Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Its a racket...


Hey look, I spend a lot of time not being political or inflammatory on this blog, but I have to vent a little ....and here's a bit of back story for American readers who understandably, have no idea what happened.
The Union that represents fuel tanker drivers threatened a strike.  The law requires 7 days notice of an actual strike.  The threat was enough, the GOVERNMENT advised us all to keep our vehicles topped up.  They gain 83 million in extra tax through the panic buying and queueing at petrol stations up and down the country.  There were scenes that make you realise that it wouldn't take much to chuck us all into the post-apocalypse type world you see on films when resources run out.  It was shocking, embarrassing and entirely avoidable.
I really hope that those of you that needed petrol managed to get some. There is still no official word of a strike.  They haven't had the meeting yet. 
 I use an independent retailer when I buy fuel.  Or rather, I did.  I've lived here for 27 years and rarely bought fuel elsewhere.  I like that a local family is in business, and has been through local support, for many years.  I'm probably going to work less hard about buying my fuel there from now on.  Because they've been profiteering.  Diesel and Unleaded have both gone up by 10 pence per litre. That's £1.54 per litre. (There's 4.5 litres to the gallon, and today, there's $2.54 to the pound..so that's  over $11 dollars per gallon.) I realise there's a tiny profit margin on fuel...in fact I believe it's less than 2p per litre for the independents. So I understand that they're dependant on business turning over.  But it won't will it, if I'm representative of the loyal customer that feels the need to go elsewhere.  You will be unsurprised to know that I've expressed my opinion in the garage....politely and quietly...but it was to an employee at the till, because magically, the manager types that I usually see about the place are tucked safely away.  Shame on them, huh.  

28 comments:

CraftygasheadZo said...

It's been a mad time hasn't? Unfortunately because of my medical conditions I rely heavily on my car, I can't walk far at all, so when this happen do I panic? No. I just fill up when I actually need to not just because. Thankfully I was able to do so when I needed petrol and there was no queue! Unlike at Tesco's earlier in the day when trying to get out of the car park after food shopping became a scene from a Grand Prix, much weaving and driving round to avoid the queue that reached out to the main road! Ah well, who's panicking! Zo xx

Helen said...

The pictures of people queuing (no doubt all with their engines running, using petrol or deisel) were incredible. How many of them really NEEDED the fuel? Wonder what will happen if the drought really takes hold! Fights at the standpipes... let's not go there. Sometimes (lots of times!) I am so glad I don't drive...... I don't blame you for taking your custom elsewhere in future either!

Helen said...

Obviously, reading the comment at the top, which wasn't there when I started, I know there are people who genuinely need fuel, I wasn't having a go!

Artyjen said...

Mad...mad...world!
xoxo Sioux

Angie said...

Maybe those who medically need their cars should have something that makes sure that, in these circumstances, they are top of the list.
Also those whose job implies the use of a car ...like cabbies. and of course medical and saftey units not forgetting public transport which the rest of us could then use....but profiteering should be prosicuted.xx

Annie said...

And so say all of us Julia. The world has gone mad and it was all caused by our government who I feel were trying to increase the sales of fuel and nothing else!!
Hugs,
A x

Kerry said...

I remember an independent petrol station who did the profiteering thing last time. Needless to say all these years later it has gone out of business. Mud sticks and people will remember what they did

Cardarian said...

Well I don't live in England but our petrol has gone up 3 times in the last 2 weeks too but obviosly people don't bother filling up the tanks and queuing anymore - Huh! - it sounds like a government conspiricy ( well it probably is) all this petrol business! I get your venting Julia!
Hugs,
Cardarian

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

With you ALL the way Julia! Utter madness. xxx

...the yorkshire fox... said...

...loVely card Julia and very apt that you chose the calming colour of purple, cos we all need calm after a storm...I for one had a few sleepless nights over the fuel as I visit patients over a wide area and fuel is an essential part of my job and said patients would of been worried that i and the rest of the community nurses would be able to get to them...as for your local station when the chips are down it does 2 things either brings out the best or the worst in people, sadly for you the later...Mel :)

Laura said...

It's a crazy world!

misteejay said...

As a carer, I need to know I can get to where ever my Mum needs to be but I certainly didn't queue anywhere - after Thursday night's crop the local garage was almost empty so I got the fuel that I needed. It would seem most of the garages around here 'independants' & 'chains' have all jumped on the bandwagon to bump up the prices.

I remember the year I learnt to drive there was a petrol strike and motorway service stations were vilified for charging £2 per gallon now look - there were reports of some places charging nearly that for a litre last week - the world has gone mad.

Love the card Julia.

Toni xx

Rita said...

Agree with your every word Julia. I hope the people who are less able, manage to get petrol too. We are going to my daughter for a few days at Easter and although our tank is full at the moment, we may not be able to fill it up for the journey back. Hugs Rita xxx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I nearly had a heart attack the other day when I had to fill up the tank. It took nearly 5 GALLONS and cost me nearly $22.00. I could not make it in England, that's for sure! I'd be dead the first time I stopped at a pump!

Clare with paint in her hair said...

it was wholly planned perfectly by the government, they want us to forget that what they are doing to them is horrendous and wrong and us to remember the panic that took hold instead. Smooth moves from the government, shame most reasonable people already realized what they are doing.

fairyrocks said...

Julia, My DH works in the oil / gas industry. It is our demographical economic driving force. We are dependant on it to live. We see our fuel prices jump ridiculously every long weekend {more people traveling} If there is a whisper of a shortage prices rocket. Never any explainations or appologys. Just "Need fuel...pay this much here" To fill my truck tank from almost empty regularly costs me over $100.00 Canadian $$
Just an average size tank, not oversize. I stay home a lot, however I do live about 20 minutes from our town, so cannot walk, or I would. {well thats what I tell myself LOL}
Our electricity took a massive jump this year too, and no signs of that ever declining..
Thanks for publishing my mini utlity book.

Di said...

OMG Julia - that's absolutely appalling! Talk about profiteering - definitely walk away from such unscrupulous folk, vote with your feet girl...or should that be wheels?!

WOYWW tomorrow - that should brighten the day chick!

Di
xx

MaggieC said...

We managed to not queue for fuel over the last couple of weeks. We were fortunate in that we had just filled the one motor up, and the other one only had to go about ten miles for MOT and service. Our biggest problem was to get into the car park to do our normal shopping. I do rely heavily on having the car available if I want to go anywhere, I cannot walk too far, but I do have a mobility scooter for more extended local wanderings, so I could shop every day and carry enough on that if I have to. We just refused to queue with all the panickers. You just know that if anyone tells you not to panic, everyone does. xx Maggie

Spyder said...

I usually only get a tenner a week... mainly coz I can't afford any more and I only HAVE to go to two places in the week for work... last week, I put in 12 quids worth...just in case I thought. So Hubby used my car because he's is bigger and was soon on empty. Our two local petrol stations were out of fuel...Early Thursday morning hubby got up early and came back a little later grinning (it was still dark!) saying he didn't have to queue and he'd doubled the price of my little car!

Li'l Pidge said...

I agree Julia, its disgraceful...and wholly the Governments doing. 7 days notice, they sit down tomorrow to START the talks...its simple maths...but no, people panic. I need my car, I have inflammatory arthritis so at times its difficult to walk, but when I can, I walk, take the bus and this weekend I even cycled...if people are able to do their bit we should all be able to rub along nicely and not turn into a bunch of pack animals.....

As for prices, ASDA today was 10p per litre cheaper with no queues, local station....10p dearer and queues!!! Madness....

Kyla
ps love the calming make...x

Linby said...

Madness indeed Julia and shocking what your local garage did, shame on an independent, people will just go to the supermarkets.
BTW I love the card, seen that die a few times and covet it wildly, so nice in the lilacs too.
Linbyx

voodoo vixen said...

I think the Gov needed a quick treasury revenue top up and couldn't afford to borrow the money so they thought up this get rich quick scheme... I couldn't believe it when I was reading the BBC news online and it was the Gov instigating the mass buying stampede...
It's a shame your local garage hopped on the bandwagon and increased prices but in all honestly, they haven't done anything that any other business does on a regular basis... supply and demand... high demand... high price.

fairy thoughts said...

I wouldn't go back there again unless you had too. I haven't filled up for ages. . . go to work on the train ha!
janet

RosC said...

What a lovely card. 'Dwell well' connects me with the alarm that people cause each other because greed underlies our community attitudes. We want to punish each other and claim our rights rather than our responsibilities.

I could expound some more but I won't. It's a good little rant you had. Bide your time until the manager appears again and have a little episode of gentle judicious high blood pressure.

See you later,
Ros.

Neet said...

Well said, and what a society we live in.
I love a good vent and I love yours Julia. Thanks goodness for folks like you.

Sara S. said...

I'm sorry that the situation is what it is! I do have a different point of view to offer however. In the early part of the 00's I was running a gas station (I'm in the US). Prices were climbing higher and higher, and people were blaming the stations - to the point that I actually had things THROWN at me from moving vehicles while outside changing the signs.

Pricing at stations, regardless of whether it be a chain or locally owned is based on cost to REPLACE the fuel in the tanks. The station themselves has to pay someone to bring them the fuel to be able to provide it to you.

When prices are on the upswing, the profit per gallon (liter) is typically only 2-3 cents. However, in a society that is becoming more and more dependent on paying with plastic cards - the store's cost of running the card is typically 2-3% of the purchase price. So one gallon (liter), purchased on a card, sold at $3 makes the store $0.03, but COSTS the store $0.09. Gas has not been what a GAS station makes money off of for some time.

My point is - individual stations are mostly likely LOSING money on gas rushes like you're experiencing rather than profiting from it. The people making money off of these kinds of rushes are the oil companies, wholesalers, and taxman.

Carin said...

Crazy, crazy, crazy! I don't blame you for taking your business elsewhere. I live near Buncefield. You should have seen what went on here at the time of the explosion. Carnage.

Princess Judy Palmer said...

We don't have anywhere near the gas prices you do (in the US) but the masses sure are whining about it. I have to admit some shock at my last fill up myself. Shock and annoyance because I am quite sure that a lot of the price increase is political since this is an election year. I don't want to be a pawn in someone's power trip game. Pffft!

And as far as people going into post apocalypse mode--frightening isn't it? It doesn't take much to push most folks over the edge. Think of Christmas shopping the last couple of years-pepper sprayed and tromped to death. Sick.