Safeway Sued for Selling Cheaper Gasoline
|Okay, so it's not THAT cheap|
While Bay Area drivers bask in the reality that they can fill up their tank at a local Safeway store on the cheap(er), six East Bay gas stations are suing the grocery retailer for lowering their fuel prices and crippling surrounding business.
According to the lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court, Safeway offers a 3-cent discount on every gallon of gas for its club card holders. But it's easy to get that discount, even if you can't be bothered to sign up for a card -- just give the Safeway attendant a phone number.
But there's more.
The gas stations claim that anyone who has shopped at Safeway can go inside the store, show food receipts, and get an additional discount on gas -- as much as 10 cents per gallon, according to the claim.
In other words, Safeway is siphoning off local drivers who might otherwise fill up elsewhere. The plaintiffs allege that Safeway's "unlawful or unfair" pricing schemes is having an international effect.
"Surveys consistently show that the Safeway station, with its available discounts, offers the lowest retail-sales fuel price in the local market. ... The Safeway retail prices are below its cost in violation of California law."
So now fuel stations are demanding that Safeway take what it has earned from that extra business and pay them -- no less than $100,000 in damages.
Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF