Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Caltex Scab Grab

I filled my car with fuel yesterday. Not a task thats very out of the ordinary. Aside from the little sign I noticed at the pump whilst filling up. It stated that anyone paying with a credit card would be subject to a 1.50% surcharge on the cost. This rose to 3.0% depending on your card type.

What the hell? This from Caltex, a company that posted a 2005 RCOP of $414 million? They rake in a huge profit (2.2 cents per litre of fuel served in 2005) and feel compelled to pass on a minor charge such as this? Although, this is only at the Caltex franchises, and not the Caltex Woolworths stations. Doubtless they will bleat that they "absorbed the charge for the whole of last year before finally passing it to customers". Yet their profit rose by $64 million.

To be fair, Caltex gave their shareholders $84 million of this as dividends (31 cents per share). I guess the rest went to R&D. Although Caltex states that their Australian operation has "no crude oil or gas exploration or production interests". Maybe R&D stands for Rulers & Directors.

My information was gathered here.

I note that Caltex does not provide a 'customer feedback' section on their website, only a phone number. Nothing like a little venting from consumers to crash servers.

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