The mishap prompted some to ask: If a petrol station puts the wrong price up, do they have to honour that price? We found out.

A photo of a Sydney petrol station advertising an impressively low price for unleaded petrol has been shared to Reddit, prompting many to question whether the typo could actually result in cheaper fuel at the register.

The photo of a 7-Eleven service station on Pennant Hills Road in Carlingford, New South Wales, was posted to the Sydney Reddit thread on December 2, 2023, with the caption “come and get it!”.

“Spotted on Pennant Hills Road in Carlingford. Surely a faulty sign/mistake but I wonder if customers are entitled to the price…?” Reddit user Rebelicca wrote in the image caption.

Commenters weighed in, identifying the pricing as a clear typo, but querying the implications for consumers.

“Guess they put a 0 instead of a 1. Take a photo of this and the price on the pumps and fill up fast,” one Reddit user commented.

“Okay so if you fill up at that price, and they say ‘oh actually it’s a mistake’ at the register, what happens?” another asked.

A spokesperson for 7-Eleven confirmed to Drive the low pricing was a technical error and not a surprise sale at the bowser.

“We have investigated the matter and understand the error arose due to a technical issue at the store. The issue was resolved within minutes,” the spokesperson explained.

According to NSW Fair Trading, consumer law states that the petrol station can either sell the fuel at that lower price, or refuse to sell the fuel at all – which could be impractical given the nature of petrol.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), if there is a mistake on the signage and the price at the register is higher when a consumer goes to pay, the petrol station can refuse to sell the petrol or sell the petrol at the lower advertised price,” a NSW Fair Trading spokesperson told Drive.

“In the case where a consumer has already filled up their tank and goes to pay for the petrol, NSW Fair Trading would expect the petrol station to charge the lower price due to the impracticalities and safety risks of retrieving the petrol,” the spokesperson added.

“Once aware of the mistake, the petrol station should act quickly to address the incorrect pricing before more consumers can fill up and act to prevent the petrol pumps from delivering the petrol while the error is rectified.”

Of course, with fuel prices changing regularly, it’s not uncommon for service stations to occasionally make an error.

In July 2022, a 7-Eleven outlet in Melbourne was forced to apologise after it briefly displayed an unleaded petrol price of just $1.349 per litre, prompting motorists to form a queue outside the service station.

“Manipulation of the 7-Eleven Fuel Price Lock app in breach of the terms and conditions has resulted in people locking in the incorrect price in an endeavour to redeem it in their home states,” a spokesperson for the brand told 9news.com.au at the time.

“Following a thorough investigation overnight, and in line with the terms and conditions of the app, 7-Eleven has decided not to honour any fuel price locks related to the Wantirna store on Wednesday 13th July between approximately 4–6.30pm.

“We apologise to those customers who have legitimately locked in the price, which was incorrect and mistakenly posted.”

Extracted in full from: https://www.drive.com.au/caradvice/sydney-petrol-pricing-typo/

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