I received the following email urging me to participate. “This will work.” I was told.
Here is the pitch:
This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It’s worth your consideration.
Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea.
This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the “don’t buy gas on a certain day” campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn’t continue to “hurt” ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.
BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us! By now you’re probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 – $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace….. not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can’t just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
Here’s the idea:
For the rest of this year, DON’T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It’s really simple to do! Now, don’t wimp out at this point…. keep reading and I’ll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people.
I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us sends it to at least ten more (30 x 10 =3D 300) … and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 =3D 3,000)…and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it….. THREE >>>>HUNDRED MILLION >>>>PEOPLE!!!
Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That’s all. (If you don’t understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people…. Well, let’s face it, you just aren’t a mathematician. But I am, so trust me on this one.)
How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!!
I’ll bet you didn’t think you and I had that much potential, did you?
Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN.
THIS CAN REALLY WORK.
No. It really won’t work. I first saw a version of this chain email about 5 or 6 years ago. And I thought that it was silly then. It seems more so now. You can see an early variant of the above chain email here.
Gas is a commodity. It operates under a basic economic law of supply and demand. Producers are pushing the price up because demand is increasing. Sure, it is annoying that there is a backdrop of global unrest. It makes the current price increase seem engineered. I mean, the product itself hasn’t magically changed since the potential for war in Iran has emerged. Why would the producers use political unrest and choose this point in time to raise their prices?
Because they can.
If demand goes down, then the price will go down.
Will an email chain letter change the demand curve? Demand for gasoline is a global context. You’d have to convince an awful lot of people to stop using their SUVs to begin to impact the demand curve.
Regardless, asking people to buy their gas from another retailer does not impact the demand curve. And, if you are not impacting the demand curve, then the tactic is completely and absolutely meaningless.