Rampant refuelling along the Italian motorway: 2.60 euros for litres of fuel

If you are on holiday in Italy, it is best to check the price on the pump first. A Eindhoven man in transit did not do that and, thanks to a litre price of 2.60 euros, paid almost double for a full tank. He’s furious and feels ripped off. At the ANWB they have never experienced such extortionate prices.

From those alluring-looking terraces in cosy squares, overlooking a picturesque basilica. But where they serve pizzas with bottoms of cardboard, topped with two olives for a sloppy 25 euros. Tourist traps are called them, tourist traps for which internet forums are warned. And what premises know: we shouldn’t be there.

The fact that such practices do not apply only to the hospitality industry, eindhovenaar Michel Gies has encountered. They can also do something about it at a petrol station in Italy. His wonderful holiday in Sardinia has given him a nasty taste because of his experience. He appears to have fallen into a trap of what dozens of internet reports say is a notorious pump. Not somewhere in a remote village, but just along highway A7; the main thoroughfare between Genoa and Milan.

Pure rip-off
For a litre of €95, the holidaymaker had to tap 2.60 euros there at the beginning of this month. “I suddenly saw the amount go up very quickly, until finally that litre price penetrated,” says Gies. “The problem is that you sit on the highway and actually drive in a ‘trap’. You expect the price to be about the same everywhere on the highway. And not that this saves more than 1 euro per litre. With a reasonably empty tank, you don’t drive 50 kilometers to the next gas station. When I found out, the tank was already full, and then you have to pay. Pure rip-off,” he says.

Photos of pump prices
The Eindhoven man refuelled at the Tamoil pump on the east side of the motorway at Castelnuovo Scrivia. Reviews on Google and Tripadvisor complain about the high fuel prices and the prices of the fast food burgers that would be many times higher at that stopover. On Twitter, some motorists post pictures of pump prices.

Gies didn’t let it go and sends emails to Tamoil in the Netherlands and Italy when he gets home. The ANWB is also switched on. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says the ANWB spokesman. “This is a lot like scams.” Other examples of similar extortionate prices are therefore not known to the advocate. The ANWB has agreed to take matters into its own hands with its Italian sister organisation.

Tamoil in the Netherlands says it is not impressed by the situation but fears it can do nothing in this matter. The companies in Italy and the Netherlands are separate organizations. ,,How prices are determined depends on the contract. In the case of a self-employed pump holder, he is allowed to set the prices himself. We don’t have much influence on that. But at Tamoil in Italy, they won’t be happy about this either. There’s no doubt there’s something going on. Maybe it has something to do with the corona crisis and the pump holder is trying to make up for some of the lost sales”, the Dutch spokesman suggests.

Regretted
But that seems unlikely. Also last year there was already complaints about the prices on the widely used holiday route. According to a price comparison site, a litre of euro 95 cost 2.40 this week, more than a euro more than at a pump nearby and 77 cents more expensive than the petrol station on the other side of the motorway. In an email to Gies, Tamoil expresses regret in Italy. The oil company says it has taken action. The petrol station only informed this newspaper that the prices are ‘legal rates’. The ADVICE of the ANWB to Dutch travellers: “Fine to stretch your legs but you should not refuel there.

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