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Rising prices at the pump affect customer buying habits, attendant interactions at Bend gas stations

Customers boost gas refills to head off higher prices tomorrow; 'They know it's not our fault'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --Surging gas prices have been a headache for many, and they don't seem to be getting any better.

"You know, we’re getting the same customer twice, instead of once, because they don’t want it to run all the way down their tank," 76 Gas manager Alan Plunkett said in Bend Monday.

With the rise in gas prices, pump attendants find themselves much busier, often putting in $5 to $10 worth of gas, rather than a fill-up -- and for those who usually paid to fill up their tanks before, many aren’t any more.

"They’re running it down quarter to half-tank, to where when they fill up, it’s just the top half of it, to where they’re beating the fuel prices before they go up tomorrow," Plunkett said.

The gas attendants have also noticed a change in customer interactions, and to little surprise, it’s mostly an expression of frustration.

"They do project that -- and they know it’s not our fault," Plunkett said. "We’re doing the best we can."

"They’re more conserved," 76 Gas attendant John Dallas said. "They’re quieter. They’re not as open and just happy about just being here.”

With higher gas prices also comes the concern of theft.

“All sorts of things that they’re doing, you know, trying to drive away with cash or whatever," Plunkett said. "But with the policies and procedures that we've got here, the guys are keeping it to a minimum."

Plunkett said they also have good relationships with many regulars, which helps a lot.

But to ease the impacts on both the gas attendants and the customers, he hopes prices go down again --and soon.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

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