You Only THOUGHT It Was Highway Robbery

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I can guarantee that almost every person in the U.S. has been affected by the skyrocketing gas prices, weak housing market, and ever-rising, everyday living expenses. In this kind of economy, no one wants to get ripped-off. At least, I don’t prefer to be. I want to be informed, and I want to be money smart. Saving a few cents or dollars here and there can make a major difference in my budget, plans, and life.

I know that we live in a “crooked and depraved generation” (Philippians 2:15, NIV)–one that is filled with greed and power-hungry people/businesses. I also know that the government has put various laws and organizations in place to supposedly protect me from these said crooked, greedy people/businesses. As much as I hate government interferance and intrusion in my everyday life and privacy, I once believed that the government was good for something–protecting me from these terrible, greedy bullies who are out to collect every last penny I own.

Needless to say, I now understand that this previous notion was simply a false hope in a “crooked and depraved” government. Government agents are just as greedy and wicked as the consumer companies from which I buy my food, clothes, gas, and other necesities. The government WANTS us to be interreliant on them and to not think for ourselves. I was letting them get away with it. The poorer we are, they more dependent on government support we become and the more the government can control everything we do, say, and believe because we are led to believe and trust that they are watching out for us and doing what is best for us. Since when has the government laid aside their agendas and only focused on the right thing to do for the people in our country?

Anyways, the other day, I was talking with a lady whose husband works for an oil company, and I found out that gas stations are charging an additional 20-30 cents per gallon to the posted $3.89 I thought I was paying per gallon. There was no telling how long this had been going on before I found out. My jaw dropped when I heard the news and I stuttered, “But, but, that’s…that’s stealing! That’s highway robbery! They can’t do that. Isn’t it illegal to make customers pay more than they think they are for gas? I mean, for anything for that matter?”

Then came the dreaded response, “No, it isn’t illegal. Gas companies found a loophole where they can charge extra to those buying gas with their credit or debit cards. The only people paying $3.89 are those paying with cash. They say that it is the customers’ responsibility to notice if the price they are paying per gallon and the number of gallons add up correctly on the gas pump.”

“Are you serious?” I asked in disbelief. “Isn’t there some company or organization out there…the government even…who regulates these kind of things and protects customers from these kind of rip-offs?”

Her answer, of course, was “no.”

Now, not ALL gas stations have added this extra “surcharge,” but I would encourage you to look out for the ones that do. At least take it into consideration that you may be charged more than the price on the station’s sign or pay with cash instead of with a credit or debit card if saving an extra 20-30 cents is important to you.

This is just another (Ahem, rather, the first) money-saving tip brought to you free of charge by your caring and commited Gblogger…

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8 Responses to “You Only THOUGHT It Was Highway Robbery”

  1. meredith Says:

    So THAT explains why I’ve seen signs advertising “same price for cash and credit” at gas stations.

  2. Casey Says:

    Yep, yep. I had no idea about this until just a few days ago. Crazy, huh? I guess stations with signs like that are the best to use if you are paying with credit.

  3. Nicholas Says:

    I go to a gas station which charges less if I pay cash. They do this because credit card companies typically take 2%-5% of every sale.

    I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical. Can you list the gas stations that are charging a 20-30 cent difference? Is it the lower price or the higher price being advertised?

  4. Casey Says:

    I have never heard of a gas station charging less for using cash. I wish they would do that here! The gas stations here show the lower price to customers and they either add a sign, like Meredith said, to show that they are not charging different prices for cash or credit, or they have some small sign on the pump that states that they charge more to cover the costs of using a credit card. In other cases, I have heard that they do not post anything and, after you swipe your credit card and choose which grade of gasoline you want, you have to look at the digital output showing how much you are paying per gallon and see if it matches up to the advertised price or not. As for which stations are charging extra to use cards instead of cash, I cannot tell you. I haven’t pumped gas much this summer since I don’t have a car, so I am going by what friends and family have told me. I did not ask which stations they used. I know the station owned by our local grocery store charges extra. I pumped gas there a few weeks ago. I am looking into which other stations or chains charge this fee.

  5. Nicholas Says:

    Remember, this isn’t a new thing. The reason Arco (with the AmPm’s) is always cheaper is because they won’t accept credit cards.

    I buy gas in Seattle near the Greenlake neighborhood. There are two gas stations which advertise the per gallon price, and then smaller signs below the big ones advertise the “Cash” price. It’s usually 10 cents less.

    I wouldn’t call it Highway Robbery, I’d call it one of the neighborhood’s best kept secrets!

  6. colleen Says:

    there’s a gas station around the corner from campus that advertises 20 or 30 cents lower for cash. There are several gas stations in the area that only take cash, however these are not places I typically frequent as they look scary. I may have to start changing that though…

  7. Casey Says:

    I think I am going to start looking for these cheaper places to buy gas! I have not seen any here yet, but I am still hopeful 🙂 Thank you all for your comments and for sharing these tips!

    God bless,
    Casey

  8. Beverly Says:

    Hey Casey
    can I get in touch with you, what is your email?

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