Reacting to some reports that fuel retailers might consider artificial intelligence-based 'surge' pricing for fuel at forecourts, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:
“While this technology may seem great for retailers such an approach to fuel pricing appears to be a step backwards which will leave a bad taste in the mouth of motorists. This will take what little trust and confidence drivers they have in fuel retailers to a lower level and will be seen as a cynical way to increase prices by stealth.
“It is odd that the supermarkets who command high volume sales and claim to operate on low margins would chose to manipulate prices in such a way at the risk of alienating customers. Fuel is a commodity product and its price is clearly promoted on forecourt totems to draw in customers. Therefore increasing the price of fuel which they have already bought at one wholesale price seems very underhand.
“We closely monitor daily fuel prices to increase transparency and to encourage supermarkets and retailers to play fair with motorists. However if they are able to increase the price during the course of a day then it blows a smokescreen over the true cost of fuel. Drivers already feel they are paying some of the highest fuel prices in Europe and any move which appears to increase retailers’ profits at periods of high demand will be viewed with anger by the UK’s 38 million motorists.”