Thursday, October 22, 2009

Watch Out For Spending More Because of Habit

When I go to fill up on gas I always use the middle grade of gas... (this is the principle of contrast, by the way... when faced with choices of varying prices many people will pick the price that is one down from the most expensive... but that is a sidebar... it's not even what this blog post is about!). And the middle grade of gas is supposed to be in the middle, right?



I don't know if I'm getting paranoid these days or if this is a random occurence, or if some companies are actually trying to get me to spend more money, but here's what I've been noticing: Instead of having the middle price in the middle... the HIGHEST price is actually in the middle! By habit I put the nozzle in the tank and always push the middle button... And I am therefore, unwittingly, choosing the most expensive gas.

Here are some examples:






And as we all know, once a habit is formed, it's hard to break.

Anyone else been noticing this type of "switch" at gasoline pumps or in other ways?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

ive always wondered if the gas companies are earning millions of dollars in EXTRA profit by slowing down the gas pump earlier and earlier.

im thinking that SURELY - the technology exists to have the gas pump shut off right at the pre-paid amount, versus slowing down at the final .25 cent to be pumped mark.

i imagine the majority of us impatient americans choose to put the pump back up rather than wait for the final 15-20 cents to slowly pump b/c that's not much money.

but for the oil companies - multiply that .15-.20 by millions of transactions a day - and ur talking about pure sweet profit!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Those little buggers are always one step ahead ....

an old book == The Hidden Persuaders.

Susan Weinschenk said...

I'll have to check out The Hidden Persuaders!