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California's Business and Professions Code Chapter 14-5 § 13651 needs updating/re-wording

jlindema

Member
Feb 27, 2017
12
9
California
FYI: I was refused free air for my tires because I didn't buy "Motor Vehicle Fuel" for my EV. ;)

CA Business and Professions Code Chapter 14-5 § 13651 needs updating/re-wording
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Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,665
1,804
Irvine, CA
I get your (EV) point, but disagree. Gas service stations are primarily owned by local (small) business folks, and they don't exist to give away free stuff. The intent of this law is that air/water is only free for paying customers. If you go into the mini mart and purchase a six-pack, or a hot dog, they'd likely turn on the air for you. Why do you think that you have a right for free stuff when you are not a customer? (Those air pumps break a lot and require frequent maintenance...)

btw: the gas station near my daughter's house in Sunnyvale charges a quarter for air (for those not purchasing gas). Fair price, IMO.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
7,242
14,148
California
Why does this service station owe you anything? Buy something if you’re too cheap to drop the two quarters on air.
 

jlindema

Member
Feb 27, 2017
12
9
California
>The intent of this law is that air/water is only free for paying customers.
Of course. I've understood this concept for decades- long before owning an EV.

>If you go into the mini mart and purchase a six-pack, or a hot dog, they'd likely turn on the air for you.
I would have done that, if the attendants didn't have such a ridged interpretation of the code.
They insisted I purchase fuel.

>Why do you think that you have a right for free stuff when you are not a customer?
Never said I did. I said the code needs updating/re-wording.
Simply removing the words: "motor vehicle fuel", leaving the word "PURCHASE" ...would have
altered my experience and expanded minds, likely leading to making a purchase of greater than 25 cents.

>...charges a quarter for air (for those not purchasing gas). Fair price, IMO.
Agreed. However, I don't carry coins on me or in my car. Nobody I know does.
So paying 25 cents for 5 minutes wasn't an option at the time I needed it most.
If there were an option to pay via card or even better NFC (e.g. smartphone)- I would have
gladly paid, plus the card-transaction surcharge. Additionally, I would have enjoyed
not having to interact with the staff.
 

Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,665
1,804
Irvine, CA
^^I don't carry coins either, but I do have a few bills in my wallet. And I could always go into the store and ask for change to be able to use the air machine.

If there were an option to pay via card or even better NFC (e.g. smartphone)- I would have
gladly paid, plus the card-transaction surcharge.

In other words, you expect the small business owner to spend even additional adn expensive capital so you -- a non-customer -- can get cheap air when and where you want it. The small business owner owes you nothing. Yes, the clerk/owner may have been rigid, but its their business to run as they see fit. Obviously, they aren't interested in serving non-fuel purchases, so go somewhere else that would make change for your six pack and turn on the air pump.

Why not purchase an air pump for home? Or, if you live in an apartment/condo, why not ask your landlord to install air pumps or at least a 120 volt outlet so you can use your own air pump?
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,031
2,337
Rancho Cucamonga
Why not purchase an air pump for home? Or, if you live in an apartment/condo, why not ask your landlord to install air pumps or at least a 120 volt outlet so you can use your own air pump?

The gas station nearest to my house has free air/water station for everyone. After using it a few times with my Tesla, I felt really bad so I ended up buying this from Amazon:

Used it about once every 2 to 3 months for my two Tesla for the last 3 to 4 years. I have it in my frunk of one of the Tesla.
 

mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
2,927
6,071
CA
FYI: I was refused free air for my tires because I didn't buy "Motor Vehicle Fuel" for my EV. ;)

CA Business and Professions Code Chapter 14-5 § 13651 needs updating/re-wording
The law is fine and it's perfectly reasonable to restrict the obligation to provide free air/water only to customers who are buying fuel. But any store that is requiring actual fuel purchase, instead of just any purchase at all is just being run or staffed by dicks even if they are perfectly within their rights to do so. IMO, this behavior falls under the "You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an a**hole." But the way around this issue is go up to anyone who IS buying fuel and convince them to go ask for the air/water to be turned on. The law doesn't require that the purchased fuel be loaded into the vehicle which uses the air/water station, only that the customer uses it for "automotive purposes". Filling the tires on someone else's car still qualifies.

That said, there are plenty of perfectly good portable tire pumps on the market today. They can be found in models that run off of the car's 12 volt system (via cigarette lighter) and/or on 120V wall outlets. Good models of either type can be purchased relatively cheaply and will work fine. Just buy your own and your experience with pedantic jerks at gas stations won't ever be repeated.

 
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