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Should ‘zone pricing’ be outlawed?

L.A. Times 2013/01/02 20:57:58
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Record gasoline prices in 2012 and calls for investigation of California's fuel markets have brought into focus a persistent peculiarity of the state's service station world: the wild swings in price any brand has from one location to the next.

Known in the industry as zone pricing, the controversial practice was apparent one afternoon when Culver City resident Michael Denis, on a jaunt to downtown Los Angeles, stopped at a Chevron station to feed his Fiat 500 some gasoline at $4.69 a gallon. About four miles away, Lupe Alfaro was filling her Toyota Camry with Chevron gasoline but was paying $3.89 a gallon.

The two motorists were buying the same grade of gasoline, which more than likely came from the same refinery in El Segundo. Yet the prices they paid differed by 80 cents a gallon, or by more than $10 to fill an average 13-gallon tank.

zoning

Read More: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-zone-pricing...

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  • james daniels 2013/01/07 11:33:15 (edited)
    No
    james daniels
    When people are more abundant in a certain area the need for gas goes up, as well as the price. Its just how economics works, everyone says its wrong but if you were losing where you'd be gaining youd scratch your head and look at it differently as well.
  • tharealbigjc 2013/01/07 04:46:06
  • Spiderguy 2013/01/07 01:56:31
    Yes
    Spiderguy
    Yes, no different that profiling.
  • cynthia.johanson.7 2013/01/07 00:11:51
    Yes
    cynthia.johanson.7
    I think it should be priced straight across the board.
  • wolf 2013/01/06 16:59:45
    Yes
    wolf
    all men are created equal except where they live
  • TasselLady 2013/01/06 14:56:35
    Yes
    TasselLady
    +1
    Price gouging at the pumps should be outlawed too.
  • chaoskitty123 2013/01/06 07:35:04
    No
    chaoskitty123
    +3
    Why say no?

    Zone pricing is based on what a community can afford to pay in most cases. If you live in a small rural community, you likely have a lower cost of living on certain things... gasoline is one of those things.

    But in a larger city where the cost of living on certain items is higher, you should pay a bit more.

    Examine how the price of gas ranges from state to state.

    You mentioned that in California they pay $4.69 a gallon in some places. In most of Alabama, we are currently pay around $3.13 a gallon.

    What you need to focus on is how every time bad news comes out of the Middle East or Washington DC, the gas companies increase or lower the price of gas on a whim although the cost of a barrel of oil has not changed.

    In the 1970's, they did this and the federal government went after the gas companies basing their claims on federal laws about profiteering which is a felony.

    Profiteering is like after a hurricane hits, people show up selling a gallon of fresh water for $8.00 a gallon which is illegal.

    What the gas companies are doing is profiteering yet the media, groups like the L.A. Times (who don't even read your replies after posting here) don't go after the gas companies for the crime they have been committing now for almost 13 years.

    Look at how Diesel fuel ...

























    Why say no?

    Zone pricing is based on what a community can afford to pay in most cases. If you live in a small rural community, you likely have a lower cost of living on certain things... gasoline is one of those things.

    But in a larger city where the cost of living on certain items is higher, you should pay a bit more.

    Examine how the price of gas ranges from state to state.

    You mentioned that in California they pay $4.69 a gallon in some places. In most of Alabama, we are currently pay around $3.13 a gallon.

    What you need to focus on is how every time bad news comes out of the Middle East or Washington DC, the gas companies increase or lower the price of gas on a whim although the cost of a barrel of oil has not changed.

    In the 1970's, they did this and the federal government went after the gas companies basing their claims on federal laws about profiteering which is a felony.

    Profiteering is like after a hurricane hits, people show up selling a gallon of fresh water for $8.00 a gallon which is illegal.

    What the gas companies are doing is profiteering yet the media, groups like the L.A. Times (who don't even read your replies after posting here) don't go after the gas companies for the crime they have been committing now for almost 13 years.

    Look at how Diesel fuel rose in price so that now it's higher than the gas you put in your cars. Diesel fuel has greater impurities and is cheaper because it undergoes less refining. So how is it that they sell a product that's cheaper to produce because it contains larger amounts of impurities for a higher price?

    When you buy gas for your car, you have a choice between Regular, Unleaded and Super Unleaded. Using the logic employed by the gas companies, you should be paying more for Regular and less for Super Unleaded because Regular gas has greater levels of impurities... thus, it should be the next highest price to Diesel Fuel based on the impurities in it.

    Zone pricing isn't a problem... four miles is nothing so drive to where it costs less to buy your gas, plan to buy your groceries and other items where you buy your gas.

    Do that and you'll have all the local retailers up in arms and watch as the price of gas in your community drops.

    Four miles... good grief L.A. Times, use some intellect when you address these matters and give people advice how to beat the system.

    Should this be made illegal?

    No... and if they try they'll likely be defeated.

    Here in Alabama, we use the internet to see what the price of gas is.

    Use http://gasbuddy.com/ and you can beat the system by using the system against itself. You might even find that friends and family or vacation spots are near places where the price of gas is cheaper so plan your trip in advance and carry a few five gallon gas cans with you.

    Use your brain to beat the system... you don't need costly lawsuits and more government involvement, you just need to put your brain to work and exploit the system instead of leaving yourself as a victim.

    After all, all you might accomplish by making this illegal is raising the cost of gas across the entire state of California to $4.69 a gallon when traveling just four lousy miles to do your shopping or visiting friends, you can buy it for $3.89 cents a gallon saving $.80 a gallon.

    I travel almost 40 miles a day for therapy and this is what I do so no, I don't want this made illegal because I would rather find the cheapest gas rather than having it all be higher in price.

    Also, notice how the L.A. Times pulled a fast one on the image they used?

    One gas station is Self Serve and the other isn't.... lol, self serve stations always offer a slightly lower price per gallon because gas stations who pump the gas for you tack on a little extra to pay the salary of the person pumping your gas and checking under the hood for you and frankly, I would pay an extra ten cents per gallon to have it pumped for me and to have someone check all the fluids in my engine or deal with an overheated radiator... wouldn't you?
    (more)
  • disclaimer chaoski... 2013/01/06 19:47:32
    disclaimer
    +1
    California gas prices are higher because of the higher smog standards.
  • Sal Monella ~PWCM~JL 2013/01/06 07:22:29
    No
    Sal Monella ~PWCM~JL
    +1
    I don't know what the answer is.

    I do know that the price of a gallon of gas is steadily increasing even as we speak ........ and the media is eerily silent.

    How's that hope and change working out for you folks.
  • Helmholtz Sal Mon... 2013/01/07 04:55:50
    Helmholtz
    +1
    It's working out just great! Gas is certainly cheaper now than in the last months under Bush. As a matter of fact, it's dropped about 20 cents in the last week or so in my neighborhood. How's that beating-old-cliches-to-death thing working out for you?
  • Sal Mon... Helmholtz 2013/01/07 05:09:40
    Sal Monella ~PWCM~JL
    Don't you have a marijuana cafe opening to get to?
  • Helmholtz Sal Mon... 2013/01/07 05:14:33
    Helmholtz
    Nope. I don't smoke that stuff.
  • james d... Helmholtz 2013/01/07 11:37:19
    james daniels
    Ahh, the classic lib versus con argument. Riveting.
  • JDLogan 2013/01/06 02:17:55
    No
    JDLogan
    +5
    First, all that will accomplish is making all the prices high, second it's called a free market, you don't have to buy from any one particular store, shop around. And finally, this isn't the only product with day to day and place to place price variations.
  • freedom 2013/01/06 00:52:57
    No
    freedom
    This is a fallacy. The stores dont make much money off the gas but they do on the sales of concessions. So if the station across the street lowers the gas price, so do the others. This is also why stations often offer a discount if you pay in cash, they want you in their store.
  • hatter 2013/01/06 00:45:34
    No
    hatter
    +1
    People can charge what they want to compete with other. Unfortunatly that is not what happens. Oil companies that sell the oil to the gas stations set the prices.
  • Drebi 2013/01/06 00:06:09
    No
    Drebi
    +1
    Private business owners should be able to market how they wish.
  • Nathan Drebi 2013/01/07 11:06:33
    Nathan
    Except, it's not a free market when producers manipulate them. If the companies ceo's talk to each other about what they charge, they can both slowly increase prices without driving business away. A monopoly like the oil companies, standard oil and the shell companies it has. A free market is a market free from coersion and fraud and control of any type just balancing forces. I agree with you, but our current legal system is incapable of creating and "enforcing" a free market. (Can you enforce freedom?) We have no way as people to fight injustices against people and the market that these companies get away with. My comment isn't really about the article.
  • Drebi Nathan 2013/01/07 11:11:30
    Drebi
    With all due respect, I don't really comprehend what that has to do with my thinking that private business owners should be able to market as they wish.
  • Nathan Drebi 2013/01/07 11:18:25
    Nathan
    They should be able to as long as it doesn't mislead people or coerce them into buying. Wal-Mart can coerce people by damaging the economy and keeping people's wages low so they are forced to buy from Wal-Mart instead of local business. Wal-Mart can do these things through paying off politicians. Sorry, my brain hasn't had its morning coffee yet.
  • Ozymandias 2013/01/05 20:21:36
  • chaoski... Ozymandias 2013/01/06 07:36:47
    chaoskitty123
    Because it's a joke posted by the L.A. Times lol. Read my response above and you'll better understand this issue as they misrepresented and oversimplified it either because they're stupid... or they think you are.
  • Ozymandias chaoski... 2013/01/06 07:58:03
  • exhon2009 2013/01/05 20:01:41
    No
    exhon2009
    +2
    If you're stupid enough to buy your gas 100 feet off of a freeway exit you deserve to pay the higher price. I need dumb people to subsidize the gas I buy at my favorite station.

    Many gas stations are franchise owned. The business owner of one convenience store may choose to charge a higher price than the owner of another convenience store with the same exact name.
  • David Hussey 2013/01/05 18:15:35
    No
    David Hussey
    +3
    Nope. Its their product, let them sell it however the wish. Don't like it, don't buy their product.
  • Dan ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮ 2013/01/05 17:35:31
    No
    Dan ☮ R P ☮ 2012 ☮
    +2
    As much as I dislike high prices, it should be the company's choice what they sell their gas for. We the people can combat it quite simply, pick a different gas station. If the price difference is 80 cents per gallon, 4 freakin miles will cost you $1.20 to save several dollars. Less if the second gas station was on the way to your destination.

    And the $1.20 cost will be gone the moment the other gas station breaks down in the face of free market economics and lowers its prices. All it requires is for people to have a brain. We dont need to bring the government into this.
  • Matt P. 2013/01/05 15:26:07
    No
    Matt P.
    +2
    Most people are able to do some research to find the lowest prices before buying. Heck, I did that long before the help of internet and GPS were available.

    I don't like throwing around the "c" word but this is obviously a part of COMMUNISM!
  • Donnie Matt P. 2013/01/05 17:36:09
    Donnie
    i don't know if necessarily communism or just plain entitlement. but then again most people don't even care to learn about economics beyond those horribly misinforming classes at public schools, so with that in mind it could just be intellectual laziness. tho none of these are mutually exclusive either.
  • tncdel 2013/01/05 14:41:16
    No
    tncdel
    +4
    Some economic regions where the per capita income is a lot higher or lower need adjustments to adapt to "the law of supply and demand."
  • AdWhois 2013/01/05 14:19:18
    Yes
    AdWhois
    +1
    The fact that gas can change prices as often as they want (except for places like the NJT) is ridiculous. You don't see the price of nearly anything else we buy fluctuate that much, even though pretty much anything is affected by gas prices. These gas companies need to set a standard price for a length of time and enjoy the profits while eating any "losses". The fact that we pay $3.40 a gallon ( which we think is cheap) up here in MA is ridiculous, no way should we be paying that. These gas companies have us by the balls and no politician anywhere will stand up to them, regulate every other business but let the gas companies roam free... Utter BS.
  • smilinbobs 2013/01/05 13:58:21
    Yes
    smilinbobs
    +1
    I'm just glad that the government gives plenty of tax breaks to those POOR billionaires in the oil and gas industry
  • Super_D... smilinbobs 2013/01/05 23:28:51
    Super_Doodles
    Actually most gas companies pay more than what their profits are, as much as three times. How would you like to be taxed 3 of every 4 dollars you made? The taxes are ridiculous because gas is so essential to this society. Just wait til they start charging taxes on electric cars to make up for the loss in gas tax revenue because they pushed them so hard. Already in motion in some states. No matter though, BB wil get his
  • smilinbobs Super_D... 2013/01/06 04:37:19
    smilinbobs
    +1
    I'm not sure what you are talking about Exxon posted it's highest profits ever and They get government subsidies. All of the local gas station owners where I live in upstate NY have Huge mansions on large pieces of property. They are Some of the wealthiest people in the area. And you are trying to convince me that the government is unfairly taxing them. I don't think so
  • Super_D... smilinbobs 2013/01/17 19:18:30
    Super_Doodles
    Most. Also, most people who pay taxes get a return, which could aptly be described as a subsidy. And how does the economic status of your local gas station owners mean that the government isn't leeching off of them or the oil companies while demonizing their very existence? If you're jealous buy a gas station... Profits does not equal low taxes. Nearly a dollar of every gallon YOU buy goes to the government as well, if not more, and some areas are considering raising the gas tax to help balance their irresponsible budgets. I reassert my previous statement and add that you are being excessively taxed as well
  • smilinbobs Super_D... 2013/01/19 22:40:17
    smilinbobs
    You misunderstand what I have said. I know that the government has a tax on gas. The owner of the gas station is passing that tax to us. What I am saying is that oil companies get government subsidies even when they post record profits and our government is broke. I think that is stupid. I can say without doubt that owning a gas station is a lucrative business just by looking at those here who do. The point is that if you are making enough after taxes to have some of the largest nicest homes in the area you are not being over taxed. If that is the case I wish that I could too be over taxed and rich.
  • ivegotloveinmypants 2013/01/05 12:02:28
    Yes
    ivegotloveinmypants
    Ridiculous practice. If it comes from the same refinery, and is in the same state, at least, everybody should be paying the same amount. People are not made of money.
  • El Prez 2013/01/05 08:11:03
    Yes
    El Prez
    +1
    This is the only commidty that sells like this. A carry over from the "good old days" of Johd D. Rockefeller. That if the sold potatoes like that or steak? Stupid and only favorable to the seller.
  • blumunofky 2013/01/05 07:08:00
    Yes
    blumunofky
    +1
    The con job perpetrated on this nation by Big Oil is a disgrace and has been since the first big oil strike in Titusville, PA. Example: in my 'hood, gas prices were jacked up by 25 cents a gallon on Christmas Eve, just in time for holiday travel, by every single station, regardless of brand and it sure wasn't coincidence. If this were truly a competitive industry, there would be price wars all the time, but Big Oil holds each other's hands, our crooked and/or dumb-ass government lets them get away with it, and the poor, inept, ignorant, and spineless citizens just keep on a-lettin' them all get away with it. Roast in a gas-fueled hell, you despicable b****rds!
  • roxie 2013/01/05 02:28:36
    Yes
    roxie
    +3
    It's Called REGULATION!
    Reagan Killed it so His Buddies would have NO restrictions to get in the Way of Their WEALTH! reagonomics reagonomics
  • Torchma... roxie 2013/01/05 04:31:05
    Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA
    +2
    Regulations cause the increase in prices and caused jobs to go overseas.
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