Charlotte Hamlyn, 19 October 2015

Dozens of motorists in Perth’s south scored bargain fuel on the weekend after a petrol station mistakenly charged them 14.9 cents a litre.

The unmanned Puma petrol stop on Armadale Road in Jandakot had registered its Saturday fuel price with watchdog FuelWatch at $1.419 a litre, but it is believed an error was made when setting the price at the bowser.

Cars lined up at the petrol station to take advantage of the cheap fuel.

The technical problem which caused the error happened at 6:30am and was detected at 2:30pm, Puma Energy’s state manager Rosemarie Vitalone said.

“The price then returned to the correct rate of 141.9 cents per litre,” she said.

“Puma Energy prides itself in upholding best practice and complying with FuelWatch guidelines.

“While it is our intention to increase fuel competition in Australia and put downward pressure on fuel prices, reverting to prices not seen since the 1960s certainly wasn’t what we had in mind!” she said.

Puma Energy apologised to customers for any delays or confusion at the petrol station on the day and said customers who purchased fuel at the wrong rate received an “accidental once-in-a-55-year bargain”.

FuelWatch coordinator Kyle Huynh said an investigation would be conducted to determine whether the company breached legislation by selling fuel at less than the reported price.

“There is a range of actions that can be taken,” Mr Huynh said.

“We look at the bigger picture, whether the trader itself has breached legislation previously, how many times etcetera.

“It depends on the severity and we’ll have to have a look at the situation.”

He said there was little the petrol company could do to recoup costs.

“It would be unlikely the trader would be able to pursue the consumers for the difference in price,” he said.

“Reason being, the price advertised at the bowser was 14.9 and that’s what was paid by the consumer.

“The transaction was completed and the fuel itself has been consumed, you could assume.”

He said while missing a digit when entering a bowser fuel price seemed like an easy mistake to make, he had not come across an error of this kind before.

“Consumers had a win… for a short period,” he said.

Extracted in full from ABC News.