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I, and many others, share a feeling that we are being severely taken advantage of by our resident monopoly (the Army and Air Force Exchange Service) concerning its insatiable desire to escalate the cost of our gasoline (definition of monopoly: exclusive possession of trade, privilege, etc.).

First, how can the price continue to go up when the tanks from which AAFES pumps are obviously not empty from the previous week’s fuel magically at midnight on every Friday? I know I have seen fuel trucks topping off their tanks on Friday (which should be at the current week’s prices) yet, come Saturday morning, prices jump! Likewise I find it difficult to believe that the fuel tanks of the storage (Army Quartermaster) are empty each and every Friday and that a tanker pulls in every Friday at midnight to replenish those tanks with higher-priced fuel. The reality is that AAFES is steadfastly raising prices on fuel purchased at much cheaper prices, which mean profits soar.

Second, how can stateside average fuel costs (which include federal, state and local taxes) be used to justify pricing on fuel here, where I am sure that said taxes are not a part of the cost? Any rationalization I have ever heard regarding this is nothing more than a smoke-and-mirrors tactic. The one thing that has never been done is to provide a straightforward explanation like, “Our actual cost is $X.XX, our legitimate expense is $X.XX so our sell price is $X.XX.” Using another area, which has nonconsistent factors, is akin to saying that the cost of a cup of coffee in Japan is dependent on the cost of a cup of tea in China.

When a business has no oversight or no competition, it has nothing to fear and can remain uncontrollable in its actions.

I also wrote this letter for the thousands who have not seen the alleged benefit of AAFES’ grandiose claims of donations to Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

And the price increases yet again on Saturday by another 13.6 cents. Where or when will it stop? Does anyone care?

Master Sgt. John Bowers



Stripes in 7

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