Otsego County Weights & Measures
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do you check gas stations?

A:Gas stations are inspected every year. Gas stations that do not pass an intial inspection are placed on an increased frequency of inspection. Increased frequency of inspection can be every six months depending on the number of meters that failed the first visit.

Q: Do you phone businesses before you inspect them to let them know you are coming?

A: No, all visits are unannounced to verify the business practices being inspected are representative of standard operating procedure.

Q: Do you check the quality of the fuel, too?

A: Yes, we check the quality of fuel at every station in the county. Each tank is tested for the presence of water. Samples of fuel are sent to Petroleum Lab for octane and quality analysis. Petroleum and automotive products must meet SAW and ASTM Standards.

Q: What happens if a gasoline or diesel meter is found to be in error?

A: If any meter or other commerical device is found out of tolerance, or is overcharging the customer, it is placed out of order (red tagged) until repaired by a certified device repairman. After the device has been repaired, we recheck it to verify that it is in compliance.

Q: Have you ever found anyone deliberately cheating?

A: Intent is hard to prove. We prosecute violations civilly or criminally. Several of our statutes are strict liability, meaning that intent does not have to be proven.

Q: If there is no seal on the device, how do I know if it is accurate?

A: All commercial devices should have a county seal showing the date it was tested by our department. It it does not have a seal, call our department at (607) 287-5891.

Q: Can any scale be used or does it have to be a special scale?

A: Only scales that have been approved for commercial use (type approved) and sealed by the department may be used for commercial transaction. A licensed service agent may place a device into service before our inspectors conduct their tests.

Q: What is "tare"?

A: Tare, or tare weight, is the weight of a bag, soaker, ice, packaging, wrapping, box, bin, pallet, truck, or any material not considered product or part of the net weight. Tare weights plus net weight equals gross weight. Selling by gross weight or measureis a violation of NYS Ag. & Mkts. Law Article 16. Section 190.2.3.

Q: Do you investigate complaints

A: Investigation of consumer complaints is a high priority in our department. All complaints are investigated within three working days. When a complaint is outside our jurisdiction, we direct the consumer to the approriate agency.