Michigan attorney general asked to investigate Fowlerville’s high gas prices

A comparison of gas prices in Howell and Fowlerville on the same day.

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The Michigan Attorney General’s office has been asked to investigate the exorbitantly high gas prices in Fowlerville, and the fact that the four gas stations at the I-96 interchange always charge the exact same high price.

The person who asked for the investigation? Me.

I filed a formal complaint today, and asked the attorney general’s office to investigate. It’s very easy to file a formal complaint about gas-price fixing and collusion, and if you’d like to file your own complaint about the high gas prices in Fowlerville, just click here.

The attorney general’s office says it will respond to my inquiry “as soon as possible.” I shall keep you all posted.

I decided to file the complaint after we posted a photo of the Fowlerville and Howell gas prices on the Livingston Post’s Facebook page over the weekend. he caption said simply, “Anyone else tired of this?

At last count, that photo had 93 comments and 417 shares. It seems a lot of people are tired of this.

A lot of the comments just said things like, “If you don’t like the prices then don’t buy gas there,” which duh, but it’s flat-out wrong that people who live in Fowlerville should have to drive to Howell or somewhere else simply to avoid getting ripped off at the gas pump. For low-income people, it’s a killer to put another 12 miles on the car just to fill up your tank.

It also seemed like a lot of people on the Facebook post were crying out for somebody, anybody, to do something about it. So I decided to take the first step, and now I’m asking the attorney general’s office to take the second step.

On behalf of everyone in Fowlerville, we’re fed up. PLEASE investigate this!

If you live, work or spend any time in Fowlerville, you know about the situation with gas prices there. The four stations located on Grand Avenue/Fowlerville Road, at the I-96 interchange, always charge the exact same price (I believe that’s called “collusion”), and they’re always 20-60 cents higher than nearby Howell (I believe that’s called “gouging”).

The formal complaint that was filed with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

It’s important to note that it’s only the four Fowlerville stations at I-96 that are at fault. Randy’s Service, located about four miles south on Fowlerville Road, always has reasonable gas prices.

Whether it’s illegal or not, I’m asking the attorney general to determine. 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.”

So, we’ll see.

As of this writing on Monday afternoon, the average price of regular gas in Michigan was $2.60 a gallon. The four gas stations in Fowlerville, meanwhile, were all charging $3.09 a gallon.

I hunted around on the GasBuddy website, and I could only find one other gas station in the entire state – in some remote town in the Upper Peninsula – that was charging more.

So Fowlerville’s four gas stations aren’t just the highest in this area. They’re the highest in the entire state. And it’s not just ONE Fowlerville station; it’s ALL FOUR.

And when you study it, there doesn’t seem to be any rational argument as to why Fowlerville’s gas prices have to be so high.

I’ve heard the explanation that Fowlerville is at the end of the route for gas-delivery trucks, and therefore they have to pay a lot more, but that’s obviously not true.

You can pick any remote location you want in Michigan, and they all have cheaper gas than Fowlerville. At the tip of the Thumb, in Port Austin, gas is $2.66 a gallon. At the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P., as far north as you can get in Michigan, gas is $2.75 a gallon.

So you’re trying to tell me that there’s some rational explanation as to why Fowlerville has to charge $3.09?

Fowlerville is located right on one of Michigan’s major highways (I-96). It’s located smack dab in the middle of some of the state’s biggest population centers (Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor and Lansing). You’re trying to tell me there’s some reason gas has to be 49 cents a gallon higher than the state average?

This sure looks like collusion and price gouging.

The time of complaining has come and gone. It’s time for the attorney general to take action.

In case you’re wondering, my Complaint Identification Number is 2018-cp11121351507-A. I’ll keep you posted.

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About Buddy Moorehouse 205 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

19 Comments

  1. The stations at the exit are all 4 owned by 2 owners that got together and decided they would set the prices at the exit all the same higher than any where else but if you ask them they say it because they pay more for trucking costs which is BS because Randy’s Mobil is just as far

  2. I think some people just look for things to complain about. If you don’t like the prices don’t shop there. As adults I think we are responsible enough to take matters into our own hands. We don’t need to cry to the AG, I would hope they have more important issues to address.

    • I agree it should be reported but it should never get to this point. People should be smart enough to stop buying things that they are obviously being gouged on.

  3. It is about freaking time, gas is .50 to .60 cents cheaper in any direction down the road. Hint, The same guy owns the Marathon and Fowlerville farms. People were diving to Howell to get gas so he bought a station there. I have not bought gas in Fowlerville in over 5 years because of this guy. This is the same guy who sold bath salts out of the Marathon. What a great guy, helps kill the kids in Fowlerville and milks the adults needing gas.

  4. What everyone needs to also realize is most of their profits come from selling items in the stores, food, alcohol and tobacco. Hit them where it hurts, STOP buying there period…

    I also sent a complaint a few years back as well. The AG wasn’t helpful…

  5. It’s not just fowlerville, webberville gas station is the same way! We got gas today for 2.52 in east lansing while here’s fowlerville and webberville gas stations sitting at 3.09.

  6. I have to report. Gas price the gas station on Grand River, think its a Sunoco between Burkhart and Owosso has dropped their price to $2.63 tonight. Hopefully they are hearing you loud and clear!

  7. Buddy, don’t forget about the gas station in downtown Fowlerville. It always overcharges, usually the same price as the ones by I-96. That makes five gas stations. Two weeks ago we happened to buy gas in Charlotte for $2.55/gallon. That same day it was $3.19 in Fowlerville.

  8. Way go go Buddy! I filed a complaint a couple years ago and heard a different tune. I heard the AG’s office would not investigate because it is illegal. Honestly- it weighed heavily in my decision to vote for Whitmer. I didn’t see Schuette as an advocate for the individual.

  9. On behalf of the people of Fowlerville, thank you. I never even considered that we were able to do anything about it. Also, I never dreamed that we were the highest price in the state.

    • Fowlerville farms and Mobil are one owner and BP and Sunoco and the BP on Grand river is owned by another Guy so they decided to make the prices all the same thats why they are always the same price

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