Gas Station Audits/Mystery Shops

I've done audits and unrevealed/revealed mystery shops for lots of different MSCs.

There is one question I've never had any of the companies ask, and I think they should: Did the retail price on the "main station price sign" match what was charged at the pump?

I have run into price discrepancies of 10 cents or more at many outlets. Like, the sign says "$2.27", but there's not a pump on the lot priced at less than $2.39 a gallon.

In some states, this is illegal. In all cases, it is misleading, to say the least. I don't know about you, but when I'm not "shopping", and there's 4 gas stations, I drive into the one with the lowest price posted. Then I find out their price is actually higher than the surrounding stations have posted!

One would think that Corporate (the client) would want to know if their stations or franchisees or whatever they are follow what the law requires -- or at least what's ethical and moral.

Any MSCs reading this forum? I know schedulers peek in from time to time....sure would like to get their 2cw!

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Perhaps the space to include this discrepancy is where the report ask----->Is there any comment you would like to include about the audit or Insite inspection. I would include pic of the MID and each fuel pump price gauge and possibly the receipt to indicate what I (you) paid.

As far as the MSCs reading the forum there hands are tried to what may be in the report or guidelines. So it more of----"What would the Client say?". Especially if it looks like the Retail is cheating him or causing Him to pay a State fine based on the discrepancy.

As a Consumer, I would expose the discrepancy in a TV expose or alert the AG of that state. There are legal regulations. There are Price Guagers. This may be a case.smiling smiley
On most of the ones I do, the form asks me what the station charges for a gallon of regular gas. Then I have to upload the receipt plus there are pictures of the MID. I always assumed this was what they were looking for.
I've been doing gas stations for 4 years, for several different MSCs. I have NEVER seen a report that asked what the posted price was for a gallon, or even what I paid per gallon. Yes, I upload the receipt, yes, there's a photo of the MID. But there are so many grades, so many different prices on the pumps, that if there's a discrepancy between what I paid and what's posted, I figured the company would just assume that I did NOT purchase the lowest-priced gas, which is usually what's posted on the MID. Around here, there's usually only two prices on the MID -- the "lowest" priced gas, and diesel. At some stations, that "lowest priced" offering is available at only one pump -- you have to literally walk around and look at each and every pump to find the ONE nozzle that offers the cheapest gas.

I was just really ticked off yesterday. I pulled into a station that advertised $2.22. I pulled up to the pump, the cheapest price was $2.39. I walked around and looked at each and every pump. Nothing cheaper than $2.39.
I walked inside and asked, and the guy just casually said, oh, yeah, we gotta change the sign. I was 90 miles from home, and out of gas, so I was stuck. I told the cashier he might consider telling his boss that a customer told him it was illegal.

I was NOT shopping that gas station!

smiling smiley

But it made me think on it, and I checked my records, and in the last 6 gas stations shops I completed, not one of them did the posted MID price match what I paid at the pump. Not one! The smallest difference was just 2 cents a gallon, the largest was 12 cents a gallon. The station yesterday was 17 cents a gallon wrong!

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeonly crotchety old Scrooge!
Another place I would report is Department of Consumer Affairs. You may not shop that GS again because it is 90 miles from where you reside, but there are other people who will purchase gas from that station. And they may be going in because of the MID price.

I know I look at the MID when I am traveling, and look at the pump signs as I am getting ready to pump and the receipt afterwards already. But your post will make me more conscioussmiling smiley

Everything you need to complain to and about, is right on the internet-------->"If you see something say something". Does not only mean unclaimed packagessmiling smileysmiling smiley
One brand I do specifically asks if the price on the sign matches the price on the pump.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
At least around here, many of the signs and the pumps are different because they charge one price for cash, which is lower and they put it on the sign, and one price for credit/debit, which is higher and they don't put it on the sign.

Silver certified for 11 years and happily shopping Arizona!
I went to a gas station looked up at the sign and saw $2.29 a gallon. When I went to the pump, it said $2.34. I pumped the gas because I was on empty and then went inside and asked the guy why the price was different? He said, "Oh, we did not have time to change it yet." tongue sticking out smiley Is that considered a violation?

This was not a shop.
Just because we are Mystery Shoppers does not mean we have to keep a discrepancy of prices to our selves.
If the CLIENT is not aware then he must be made aware. If he is aware then the STATE needs to be aware of his false cash of products.. While the Retail owner bares some responsibility, the prices has a lot to do with the Client approval. While our hands may be tied with ICA agreements, our hands aren't tied with as a CONSUMER.

Consumer affairs is for all consumers, take extra photos or go back on your own dime. Every gas station has someone to report to-------->on the Federal, State, and local level. I would find out whom it is and start writing.

It seems like we are paying for the violation because we are aware of the price discrepancy. Even if it is not a shop, does that make paying for a price discrepancy alright?confused smileyconfused smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2015 05:38PM by sojo917.
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