Tuesday, June 7, 2011

They Have Their Cake and Cheat It Too......

My wife and I recently took a three week vacation out wets and we visited a number of national parks and landmarks throughout 20 states. I mention that only to show you that I have a pretty good idea of gasoline prices in a lot of different areas of this country. Prices for the most part averaged about $3.74 per gallon, with the lowest being $3.48 and the highest at $4.04. 

Near the end of our trip we visited friends and family in the northern Kentucky area. We arrived on a Monday and the local gas prices were mostly $3.65 per gallon. Now, I have lived most of my life in the Florence, Ky area which, for many years, has had a "weekend price hike". Somewhere near the end of the week gas stations across the board raise their prices. Not by a penny or two but by 10-15 cents per gallon or more. Then, toward the beginning of the new week they drop back down but not as fast as they rose.

On Wednesday morning during my visit the prices were still around $3.65 but by late morning all the local prices were now $3.95! ALL of them! A 30-cent jump out of nowhere. To make it even more suspicious,  it seems that when these large increases occur, every station somehow manages to have the exact same price. During normal times most stations have a couple of cents differences and you can pick and choose which station you want to use. But not on these weekend price hikes. They all somehow happen to be the exact same price. This has been going on in this area for many, many years. Locals even know to get their gas early in the week. BUt since Florence is loacted on I-75 and is the main corridor for north-south traffic to many states, travelers must pay a premium.

We left there on Thursday morning with a half tank of gas and I was determined not to pay the gouging prices. I drove south and every station in the Florence/Boone County area was staying at $3.95. We continued into Kenton and Grant counties and the prices were still at that price, minus a cent or two. To show you how much of a rip-off it really is, once we traveled south to the Lexington area we saw prices dropping into the $3.80's and $3.70's. I pulled off at an exit just north of Berea, Kentucky and the price was $3.85. I was  still steamed at the gouging rip-off and told my wife I would go one more exit and then I'd have to pay whatever it cost since we were almost empty. I got off at the first Berea exit and saw a Shell station that had a price of $3.55 per gallon! Yes, 40-cents cheaper than the northern Kentucky area! Can someone explain that to me? 

It just shows you that we are getting ripped off every day not just by the oil companies but by the station owners as well. The price of a barrel of oil during our travels did not increase but actually decreased some during our travels. It also did not increase during our stay in the Florence area. Yet, gas jumped 30 cents within one hour on a Wednesday morning. When will we stand up together and stop this gouging? If no one had bought an ounce of gas from Wednesday and all through the weekend how fast do you think those prices would have fallen? 

Give my plan a try. STOP buying ANY gas from Exxon/Mobile. Period. Use any other station. Watch the prices fall like a rock.

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