Apr 14, 2008

On my soapbox

Drivers Flood Station for 35 Cent Gas
Apr 11, 10:29 PM (ET)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) - Traffic was backed up and police were called to control the crowd after a Wilmington gas station accidentally set the pump price at 35 cents a gallon.

The Wilmington Star-News reported Friday that hundreds of drivers flooded a BP station for the cheap gas after the price dropped around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Station employee Shane Weller said the price for premium gasoline was supposed to be $3.35 a gallon. He complained that customers paid the cheaper price all day without saying a word.

It was all the extra traffic that led station employees to the mistake around 6 p.m. They found it after calling their district manager, looking for permission to changing the price as a way of stemming the flow of customers.
Information from: The Star-News, http://starnewsonline.com/

My Two Cents
This is just not right. First of all, the gas companies are posting profits in the billions of dollars while we, the average consumer, have no choice but to pay the astronimical prices at the gas station.

But look at that last paragraph. When the customers flooded the gas station, what did the employee do? He called for permission to RAISE THE PRICES because he had too many customers!!!! Obviously, he knew this was an option or perhaps even a set standard -- too many customers? Call the manager and ask to raise the prices.

What does this tell you? That gas stations can raise prices not solely based on the price they are paying, but because the station gets too busy. How many times prior had the manager OK'd this practice?!!!

I've long said that the gas stations in our area are in cahoots. It is amazing to watch. A gas station on the west side may raise it's prices by .05 a gallon at 7am. Word seems to get out to the other gas stations, and one by one, they all raise their prices to match within an hour. Then one gas station will drop it's prices (I assume to get more customers), and within the hour, all the gas stations in the area drop their prices to match. You don't see gas delivery tankers filling up to warrant the gas price change, you just see price changes raising and lowering in a domino effect.

I voted for President Bush. I still think it was the right way to vote at the time. I'm not a huge Bush fan at the moment, and one of the reasons (of several) is that someone needs to get a handle on these gas prices. In the Cincinnati area, prices can fluxuate in a 24 hour period by as much as .30 a gallon -- sometimes up, sometimes down. It's just crazy. You have no idea when to buy gas because there's always a chance that tomorrow it will be .30 a gallon less and you try and wait it out -- and instead, it goes up. 20 a gallon! It's so frustrating!

But the little news article speaks volumes, doesn't it?

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