7 Secrets Gas Stations Don’t Want You to Know
You pull into a gas station, fill your tank, pay, and then go on your way. What could be simpler than that? How can you possibly make any mistakes, pay too much, or get into trouble when you are doing something so simple?
But the fact is, filling your car with gas can be hazardous for a lot of reasons – reasons that your friendly gas station doesn’t want you to know.
Here is some secret information your station could be holding back from you.
Secret #1: Most Gas Stations Are Not Really in the Business of Selling Gas
Can you buy gas at a gas station? Of course. But the average amount of money made by all gas stations in the U.S. is about 18.9 cents per gallon – a figure that doesn’t change much according to whether you buy your gas at Sunoco, BP, or an off-brand station. That means that if you just paid $2.75 for a gallon of gas, your station made a profit of only about 7% on that sale.
So if gas stations are not in the business of making much money by selling gas, how do they run profitable businesses? By selling you products other than gas! That bag of peanuts or bottle of water you buy is probably subject to a standard retail markup that lets your station charge you $1.00 for an item that cost half of that at retail.
Gas stations are really in the business of selling peanuts. In the old days, service stations sold gas to establish relationships with customers who would come back oil changes and service, but that business strategy is rapidly going away.
Secret #2: Buying Gas with a Debit or Credit Card Can Cause Big Problems with Your Bank
Have you noticed that when you pay for gas with a card and then check your account balance afterwards, there is often a notation that the charge you made is “processing”? That’s most often because the oil company that owns the station puts charges into a pool of amounts due and then collects them all in a batch at a later time.
Sounds safe, right? So why should you worry? In most cases, you shouldn’t. But if you happen to use a credit or debit card with a low balance – or if you buy gas and then make other purchases with the card and run your balance too low – you can incur some very high charges if a station first accepts your card, and then the charge is declined when the parent company tries to collect funds from you.
It’s a hidden wham-o that affects some customers. Don’t let it happen to you – buy your gas from EzFill instead.
Secret #3: At Many Stations, You Have No Idea Where Your Gas Came From
You can generally avoid buying low-quality gas by shopping a big-name, top-tier stations, or of course by buying your fuel from EzFill.
But if you buy at no-name or off-brand gas stations, beware. Even though they buy gas from single distributors in most cases, those distributors can obtain their fuel from just about anywhere they want – from multiple refineries if they need to fill their quotas and make their sales.
So if you want to be sure that the gas you are putting into your car is high-quality and clean, buy from EzFill.
Secret #4: Gas Stations Are Dangerous
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 63,530 violent crimes took place in American gas stations between 2004-2008; another 58,850 thefts of property in gas stations happened during those years too. The most common crimes are thefts of items from customers’ cars, but other crimes take place too, including carjackings and robberies at convenience stores and offices.
Gas stations are dangerous for other reasons too. Fender-benders are common, as are fires that result when gas fumes at the pump are accidentally ignited. To protect yourself and your family, stay away from gas stations and let EzFill handle your refueling needs.
Secret #5: Even the Gas at Big-Brand Stations Can Be Dirty
When a tanker truck adds gas to a station’s underground tanks, sludge and dirt are typically stirred up. If you purchase gas shortly after a gas delivery has taken place, you could be pumping that dangerous gunk right into your gas tank.
Secret #6: The Big Oil Companies Are Moving Away from Selling Gas
Over the last decade, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and ConocoPhillips have been selling off the stations that they own and operate. They are making more money making aerospace and other fuels. According to the National Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, only about 0.4% of all stations in America are now directly owned and operated by those four parent companies. And the number of those stations is likely to decline.
The result? The quality of gasoline you buy could decline soon, even if you only purchase it at name-brand stations. Your defense? Get ahead of the coming drop in quality by becoming an EzFill customer.
Secret #7: There Is a Better Way to Buy Your Gas
Gas stations don’t want you to know about it, but EzFill now offers the best way to buy gas. It’s the most convenient, controllable and safest way to keep your cars fueled up and ready to roll.
Let’s put it in historical context. When Amazon.com first began to sell books online, smaller bookstores were scared – and Amazon.com quickly became America’s biggest bookseller by offering convenience, selection, and competitive pricing.
The same is about to happen in the way Americans buy their gas. When you become an EzFill customer, you will find out why.