Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An idea for sticking it to the oil companies - No boycotts, just put up your hand

Canadians are getting hosed at the pumps again, just as summer has arrived and we all start thinking about jumping in our cars for a trip to the cottage, trailer or a simple vacation.  Raising prices 10 cents per litre at the pumps means we're handing over an extra $5.00 each time we fill up with 50 litres.  Drivers of mini-vans and SUVs are giving even more to the ESSOs, Shells and PetroCans...all of whom are drowning in record profits.

So what can we do?  We're screwed right?  I mean...we have to drive. 

I used to work at a gas station and I know the procedure when jacking up the price. First you change the big electronic sign.  The price at the actual pumps is still the lower price but the higher posted price on the big sign dries up traffic and then the new price is programmed into the actual pumps once the last car finishes.

You've probably heard the suggestion that everyone boycott one particular brand or another in an effort to effect a price war. Problem is it doesn't work...people collecting Petro points won't stop buying from Petro-Can, likewise with Esso and Esso Points or Shell and Air Miles.  Then there are people who are in the habit of going to the same station every time for reasons of convenience or location. 

Here's something I think might just work.

If you're putting in gas when the price changes, like last night...the station can't actually change the price until the last car is done filling up. Here's what I'm suggesting, when this happens use one hand to pump the gas and put your other hand up in the air...and start waving.

This will serve as a signal to other motorists driving by that while the price on the big sign is high, the price at the pump...the actual price you have to pay, is lower. Last night gas went from about $1.35 to around $1.40 per litre. If you were in the process of putting in gas when the price changed on the big sign it didn't affect the price you were were still paying $1.35 or so. By putting your hand up in the air you would be signalling to other drivers...


If people keep filling up the attendant won't be able to change the matter what the big sign says.  You might be asking..."How can we get enough people to do this"?

Most people know that when an on coming car flashes its lights at you, that the driver is signalling that there's a speed trap up ahead of you.  Not everyone does it but enough people do that its helped me on occasion.

Facebook is a tremendous utility. If you think this is a good idea share it using social media. On your news feed all your friends will see it. If enough of them in turn read and share it as well...I think you get the idea, its the whole '6 degrees of separation' concept.

Conversely you can cut and paste this and email/message it...I don't mind :-) And feel free to make any adjustments you feel are warranted.

Sound Good??? Tell me your thoughts and I'll share mine.

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