how that BPCL outlet tried to cheat him and uploaded it to Facebook.
As a digital entrepreneur, spreading the story on social media was a natural choice for Shankar.
The video was an instantaneous hit, and has now been shared more than six thousand times. Commenters like Selvakkalanjiyam Kunjupillai shared similar experiences they had had:
a similar incident happened to me at salem,when i asked for filling for 10000 Rs.he set the meter for 10 Lt.which appeared as 10.00,after filling i was waiting for balance amount,thinking that he didn't hear properly,he asked me whether i need a bill,i told him i need balance,he was blinking,once i got down from the car,he immediately paid the balance [sic]
A Facebook page called Fuel Station Malpractices was also created, “to create public awareness and to make fuel companies accountable.”
Within three days of the initial upload Shankar had met with officials from the petroleum company, Bharath Petroleum, who investigated the station and fired two of the guilty parties.
Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network and the UN Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.