As the song by Huey Lewis and the News rings through my head, with strange new lyrics saying, “I want a new fuel, one that does what it should…”
This morning on WBBM radio they said a national survey indicated that Chicago has the highest gasoline prices right now at $3.59 a gallon! It’s really just insane, because you know all the oil companies are showing HUGE revenues (profits too). What I find even more surprising is that every one seems to omit that 9/10 of a cent on every gallon of gasoline, so it’s really $3.60 a gallon. Many years ago, companies thought they would save their customers a little money by taking off 1/10 a cent on every gallon a gas, well it’s still nothing but a joke, an misrepresents the cost of the fuel. It’s corporate conditioning.
I makes me think of the Illinois Toll Way. They have these electronic devices you put in your car, called iPass, so you don’t have to fumble with change at toll booths. We have one of the first models which has an LCD screen to show the charged amount and balance on the account. A few years ago, the Tollway Authority made many changes to their Tollway system, making express lanes for users of this Ipass device. At this same time, the display on my unit started only show zeros. Their explanation, “There is a system bug, and we don’t know how to fix it.”
More like they don’t want to fix it. See, shortly after these upgrades to the roadways and iPass systems they put down an ultimatum, “Use an iPass device or pay double.”
Yes double! A driver who goes from Wisconsin to Indiana and uses the Illinois Tollway can expect to pay $4, where I with my iPass will pay $2 (I may have the amounts too low as I don’t remember all of the toll booths between Indiana and Wisconsin).
Again, this is conditioning, I don’t see what I am paying, everything is charged to an account, which I can see most people not paying attention to as it’s automatically charged to your credit card, when the account balance reaches a defined level. Also, there is very limited postings of the actual cost of the Tolls. It used to be displayed everywhere, now it’s hardly displayed anywhere. Simple psychology, out of site-out of mind. With the next raise in tollway fees, it will not be as noticeable to its end users as they aren’t consistently reminded now what they are paying at each tollbooth now.