Goldenrod Chevron False Advertising

chevron.jpgThis morning on the way into work my fuel tank started creeping towards the big “E” and as the light popped on I knew I’d have to either fuel up now or stop after work, when my heart would really rather be on the road heading home for the week. Like every other Central Floridian, or American for that matter, the notion of having to fill ‘er up conjures images of cash draining from our pockets. So, of course, I began scouring for the lowest gas price I could. All of the sudden on Goldenrod between Colonial and University I spot it, CHEAP GAS!

And what a deal it was, $3.029 on a week when the average has been closer to the $3.09 spectrum. So Chevron would earn my business, offering a competitive price for a tankful of liquid unleaded go. Swiping my card with confidence that I had done my duty saving my family a few shiny dimes for the day I began to pump. But then I glanced at the pump display and saw something odd. For some weird reason the pump told me unleaded was being served up at 3.069. Probably just an incorrect display, so after I’m done I check my receipt. Sure enough I had been charged $3.069 for my fill up.

Hey, things happen, it’s only a few pennies per gallon, a little over 50 cents more for the tank, so I figured I would just go inside and let the store clerk know about the discrepancy. Maybe the big giant beckoning sign had not been updated by mistake, and the clerk should know before a figure of authority happens by and they get fined. But to my surprise, the employee at the counter said no, that was not an error. The amount on the sign was the promotional price if you use cash or a Chevron gas card. Keep in mind that this sign is the ONLY price advertised outside of the true price listed on the pump itself. Looking back at the big sign again I did notice a much smaller sign a bit down the pole, a good 4-5 feet away from the giant price numbers that read “Cash or Chevron Credit Card”.

Now, I’m no specialist on advertising regulations within the fuel industry, but my gut tells me that having a giant sign declaring a price that is not the actual price you pay would be considered false advertising. Having a totally ambiguous message placed some distance away from that price does not merit a valid qualifying statement. That little sign could be easily interpreted as “we accept cash or Chevron cards” or “atm inside and applications for Chevron cards”. In no way does it clearly tell consumers that “the price listed is not the price you pay unless you use cash or a Chevron credit card”. In fact, I would argue that because EVERY other gas station throughout the history of ALL mankind puts the real price on their giant sign, this Chevron station was intentionally trying to mislead consumers into pulling into their station over others on the false notion that their gas was cheaper.

I call BS and would encourage people to not patronize the Chevron station on Goldenrod between Colonial and University.

9 Comments so far

  1. randy (unregistered) on November 17th, 2007 @ 7:52 am

    Yeah, they do that at all Chevron stations. The one on 436 by Ronald Reagan Blvd, the one on 17-92 north of Maitland Blvd…


  2. Terry Howard (unregistered) on November 17th, 2007 @ 11:45 am

    Then I guess I amend my statement, I urge people to not patronize ANY Chevron station. If you can’t gain customers by legitimate means then quite honestly you have poor business acumen. Sure, you got my $40 this time, but now you have eliminated yourself from ever getting another dime from me, and when that happens you not only lose money, but you help your competitors. Just put up a fair price and be friendly. Damn, do we need to send the Chevron execs to a business 101 class or something? Pathetic.


  3. tom (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

    your an idiot


  4. tom (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

    your an idiot


  5. Terry Howard (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

    Hmm… Well, as much as appreciate your in depth comment that explains your reasoning, I’m going to assume your an idiot who can’t figure out how to use a basic comment system without double posting. If you’d like to maybe, I don’t know, post a complete thought, then maybe I can understand what exactly you mean.


  6. Jenn (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    From Visa’s Merchant Rules: Always treat Visa transactions like any other transaction; that is, you may not impose any surcharge on a Visa transaction. You may, however, offer a discount
    for cash transactions, provided that the offer is clearly disclosed to customers and the cash price is presented as a discount from the standard price charged forall other forms of payment.

    Doesn’t look clearly disclosed from your picture. You could complain to Visa about Chervon.

    This one is my favorite pet peeves: Always honor valid Visa cards in your acceptance category, regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase. Imposing minimum or maximum purchase amounts in order to accept a Visa card transaction is a violation of the Visa rules.


  7. Terry Howard (unregistered) on November 28th, 2007 @ 11:28 pm

    That is an excellent idea, thank you!


  8. Terry Howard (unregistered) on November 29th, 2007 @ 12:03 am

    Mastercard had a form to report it, Visa did not, so at least someone is alerted to this.


  9. Flicka (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

    Same thing happend to me at a BP. The sign said 3.06 Cash or BP Card. I used my BP card and was charged 3.10/gal. Talked to the clerk, they don’t care. Their explaination was that the pump said save 4 cents per gallon if you use cash. Apparently, the sign out front in 2ft tall letters is trumphed by a 2 inch square sign on the pump! Scam, Scam, Scam. Stay away from stores with signs like these. Yes, it’s less than $1 your out, but how many motorists do they “rob” every day?



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