Chevron Makes Me Question My Consumer Loyalty

As you all may know, gas prices have been changing in favor of the consumer, as they slowly drop below some crazy highs. Or at least some distributors are lowering their gas prices.

Here's the thing, I use better quality fuels in my vehicle like Chevron, Shell, Union 76, Mobil. If I use the much cheaper priced fuels, my gas mileage drops, so paying a little more for fuels with additives pays for itself with the improved fuel mileage and I'm assuming, potentially helping with a vision on my engine's long-term health instead of pumping crap fuels in it.

So I am enjoying the price per gallon drop nicely.

But here's the thing... while prices are dropping all around where I live and work, it would seem that Chevron is digging in and NOT reducing their prices. Instead of giving their loyal customers the price break they all deserve, it feels like they're taking advantage of customer loyalty and NOT dropping their prices.

Case in point - Santa Nella Village, CA, a truckers meca of truck stops, gas stations and fast food.

A few gas stations have prices at $2.99 per gallon, Shell TA station. Union 76, just a touch over $3.00, and what not. But the Chevron is holding strong at $3.60/gallon at the time of this writing (pre editing).

Down the street in Los Banos, as prices drop in no-name gas stations, sure enough, Chevron is dropping much much slower than Shell and others. Though to be fair, the town itself is not having gas prices drop as fast as they have in select gas stations in Santa Nella but still, Chevron is hanging on tight with their 3.58 - 3.60 gas price.

Hearsay: A friend of mine knows a manager of an expensively priced gas station and he had an interesting conversation with this person.

The question was, how is it that gas prices takes weeks to drop and match other competitors and the reply was something along the lines of production processing costs 'catching up.' Then, my friend asked, when prices go up, how is it his prices can go up in one day?

Any way, as I watch Chevron dig in and not lower their prices, I am feeling less enamored with the company and becoming a fan of everyone else who is dropping their prices. It's only an opinion, but seeing this pattern in multiple cities in a 100 square mile region around me (I'm a super-commuter), it feels like a company-wide edict keeping their prices at a higher level.

But as consumers, we should do what we can to help ourselves and speak with our wallets to let them know we don't like what seems like what they're doing to us, looking to take advantage of consumer loyalty. Because in the end, you're paying through the nose to by loyal to a brand.

UPDATE 1/4/19: This opinion piece was originally posted on December 23rd, after watching gas prices for a few weeks. Today (1/4/19) I drove past a few Chevrons and the fuel prices are now at $3.40, while the neighboring Unocal is at $3.34. The stations over in Santa Nella still are also showing the same prices...  with competitors up and down the street showing prices from $2.99 to $3.10 while Chevron sits at $3.40.  Disappointing.

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