A couple weeks ago, I blogged about how I typically fuel up at BP and recently became frustrated with their new mark-up scheme on mid-grade and premium gasoline. Their “grade gap” (also known as the difference in price between grades) HAD been nine cents (3.90/3.99/4.08) for as long as I could remember. About a month ago, I noticed it jumped to eleven cents (IE 3.90/4.01/4.12). Since I pump premium in one of my cars, this became frustrating, especially with no other large chain pulling this kind of crap behavior with pump prices FALLING.
A week ago I noticed that most the BP stations I mentioned had dropped their grade gap back down to ten cents (3.90/4.00/4.10). What I don’t understand is why they must target those who require midgrade and premium fuels. Midgrade and premium typically are a small source of additional profit for a gas station, so why did some BP stations target select consumers to rake in more money? I don’t think what they did is right- tack on a few more cents (four) to pay for their losses or whatnot.
While BP did a mediocre job listening, they still didn’t want to give in to their pricing they used a few months ago. As the market has fallen they’ve been enjoying profiting some days even off regular gas. I guess I simply don’t understand their timing for raising their grade gap.
I’ll be purchasing fuel somewhere else until the stations I previously mentioned go back to their “normal” nine cent grade gap. I would encourage everyone who needs premium and midgrade to shop at a station that doesn’t play with their margins like some BP’s did.
PS- I did some research about cars, and found that more and more cars require premium than ever before, contrary to some believing otherwise. According to Autoblog, 166 vehicle models required premium in 2002. This year that number is up to 282.