Short weighment of goods we purchase and short measurement of liquids like milk, cooking oil or petrol are common in our experience. Many unscrupulous traders resort to these malpractices to cheat the customers. Some common malpractices are as follows:
The duly verified and stamped weights and measures are rendered short by cutting or grinding.
- Uncertified measures and weights are used.
The balances are manipulated to render them false and inaccurate in the following ways.
- Sleight of hand while weighing
- Magnets attached to the goods pan of balance
- In beam scales, the length of the weights arm is reduced
- The equilibrium position of balance is altered by removal of washers etc. from under the weights pan.
- Spring balances are kept at an angle so that the customer will be cheated by parallax error.
- By manipulating balance ball in platform weighing machines and weigh bridges
- By manipulating lead charter in dial type machines.
- Measuring instruments are manipulated as follows:
- Tampering the seals and meters
- Making holes below the handle causing leakage of milk or cooking oil into the vendor's container
- Tampering the brim to make a measure short.
How should we prevent short weighment and short measurement
Ensure that weights and measures bear valid seals.
Balance should be suspended from a hook or stand and must not be held by hand.
Buy in round metric units for easy calculation and approximation - 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 gms etc. Please remember that there is no 1/4 kg wt.
Use only metric units.
Buy milk by measure (litre) only.
Understand the functioning of various types of weighing machines.
Pay for the weight of the commodity, and not for the weight of container.
Ensure that packed commodities bear proper markings with net weight.
While buying cooking oil loose, buy by weight.
Ensure that the meter reading is 'O' before buying petrol or diesel.
Keep a calibrated transparent plastic container handy in your vehicle. Use it to fill exactly 5 litres and verify the meter. If the meter shows more than 5 litres, please complain immediately.
Complain to weights and measures officials if there is any shortage in weighment and measurement.
Organize local watch groups and explain to them simple precautions to prevent cheating.