The high gas prices in Fowlerville are ridiculous; are they illegal?

Share this:

Gas has always been more expensive in Fowlerville – maybe 10 or 20 cents a gallon more than in Howell and other surrounding communities – but in the past few weeks, it’s gotten downright ridiculous.

As of this writing, all four of the gas stations at the I-96 interchange in Fowlerville were at $2.69 a gallon. The BP station on Grand River Avenue was just a tad lower, at $2.65.

Seven miles down the road in Howell, gas at VG’s is selling for $2.25 a gallon. Most of the places in Howell are at $2.25 a gallon.

So, to review:

Gas in Fowlerville is $2.69 a gallon.

Gas in Howell is $2.25 a gallon. That’s 44 cents a gallon cheaper just seven miles away.

WHAT IN THE NAME OF CHARLIE GEHRINGER IS GOING ON HERE?!

In the cities all around Fowlerville, gas is much, much cheaper. According to GasBuddy (no relation to me), it’s as cheap as $2.19 in Brighton. It’s $2.49 in Hartland, about $2.36 in Pinckney, $2.25 in Okemos and $2.43 in Stockbridge. The state average is $2.39 a gallon.

So I’ll ask again: WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? How in the world can the gas stations in Fowlerville justify charging 44 cents a gallon MORE for gas?

I spend a lot of time in Fowlerville, but only once in the past couple months have I actually bought gas there. I stupidly let the tank run down too low, so my solution was to only buy $5 worth at a Fowlerville station until I could drive to Howell to fill up. It was the principle as much as anything – I couldn’t live with myself if I paid 44 cents a gallon more.

I’ve heard various explanations through the years as to why gas is more expensive in Fowlerville, but the only explanation that makes sense is this: All the gas station owners like it that way.

You can’t tell me that it costs more to deliver gas to Fowlerville than it does to Howell or Stockbridge. You can’t tell me that the 87 octane gas they’re selling in Fowlerville is any different than the 87 octane gas they’re selling everywhere else.

So the only explanation is that the station owners in Fowlerville have decided to charge more. A lot more. Period.

Now, is that illegal? Probably not. If there’s just an unspoken agreement among everyone that they’re going to keep their prices high, then it’s probably not illegal. But if they HAVE discussed it any way, well, then there’s a problem.

On its website, this is what the Federal Trade Commission has to say on the matter: “If there is evidence that the gasoline station operators talked to each other about increasing prices and agreed on a common pricing plan, that may be an antitrust violation.”

We’ll leave it to the authorities to investigate whether or not that’s taking place. State Rep. Hank Vaupel and State Sen. Joe Hune are both from Fowlerville, so it would be nice to see them ask for an opinion on this. Sure, we can all drive to Howell to fill up, but the local folks are getting screwed.

In the meantime, here’s my detailed plan for how we, as Fowlerville consumers, need to deal with this. Ready? Here’s my plan:

DON’T BUY GAS IN FOWLERVILLE.

Brilliant, huh? Yeah, it took me a while to come up with that strategy. Seriously, though, until things change, don’t buy gas in Fowlerville. Ever. And don’t visit those gas stations to buy other things, either. If you want a bottle or pop or a newspaper, just go to Save-On Foods or O’Connor’s Deli. Those are great businesses, and they aren’t screwing over anyone with their prices.

Fowlerville is a great, great town. It deserves better gas stations.

About Buddy Moorehouse 84 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

18 Comments

  1. Yep – all true. I’ve seen a 60 cent difference! But – you drive by the stations and they are full. Silly people.

  2. I live in Howell and I have always thought the stations near D19 and 96 were in collusion because they were always higher than the stations up and down grand river! I never use the Mobil, Speedway, Shell or the Sunoco closest to me! I will drive into Howell for better prices and have driven into Brighton to Corrigan Sunoco when they are 20 cent cheaper! It seems funny when 3 or 4 nearby station jump 15 – 20 cents at the same time and begin dropping a penny at the same time! How come one of station owners can’t say wow I think I’ll drop mine say 8 cents cheaper and see what happens?

  3. I live in Fowlerville & I am so glad that someone had some big ones, & tried to help us fight against money hungry people. I asked them why one time & they also told me because it was father to deliver it.

  4. Thank you SO much for writing this article, this price gouging has gone on long enough, I too will only put $5.00 in my tank for an emergency, but sometimes rather take my chances running out of gas than give these guys one penny, pure GREED.

  5. I’m so glad this issue was brought to the forefront! Thank you for writing this article! I, too will not purchase gas in Fowlerville! It is a disgrace to charge so much more than other areas. Our local politicians should step in to address this price gouging in our community!

  6. Thanks for throwing us under the bus again Buddy! We own a gas station with a Fowlerville address and not one thing was said about our gas being cheeper than in town! Or to patron our store for a bottle of pop or a tire repair. We’ve owned a gas station with a Fowlerville address for 41yrs and all I have to say is that I’m glad we have other revenues than selling gas at the pump because the profit margins suck! Not to mention that we have to police all the TAXES on gas! We collect it and we are doing all the paperwork making sure it gets to the state and feds. Oh yeah I almost forgot to mention that we loose on the average of 2.7 % on a sale to the credit card co.

    • Randys out on Mason road, their gas prices are always at 10 to 20 cents cheaper than the ones in the center go figure keep it up randys

  7. I live in Fowlerville,work in Fowlerville, and do most of my shopping in Fowlerville but I will not buy gas here. I’ve run my gas down to the point of thinking oh no I’m going to run out of gas getting to Howell but I will still drive to Howell and run out on the way before I’ll buy it in Fowlerville

  8. Someone told me years ago that Fowlerville was the last delivery for the western supplier. And we are too far west for the Eastern supplier, so it’s farther to deliver to Fowlerville, hence the higher price. It made sense to me at the time, but I buy in Howell or Brighton, coz I’m there a couple times a week.

  9. The 4 stations at the I96 Fowlerville exit are owned by 2 people. OF COURSE they are in agreement!

    • Yes, that is what I’ve been hearing too. That they’re all owned by that same guy/family. I live in Fowlerville and cringe if I have to but here. It isn’t right what the Fowlerville gas stations are doing.

  10. I have not purchased anything from the gas stations in fowlerville for a long time because of their ridiculous pricing. It would be great if they actually wanted our business and our money

  11. I live in Fowlerville and refuse to buy gas at any of the station’s! I will go to Howell or even Williamston….

  12. As a long time Fowlerville resident,having recently move to Ohio the whole state pays too much. Last month I returned to Ann Arbor to visit family. When I left Ohio gas was $2.18 a gal. In Michigan it was $2.55 a gal. I decided that the only reason for such a price difference had to be magic. So Fowlerville must have super magical gas.

  13. I totally agree and will not be purchasing anything from these gas stations in Fowlerville until they lower their prices to be the same as the surrounding cities gas stations.

What do you think?