Shoppers beware: Posted gas prices may be deceptive

Everybody is complaining about gas prices these days, so I’ll just skip over that part… it’s already been said. But what caught me off guard today was a deliberate deception between the price on the sign and the sign I paid at the pump. There was ten cents difference between the two prices.

Normally I just buy my gas at the same station on a regular basis, but today I was coming home from work and noticed that the price on the sign of this particular station was lower than I expected it to be, and since my gas gauge was pushing empty at the time I decided to do some comparison shopping. That didn’t take all that long in the town I live in, so I checked them all. Their price was five cents lower than at the station I usually buy my gas, and it was lower than every other station in town as well. So I returned and began filling my tank. I had pumped about eleven gallons when I noticed that the price on the tank wasn’t the same as the price on the sign. So I immediately stopped the pump and double checked to see if I had made a mistake. I concluded that the mistake wasn’t mine so I ended the transaction and pressed the yes button for my receipt. I got the message that there was a “receipt error” so I had to go inside to get a copy of my receipt.

I asked the clerk about the price difference and her explanation was that the price on the sign was the cash price. Since I paid with a credit card I had to pay the higher price that was on the pump. I believe this is a clear case of false advertising as nothing on the large sign indicates that the price is the cash price. It was the large sign that brought me into the station in the first place.

Lowest price in town? Don't believe it!

Lowest price in town? Don't believe it!

These are the real prices!

These are the real prices!

 

Before anyone responds saying there is a sign on the tank that saying “posted prices reflect cash price,” let me ask you how many times you read all the signs on the gas pump before you start pumping the gas? That notice needs to be on the large sign, not shrunk down into the small print on the tank. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the prices.

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I missed it again, sniff…

The babies are gone. I havn’t seen the adult Bluebirds for two days now so I took the chance and peeked into the box. There was only one egg and no babies. There are two tiny round pink blobs in the nest, not much bigger than the head of a pin. I wonder if that could be part of the remains of the other egg that I thought didn’t hatch. This is strange to me.

I am so sad that I still didn’t get to see the fledglings outside the nest. I hope I didn’t cause them to leave the nest too early by peeking in on the 16th day. I think I may purchase a bluebird feeder and some mealworms to encourage them to stick around longer after the birds fledge.

This egg didn\'t hatch. Notice the tiny pink blob beside the egg. 

Here is a picture of the nest after I took it out of the box. You can see the tiny pink blobs I was writing about.

Last peek before fledgling stage

Eleven days and still growing

Eleven days and still growing

This picture was taken on July 1 when the babies were eleven days old. You can see the wing and tail feathers getting longer and very blue. They have wide beaks when they are young to make it easier for the parents to feed them.

(OOOPS! I should have re-read my bluebird book before taking this last peek. I wasn’t supposed to peek after the 13th day. I hope I haven’t messed up here. Fortunately the birds didn’t move around at all when I opened the box. Maybe I didn’t disturb them enough to cause any harm. I re-read the book after writing this post.)

Last peek before fledging

I peeked into the bluebird box one last time today to see if the babies were doing OK. They look healthy. Their eyes were open and they didn’t move. Their feathers are filling out nicely and I could see some bright blue feathers in their wingtips and tails. They are now 16 days old. It would be risky to peek in at them after today because doing so might cause them to fledge before they are ready to survive. I hope to see these babies grow up and fly around for a long time.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green