Unbelievable day at the pumps - Are these gas companies doing illegal stuff?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Eddie B, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    I'm out and about today, its about 11am... many gas stations start at 2.98-2.99 a gallon. Wawa gas was $2.83, Shell has their Thursay 5¢ off special at $2.79 a gallon. I'm thinking to myself, everyone is gonna go crazy for gas and run to that poor little Shell station. By 3:30pm, Wawa raised the gas to $2.98, all others I saw were the same as they had been. Shell was still $2.79, and had 3 lines, 2 lines blocking lanes of the highway. I usually fill up nights, to beat rush hours and such. I figured I'd stop at Wawa and save the hassle of waiting at Shell. WELL, Wawa raised the price once again, to $3.09. Other stations went up over $3. I drove to the Shell and waited in line. Still $2.79 a gallon. I get up to the pump, and theres signs taped over the regular buttons saying "no regular please". Now naturally, everyone fills with mid grade instead, because its still only $2.91, and they figure shell must have run out of regular. I look at the mowers, truck, and the 5 gallon tanks and think "I better give regular a shot". Guess what. I filled up with regular for $2.79 a gallon today.

    Shell doesn't have the special running on mid-grade, only regular. All I can figure is they had to keep the special, but they placed these signs over the regular buttons to upsell to the mid-grade. I spread the word to others, one guy got mad and ripped all the signs off of the buttons. I was waiting for them to beat down the clerk!

    Are there laws against this stuff? Multiple price changes throughout the day? Not honoring advertised specials?
     
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    I think it is called gouging or something like that, im not exactly sure but gouging is illegal. Just my 2 cents!!!!
     
  3. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    hell i wouldve taken the golf club out of the truck box and beat down the clerk and told him my fill up was on the house today if he wanted to keep his @$$ out of a fed hole or worse yet the mob in the middle of the hwy!

    maybe not but i'd be very tempted to. :realmad:
     
  4. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I pulled into a station tonight with my guys at 8:30.. 3 mowing rigs (6 mowers, probably 20 gallons into cans, and 3 F-350s all around 1/4-1/3 full).. Was told my the clerk, I was limited to 15 gallons total..

    Was tempted to jump over the counter, but said "ok" and went out and filled everything we went there to fill.. $555.75 later finally pulled out of there..

    A station attendant has no right to tell me how much fuel I can buy.. The only reason they would limit quantity, is so they can keep the last delivery longer, and not have to refill the tanks.. Thus saving money because they have to pay more too.. So they can keep their price with everyone else and have to spend less because they are not having their tanks refilled.. Thats not fair
     
  5. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    My friend owns a gas station ... so I called him with your question. He informs me that there is really only two tanks in the ground, regular and super (no mid-grade). The mid-grade is a mixture of both the regular and super at the pump. He said he covered his regular up and only sold mid and super today ... the reason is that he was almost out of regular and could make it go twice as far if he sold it as mid-grade. That way twice as many people could get gas at a lower price and people would not be forced to pay the much higher (20 cents a gallon) for the super gas that they did not need.

    Hope that helped!?
     
  6. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    makes sense... I heard a little about self-mixing tanks before but wasn't familiar on how they worked. Still, they shouldn't have us paying 12 cents more when not necessary.
     
  7. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    I noticed that Diesel was up to $3.15 at one station here. As far as the price gouging is concerned, It is only considered to be gouging if they raise the price beyond what is fair and reasonable. The stations here always raise their prices the same day as when oil prices rise but it takes them 3 to 5 days minimum to drop their price when the price of oil decreases. That way they make extra money on what is in their tanks when it is on the rise, but when the price drops they hammer us for another week on average.
     
  8. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620


    Now that's intelligent. Beat the **** out of the poor guy making $6/hr. Those clerks have no control or say about the station operations or pricing. At least call out the manager, even tho they usually don't have much say in pricing decisions either.
     
  9. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    Gas stations are only allowed to set their prices when they receive a shipment. Once the gas is in the tanks they can only lower it. Its illegal to raise the price on the same shipment. So if you had the time you could sit and watch the station, and if they raise prices without a new shipment you could bust them... It happens all the time and they never get reprimanded for it. :dizzy:
     
  10. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    Could you point me to where that law is written? How about lawnboys not being allowed to raise their prices until a full cost analysis is done and submitted to a controlling federal agency? Sorry, most gas stations are privately owned, whether it be an individual or a company. They can charge what ever they want.
     

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