Petrol station's price hike is 'out of line' - AA

By Cassandra Mason


An Auckland service station that is charging 16 cents more per litre for premium fuel than its competitors is "out of line", says the Automobile Association.


The issue was brought to the AA's attention after a disgruntled customer phoned in to complain about being charged $2.40 per litre for 98 premium fuel at BP-to-go on Jervois Rd in Herne Bay.


The standard price everywhere else in Auckland is about $2.24, said AA Petrolwatch spokesman Mark Stockdale.


"They are out of line with other competing service stations in the same area and that's not supported by the AA."


While the station is BP-branded, it is independently owned, meaning they are "free to set their own prices", said Mr Stockdale.


But this shouldn't mean that they should charge more than commodity price, he said.


Mr Stockdale said the AA wants to get the message out there that "one service station is charging too much".


"We want warn the public that they are charging more and they should be aware of that.

And they should shop around."


The service station's owner, Ash Berry, said they have the right to set their own prices.


"We are entitled to sell at that price or be at loss," he said.


Mr Berry attributed the price for 98 - which he believed to be $2.38 but "wasn't sure" - to delivery prices, fluctuation and price hikes.


"It's not that we charge an exorbitant amount.


"Prices have been very volatile in the past couple of months. Prices came down drastically two weeks back so it's hard to sell at a low costing price."


Asked why the pricing was not in line with competing service stations, he said BP-to-go continually lost money on 91 and 95, so the premium fuel was where they made up their losses.


He also factored in the charge for the forecourt service.


Because services stations aren't legally required to display the prices of all fuels on their advertising boards, customers can't tell until they get to the pump how much they have to pay.


Mr Stockdale said AA has already approached the Government about making it mandatory that service stations display all prices.

- The Aucklander

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