I have not been able to understand why anyone likes to put gasoline from a fuel station that does everything to keep you from being a returned customer. We live in a world in which a business will want do anything to keep customers coming back. Selling the cheapest gas around should not be the only reason to choose a gas station. For example, a major street intersection could have two gas stations located at opposite corners. One will be an ARCO station that advertises gasoline five to ten cents cheaper than the competitor at the opposite corner. If you have cash, you can take advantage of the savings. However, let’s do some simple math. If gas is priced at $3.39 a gallon at ARCO and $3.49 across the street at the competitors, when you fill up a 10 gallon tank (10 for simplicity), the total price difference is a dollar less at ARCO. This is if you pay with cash. ARCO charges 35 cents if you use your ATM/Debit card since no credit cards are accepted. So now your savings equal 65 cents.
Back to the first payment option of cash. If you are lucky, the cash kiosk between the gas pumps works. When they don’t, you have to go to the cashier and wait in line to pay for your gas. Go back to the pump, put gas, and if you need a receipt, go back inside to the cashier and wait your turn to get your receipt. Is this worth the dollar savings? Why would a business make the customer go through all this effort? Where is the real savings? ARCO is not in any way convenient. I rather pay the extra 10 cents a gallon and be in and out.
If you need to put air in your tire, there is no worst place to put it than at an ARCO station. Nine out of ten times the air pump is not working or doesn’t even pump enough air pressure to add one pound of air in your tire. The tire pressure gauges aren’t readable so you can’t even check your tire pressure. If you need water, forget it!!! The water pump only releases enough water to cause a drip. This is all after you go inside to the cashier to ask him/her to turn on the pump and being harassed for asking since you did not buy any gas. (Paying customer at any gas station can get free air and water). Don’t even ask to break a dollars for quarters for the pumps. Please…don’t.
Lastly, the bathrooms…what a way to turn someone away. Most of the time they are filthy at best, toilet bowl overflowing, and you must bring your own toilet paper. I can come up with more graphic details of the state of the bathrooms but I don’t want to gross anyone out. Anyone may argue that most gas stations are the same. But I dare anyone to go to an ARCO station and proof me wrong. ARCO’s motto is “Top Tier Gas for less”. They got that right. Less service, less accommodations, less convenience. Is it really worth saving a dollar?