Friday, June 27, 2008

What is with Gas Prices?

Okay...I try really hard not to complain about the price of gas. Mainly because I don't think it's some grand conspiracy between the oil companies but mostly a market issue and perhaps a problem with speculators. But honestly I don't know. I'm no expert on the matter.

What I really don't get though is how Costco can charge $4.09 when all the other stations are up to $4.36 or higher. I get lectured by my oil change guys for using Costco (they say that the quality of Costco gas is bad) but it's just hard to justify paying more.

So they recommended going to Arco, part of BP, saying that their quality was better and it's the same price as Costco. Something about the mix of gasoline and additives - less water or something. I have no idea.

Why is that? Why is BP gasoline $0.27 a gallon cheaper than Exxon or Phillips Connoco?

Anyway, I got up really early this morning and ended up leaving the house 30 minutes earlier than normal. So I decided to swing by the bank ATM and then the Arco. And now I remember why I NEVER get gas at Arco. It is a royal pain in the arse.

First, they don't take credit cards. Seriously. No credit cards. I understand that credit costs more but it sure is a pain not to be able to use a card.

Second, you can use a debit card but you're charged $0.45. So it still makes it cheaper to use their gas (I'm saving $2.70 for 10 gallons so even with the charge I'm saving). The charge is to cover their expenses and reward folks who use cash. I get that. It sucks for me, but I get it.

Not only that, but their pumps are freaking old and hard to use.

How do you pay cash for gasoline? What if you want to fill up the tank but don't know exactly how much gas you need? Do you estimate high and give them $50 and hope that you get close? Then go back in and get your change? Seriously?

I'm so spoiled. To me that is all such a waste of time and I'm not used to so many steps being involved in my gas purchase. Go in and give cash, go back out and pump gas, go back in to get change. And what if the tank doesn't fill all the way? Do I have to go back in and pay more???

I won't be hitting the local Arco again anytime soon. Even though it'll cost me an extra $3, when it's time to fill up with the "good" gas I'll just stick with the local Texaco or Chevron.

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