Global Marketing


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?


Bathrooms “filthy at best” 🙂 Doesn’t motivate me to try that station… the irony is that the issues you bring up all represent relatively low-cost items to take care of, still they apparently are not catered to.

I’m also not a fan of Arco. Aside from all of the points you mention above, the math just doesn’t work out!

I could be saving $0.10/gal off of $3.39 but I have a cash reward cash that gives me 3% on gas purchases. That equates to $0.1017/gal in cash rewards (before the debit card usage fee). Because I often have to pump 91 octane, the cash reward is usually greater than the per gallon savings posted.

Great post!

When I use my Ralphs membership card at a Shell station, I get the exact same price as the ARCO gas, but I get to use my credit card (which gives me additional points or cash back). I agree with you, ARCO may sound better for those who only look at the listed price, without considering the bigger picture.

I was only an ARCO fan when I was a starving college student. Other than that, I have not gotten my gasoline at ARCO.

I prefer to use my Vons card at Chevron or just stop at almost any other station than ARCO.

Nice blog!

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