Meijer Swamp Water
Posted: 2008-02-18. Categories: Meijer, Ohio, West Carrollton

West Carrollton, Ohio Meijer Store serving customers swamp water.

On February 1st around 7:00 p.m. I pulled into my local Meijer store in West Carrollton, Ohio. This is the same Meijer’s that I purchase gas at twice a week and go grocery shopping every weekend, spending a minimum of $150.00.

I filled up my empty tank and was on my way to meet friends for dinner. About a mile down the road, my car began to sputter and eventually died. I managed to pull into a parking lot and got a friend to pick me up. I assumed it was the fuel pump by the way it died and wouldn’t start back up, so I figured I would deal with it in the morning.

I had it towed the next morning to my local mechanic who unfortunately couldn’t look at it until Monday the 4th. I received a call from him on that Monday morning and he asked me to explain what happened. I told him that I had just filled up at Meijer and he said, “okay, stop right there”.

He proceeded to tell me that my gas tank was full of what looked like river water. Shocked, I asked him how that could happen. He said it does happen from time to time and that wherever I got gas from should take care of the costs. So I called Meijer immediately and got the run around for half the day.

Finally someone called me back and took my information and asked what happened. She then said someone from “risk management” would call me back. They never did and I called several times and was put on hold and transferred around and finally spoke to someone who could help me. She again took all my info and said that I needed to fax all my receipts and a check would be issued within 24 hours.

My car ended up costing me $422.00 that I had not planned for so I was looking forward to getting that check. A couple days later I received a envelope from Meijer in the mail but it wasn’t my check. It was a release form so I could receive my check. Not thinking anything of it, I signed it and sent it back on the 11th.

On the 13th my car began to have the same problem. It just seemed like the gas wasn’t getting to the engine and it would start to decrease in speed. I almost broke down 4 times in one day. I called my mechanic immediately and he said to bring it in and he would be able to tell if the problem I was having was a result of the bad gas/water that I unknowingly put in my tank. I thought about the release I had just sent and became concerned.

Someone mentioned to me that if I didn’t cash the check then it wouldn’t be binding. I called Meijer risk management and couldn’t have been treated more rudely.

The women said in such a condescending tone “well you signed the release so we are not liable”. She said it didn’t matter if I didn’t cash the check or not and if I wanted to get an attorney that would be my choice but they would just send the letter that I signed to my attorney and that would be all she would do.

Does anyone know what my rights are with this? Do I have a time frame that I can withdraw the release form or is it just my fault for not waiting?

K. Fitzgerald, Ohio

2 Comments to "Meijer Swamp Water"

  1. Retail Bandit says:

    Dear Mr./Ms. Fitzgerald,

    Do call an attorney in your area before you proceed. The laws are different in each state and just because Meijer says you have no recourse, doesn’t necessarily make it true.

    Also, the problem with your vehicle could well be just a clogged fuel filter if the mechanic neglected to replace it when he made the other repairs. It’s fairly cheap to replace. So, don’t start to panic, yet.

    I do have one final thought. If you had that much water in your gas tank, it’s obvious to me (I used to be a station manager) that the tanks at that particular station may have ground water leaking into them. Which could indicate the tanks are damaged.

    Please consider contacting the Ohio Attorney General’s office and perhaps even the Department of Weights and Measures office. Those tanks should be inspected.

    Best wishes to you in resolving this matter.

  2. Shawn K. Hall says:

    In my experience, not cashing the check is acceptable for making subsequent claims, however, you should ALWAYS consult with an attorney before you sign any form of waiver.

    Did you at least get a copy of the waiver? Please post the text of the waiver so we can look at it – it’s possible that the release from liability does not excuse them from further expenses caused by the same event. Again, it depends on the text of the waiver of liability, without which we can’t do much.

    Also, if you do post the text of it, others will be able to find this page and learn from your experience – and that could prevent them from repeating your mistakes.

    Sorry I don’t have any better news for you.