Monday, May 26, 2008

With profits booming, Exxon fights for pennies


If this doesn't make you fucking angry there's something wrong with you.

I rarely call for or encourage boycotts. I do them all the time with stores which use bait and switch or won't honor a warrantee, but am not a crusader who urges others to do the same &ndash ExxonMobile deserves one.
Every time Sohaila Rezazadeh rings up a sale at her Exxon station in the Oakton section of Fairfax, Va., her cash register sends the information to Exxon Mobil's central computers. If she raises the price of gasoline a couple of pennies, chances are that Exxon will raise the wholesale price she pays by the same amount.

Through a password-protected Web portal, Exxon notifies Rezazadeh of wholesale price changes daily. That way the oil giant, which is currently earning about $3.3 billion a month, fine-tunes the pump prices at the franchise Rezazadeh has owned for the past 12 years.

Now, however, Rezazadeh says she cannot stay in business. Credit-card fees are eating her profit margins. Exxon, which owns the station land, last week handed Rezazadeh a new lease raising her rent about 30 percent over the next three years. She stuck a copy on the window of her station to show customers who are angry about soaring pump prices. Rezazadeh has told Exxon that she cannot make money with the rent that high. Her territory manager's reply, she said, was simple: When you go, leave us the keys.

Note: Headline links to source.

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