Over the weekend, I drove into a Shell service station to fill up on what I thought was going to be a good deal on fuel. I paid for a predetermined amount of fuel and just when I started to fill up, I noticed that the price at the pump was a little higher than what I thought I was meant to be paying. It read 209.9 instead of 205.9!
As I was driving along I looked at the fuel prices on their price board and saw 205.9 and below that 209.9 (see photo below). I automatically assumed that they were selling 91 Octane for 205.9 with 95 Octane being 4 cents more.
How it happened?
One of the things I put it down to is conditioning! I think what went wrong was that my brain had been conditioned to seeing prices being listed in a particular manner which in most cases is 91 Octane at the top, 95 Octane in the middle and diesel at the bottom. That being said, all other details around the price list have become non-existent as I am focused on the numbers being presented to me.
That there is how I think I managed to miss out on the detail to the left of the numbers which read “Ultra Discount Voucher”.
(The flip-side of the coin is that the marketers over at Shell are aware of this and use it to their advantage to pull in more customers)
The lesson I learnt from this was, I need to pay more attention to detail because it could be costly!
When you look at the short-term gains in dollars and cents, it may not seem like a big deal. But, if you look at it long-term (over a one year period for example), those dollars and cents add up and that money could be put away in a high interest bearing account or some other investment and become worth your while.
Photo taken with an HTC Desire S Smartphone