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Sunoco on Grand River in Howell, Michigan

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I have classes now in Howell, so I'll be coming here twice a week. I don't mind longer drives, but I've always hated the drive to Howell. Not to mention the fact that it's in the fringe range for both my favorite Lansing radio station and my favorite Detroit radio station.


Since I needed fuel, and had just enough to make it home and to work tomorrow, I decided I'd fill up in Howell provided the nozzle wasn't black.


When I got to the Sunoco, I was disgusted. As Jim has been posting from time to time, their price spread is negative. Regular is $1.999, and E85 is priced at $2.549.


I figured I'd take some off their hands so that potentially they could get a refill that much sooner at a lower price. Now of course I have to figure out where to come up with $41.


Any rate, the pump was slow as hell. It took me over 15 minutes to pump 16 gallons of fuel. I noticed that not only is the pump labeled improperly and in the back of the building where it's hard to find, but the hose was wearing out. After having only put in 11 gallons, I decided to go in and ask about why it was so slow. Initially the told me that it does sell when I asked.


A guy who I'm guessing is the manager came up next to the employee I was talking to, and asked me why I think the price spread is negative. I didn't really want to answer, because there's really no excuse - it's all about supplier. I mentioned to him that there are stations back in Lansing that have E85 at a $0.70 POSITIVE spread. He told me that they bought E85 before gasoline started plummeting, and then told me that no one was buying it - conflicting with what the two employees had told me initially. I mentioned that the hose appears to be wearing out, and he just told me that they'll replace it when it's necessary. He told me that they can't sell it for a lower price because they'd be giving it away. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to remind him that he isn't making a profit on gasoline either - a product which has significantly higher volume for them. I should know because I work at a fuel station in East Lansing, and the manager has told me that he wants fuel prices to go up - they're losing money on every fuel sold except for diesel.


I went back out after this conversation to find fuel STILL pumping. I had to go back in because the receipt didn't print, and the guy did manage to apologize (for what, I'm not quite sure). Another thing I wish I had the presence of mind to say was that they got ripped off.

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