Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Selective Boycott of Shell and Caltex

I got an email encourage me to boycott Shell and Caltex and buy Petron. This will supposedly force the price of gasoline to go down to P20 or P30 according to the latest email I got. (Wow, this paragraph is original content :-) I don't want to reproduce that chain email here, but I do want to post a few responses that I got from the Internet validating my suspicion that the email is a hoax. Here they are:

Selective boycott of oil firms will work only if...

By Federico D. Pascual Jr.

BOYCOTT FAILS: What ever happened to the idea broached by disgruntled motorists to boycott Shell and Caltex and buy fuel only from Petron or the small players to force the foreign oil giants losing sales to lower their prices and thereby foment a price war? I have asked around and I want to report that, for whatever reasons, the idea apparently has not caught on. Why would it work when most people are not even aware of the action plan? The boycott proponents were mostly campaigning by email in the Internet. And how many motorists have email and Internet?


The folly of forcing a price war on oil
by Bong Austero

The e-mail that’s currently clogging up networks is yet another hoax entitled Gas Out. It’s a pseudo campaign with a noble objective—to lower prices of oil by forcing a price war with the two major oil companies in the country. It is an e-mail that seems to be generating steam. Friends in the industry have asked me to comment on it since they have noted that many people seem to think that it would work.

It’s one of those pseudo campaigns with a huge potential to hook people in simply because it perpetuates the truism that many people continue to hold sacrosanct: When people come together in unity, nothing is impossible, even slaying a corporate giant. In this particular case, oil companies. Very few are able to resist the temptation to join something so seemingly righteous.

Read more at Manila Standard Today

On boycotts and lower gas prices
posted by Sacha Chua

I received a forwarded e-mail exhorting Filipinos to boycott Shell and Caltex in order to force the two companies to lower their gas prices, and thus affect gas prices everywhere.

Something about that approach strikes me as wrong.

First, it ignores the law of supply and demand. If all the faithful boycotters get their gas from independent gasoline stations (of which there aren't that many, especially along the highways), what's to prevent those gas stations from raising _their_ prices?

Second, it feels like a solution from the wrong side of consumerism. Let me quote a segment from the e-mail:

Read more at Sacha Chua's Wordpress blog

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