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Local gas station hit with false advertising fine


May 15, 2011
STURBRIDGE — With gas prices continuing to soar and motorists constantly searching for gas stations with low prices, the Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Standards is cracking down on stations that fail to properly advertise prices.

On Thursday, May 12, Division of Standards officials announced that two Massachusetts gas stations, one in Sturbridge, will pay a fine for improper advertising practices.

According to a Division of Standards inspector, Sam's Citgo, located at 400 Main St., in Sturbridge, displayed signage last month featuring prices that were lower than those at the pump. The Division of Standards inspector noted that the price at the pump was listed as $3.83 on April 20, but the road signage displayed a price of $3.75 to passing motorists. The other station that was fined by the Division of Standards, Medford Square Gas in Medford, was found to have also falsely advertised gas prices.

"With prices going through the roof, consumers are making an extra effort to seek out lower priced gas, and signs that advertise the wrong price for gas are misleading and improper," said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, which oversees the Division of Standards. "Now more than ever, gas station owners and managers need to be sure they are following the proper procedures when it comes to changing prices at the pump and on signs."

The owner of Sam's Citgo appealed the $100 fine that was assessed to the gas station, but the Division of Standards denied it. Meanwhile, Medford Square Gas owners were fined $900 because they had not properly updated the signs on top of six different pumps. In addition, octane levels on the pumps at that station were found to have been improperly priced.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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