Letter: Send a message to gas companies

We have no choice but to buy gas on the terms they set out. However, we do have a choice where we buy the ‘add-ons.’

To the editor

Again, as in countless times before, we face the reality of an overinflated price increase in the cost of gasoline in the Okanagan. And again, there are no advance notices, no application for approval, no processes to undertake and no governing bodies requiring accountability and no apology.

A whopping 12 per cent increase this week, at a moment’s notice barely makes the news. On what other consumable or commodity would we accept this kind of increase without justifiable reason?

When pressed for accountability the response is that a major oil refinery is facing difficulties, or that stations are losing money or there is a ratio imbalance between supply and demand if indeed we get any response at all.

Well, which is it? We’d like to know.

As a typical customer frequents his neighbourhood gas station suggesting a degree of business loyalty, he pays for a product he may have purchased earlier in the day at 12 per cent less. No apologies, and no ‘Thank you for your business’—or is that because we pump our own gas and complete the payment transactions ourselves. So, we as “valued customers” are not being heard.

Can we send a message in language they understand? I think so. It is true that we have no choice but to do business with the gas stations on the terms they set out. However, we do have a choice where we buy the ‘add-ons.’ We can withdraw our support by buying car care products, washes, coffee, cigarettes, lottery, snack foods, energy drinks and fast food elsewhere.

The message: Our ‘valued’ business can be taken elsewhere.

A healthy business relationship cultures mutual and reciprocal respect. Something is out of balance here.

We have no choice but to buy our gas from the industry, but we also have the choice to buy nothing else. Will they hear our message?

Yvonne Faulkner, Kelowna