After reading the news today about the huge jump in global oil prices, I thought I’d call a couple of local petrol stations to inquire what the current price of fuel is to decide which station I’d drop past on the way home from work. Why would I go to the effort you ask, other than the fact that I am a tightwad when it comes to forking over cash to these monopolizing, unethical bastards? It’s because I have seen, last week being the most recent example, when fuel was 10 cents cheaper depending which station I dropped past on the way home.
I have called stations before, and the operators have always been willng to assist. After calling today, I was shocked to hear from Coles “sorry mate, I can’t tell you over the phone”. “Why not” I asked. “It’s company policy mate”. “But I’ve never had any issues doing this in the past, when did this policy come in”. “Sorry, I can’t tell you that – bye”.
I was shocked, so I called another Coles Express nearby – same answer. So not only are these petrol companies ripping us off by increasing fuel prices within hours of a raise in oil prices, and then taking weeks to hand down lower fuel prices when oil prices drop – they are removing the ability for us to call up and get a price which is plastered on a board outside their station. It this anti-consumer or competition or what?!
I know I’m always carrying on about petrol prices and ethics, but can you imagine calling Woolworths and asking for the price of a 1kg tin of Milo (so you can figure out if you have enough poo change lying around to walk down and by one) and being told “sorry, not company policy”? This prompts me to bring up the suggestion again for RA, and a regular link where we can make note of petrol prices during each day (for those who can be bothered), and updating the prices on RA, so we as consumers, can regain a little control and have a educated choice of where we get our fuel, and pay what price. If the “Pertrol Commissioner” can do his waste of taxpayers money job – perhaps we need to do something about it.
[ED - nice suggestion and we'll put it on our list, but as a small shop we're not exactly short of places we can be directing out efforts.]