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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4 Responses

  1. Same thing just happened to me. I ended up paying $.11 more per gallon. I told the owner that I will never come there again for anything.

  2. My husband who is editor of our local weekly newspaper ran this post as a “Leter to the editor” this week. I would have thought it might have made a difference with this station, but it didn’t. They raised their prices so at first I thought they had made the correction, but on closer examination, they are still charging ten cents more per gallon. I regret that he didn’t include the name of the station in the article.

  3. Now I have visited your blog (fellow CWFI member) and you have done a marvelous job of setting it up. But then you’ve been at it a while. I will visit often to read older posts and to become one of your blogging-buddies. Thanks for the encouragement regarding my blogspot.

    Blessings, Carole

  4. I want to update this post. Eventually this gas station added the word “Cash” to their large sign, and I believe my write-up in the local paper had a lot to do with it. I encourage others to use your local papers to expose stations who post cash prices without telling the customers the whole story on their large signs. It worked here.

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