No Bait-and-Switch Allowed at Gas Pumps Says Agriculture Commissioner

Thu, 09/01/2005 - 12:30pm
By: Joanna Gibson

1:30 p.m. - Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin reminded gas station owners and managers and other outlets that sell gasoline to the public that it is illegal to post one price on the street or on a billboard and charge another at the pump.

This bait-and-switch is a violation of state law and will not be tolerated, said Commissioner Irvin. We have had reports about stations or convenience stores saying they did not have time or enough employees to change the price on the sign. That is not an excuse. If you have enough employees to change the price, you have enough employees to change the sign that advertises your price or to take the sign down.

We have also had reports of a station being out of gas and the owner putting a low price on the street sign in order to bring in more traffic. Besides being a poor business practice that is likely to anger people who actually stop, it would also be classified as misleading advertising, said Irvin.

While sellers of gasoline do not have to post their prices on the street, they are required to make sure the prices advertised match the price charged at the pump, said Irvin. Our inspectors will be looking for violations as they travel the state. We encourage any consumers who are charged something different from the advertised price to contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 1-800-282-5852 or to e-mail us at

Commissioner Irvin also reiterated that while the Georgia Department of Agriculture monitors the quality of gasoline and makes sure the proper amount is dispensed at the pump, the department has no authority to regulate the price of gasoline.

login to post comments