Monday, July 7, 2008

My Gallons Dot Com

Check it out, an idea my brother Forrest and his wife Linda came across:

I think I would want to talk to someone who has taken the plunge. It's not $30 a year if you don't sign up for automatic funding... they can forget that, so that means $40 per year for me.

They say "virtually all" gas stations will accept the card. I'd like to hear from someone we trust who says in fact he hasn't had a problem with that.

Clearly, anyone who signed up last year would be looking brilliant now, and any hassles would be easy to blow off as unimportant. Signing up now is less clearly advantageous, but even if we had signed up earlier, that advantage would be gone [I think] by having spent the investment. It will be a crap shoot every time you try to decide how much money to lock into at the lower prices? Less than $500 might be a waste of time when $50, or $100, gets eaten up instantly? I'm using question marks because I haven't really gotten into those details.


Matt said...

Sounds like playing in the speculation market. What happens if they go under? They're obviously gambling that prices will go down. Chrysler has some similar program if you buy a new car, they lock in your fuel cost for some indeterminate amount of time (they specify, I can't remember). It smelled of desperation at the time I saw it. I just don't see how this is a good business model, let alone a good way out of our real energy crisis.

Louise said...

I wonder if when they say "accepted at nearly all gas stations in the United States" they mean "accepted at nearly all gas stations in the Lower 48". Alaska and Hawaii are frequently left off the list.

As for me, I'm trying to ride my bike more and looking into using the bus (although that's an issue I could get up on a soapbox about).

Forrest said...

This is certainly an interesting idea but I don't know if I will do it. I might try purchasing a small amount if they will let me (less than$100). Some "opinion leaders" are saying we are enterring a new era with a new paradigm wit these new gas prices; perhaps this is part of it.

Carlw4514 said...

>Sounds like playing in the speculation market.

yes, seems like a form of speculation. Somehow they do have to make money, I'd feel a little more comfortable if they would say exactly how!

>looking into using the bus (although that's an issue I could >get up on a soapbox about).

oh? feel free to elaborate

>I might try purchasing a small amount if they will let me
>(less than$100).

I'm guessing if you pay the $40 you can do as you please. Forrest, we need a guinea pig here, so if you are volunteering...

Austin Chu said...

I think it's a great concept. However, I do have some concerns. I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards, and I blog about gift card issues on I just read a disturbing article on the LA times. Summary: The Better Business Bureau, gave a n "F."

Carlw4514 said...

>The Better Business Bureau gave an “F”

nope, that can't be good, thanks for the heads-up!

Anonymous said...

Theoretically they make money from
a)the float
b)selling advertising on website
c)the yearly fees

I (always the cynic) wonder how this would REALLY work- glad for the heads up from Austin

the referenced wife

Forrest said...


Thanks Austin.

I guess the new paradigm is that there will be many who will use the energy crisis as an opportunity to steal from the victims of the economic calamity.

"Be careful out there!"