Tesco under fire over Ellon fuel prices

Tesco are facing fierce criticism over their fuel prices in Ellon.

Thursday, 5th December 2013, 6:00 am
Tesco filling station in Ellon.

Angry local motorists have complained they are being unfairly penalised by the supermarket giants when prices per litre in other forecourts in the area are cheaper for both diesel and petrol. Ellon drivers also point to rival stores regularly undercutting Tesco on fuel. Asda in Peterhead charges £1.347 per litre of diesel while at Tesco in Ellon it costs £1.389.

But the company have defended their pricing policy, saying they aim to make it as competitive as possible.

Ellon man Bill Jolly junior told the Times he had made repeated requests to Tesco for an explanation on the Ellon prices but had not so far received a satisfactory answer.

He said: “We are charged £1.389p a litre for diesel by Tesco Ellon and further north in Peterhead at ASDA they are charging £1.347 per litre for diesel.

“That is 4.2 pence per litre less or a full 19.093 pence less per gallon for the same supermarket product that Tesco deliver at overpriced rates to their Ellon customers - this is obscene.

“Some consumers are tied to local suppliers as they do not commute or travel far, they are forced to pay this unfair surcharge.”

Mr Jolly added that Ellon motorists were suffering through a lack of competition in the town due, he claims, to Tesco and the Esso filling station, in Station Road, continuing to price match.

In a recent reply to Mr Jolly, a Tesco customer service executive said that prices are set based on prevailing cost prices and then adjusted to take into account local competitor prices.

She added: “In areas of high competition, prices can be pushed to very low levels that do not reflect wholesale costs or that would provide an operating profit.

“We recognise that in such areas, we need to be as competitive as we can and this can lead to variations in prices between our sites.

“We understand that our customers are very concerned about high fuel prices, particularly in the current economic climate, and are committed to giving them a great value offer.

“We strive to ensure our prices are as competitive as possible.”

Ellon and District SNP Councillor Richard Thomson ran a campaign before he was elected to try and persuade supermarkets to harmonise fuel prices across the country.

He said: “There’s no good reason why fuel should be dearer in Ellon than it is in Aberdeen or Peterhead.

“However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re arguing here about a matter of a couple of pence a litre, when the real problem is the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”