Monday, January 30, 2012

Gas Prices Rising This Week - Watch For Fake Prices

Shell Stations Still Advertising Price Deception

LABELLE, FL. -- Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 7.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.54/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 4.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.39/g, according to gasoline price website

Still a continuing problem for motorists are gas stations including Shell and Marathon, who show large pricing signs that aren't exactly the true price.

The above photo shows a LaBelle, Florida Shell station today advertising $3.40 for regular. However, the actual price, and only shown on the pump itself, is $3.45.

To get the discounted price you have to go inside and pay cash, or use a Shell credit card.

But today was even more deceiving. After putting a credit card into the slot and being approved, the pump would not pump gas at all. Trying a different pump with a credit card brought an on-screen message to go inside and see the cashier.

It turns out the Shell station was entirely out of regular gas. Not only were they advertising an extremely low price compared to others ($3.55 at the BP down the street) but they couldn't sell it at the advertised price anyway.

Customers were forced to either drive away or pay 25 cents above the posted price for premium gas. Most elected to pay the extra quarter a gallon, although a few frustrated customers drove off after learning there was no regular gas.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 45.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 24.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 13.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 30.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"Late last week we saw wholesale gasoline prices rise dramatically on some refinery issues, which leads me to believe that retail gasoline prices will rise in response," said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "We continue to also watch how Iran responds to EU sanctions- there are some concerns that they may cut oil to the European region before the sanctions are to take effect to cause these countries hardship when they can't find new sources of oil quickly enough. That in itself could draw crude oil prices higher quickly at a moments notice," DeHaan said.

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