FACUA-Consumers in Action has denounced four gas stations in Navarra for raising their prices on April 1, the day that the discounts imposed for the next three months by the royal decree-law approved last week by the Council of Ministers came into force. The association has filed complaints with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) against 230 gas stations located in 37 provinces of 13 autonomous communities.
As stated by the organization in a note, “last Friday, the reported service stations applied increases of at least 5 cents”, which is the margin cut that the sector has to contribute, as established in article 15 of the Royal Decree- Law 6/2022, of March 29, which adopts urgent measures within the framework of the National Plan to respond to the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine.
Thus, he highlighted that “208 of the more than 5,000 gas stations that updated their prices and communicated them to the Ministry for Ecological Transition on the morning of April 1, applied increases of 5 cents or more in diesel prices. As for gasoline 95, the rise of 5 cents or more occurred on Friday morning at 171 service stations”. The association obtained the data in the mornings of March 31 and April 1 through the Geoportal website, belonging to the aforementioned ministry.
230 GAS STATIONS REPORTED IN 13 COMMUNITIES
By autonomous communities, Andalusia is the region with the highest number of reported stations, 65, which are divided into four in Almería, five in Cádiz, eleven in Córdoba, twelve in Granada, four in Huelva, nine in Jaén, three in Málaga and seventeen In sevilla.
Castilla-La Mancha occupies the second position, with 46 gas stations: Albacete (4), Ciudad Real (10), Cuenca (1), Guadalajara (5) and Toledo (26). The latter is the province with the most establishments that raised their prices on April 1. In third place is the Valencian Community, with eleven stations in Alicante, one in Castellón and twenty in Valencia. A total of 32.
In Extremadura, with 21 reported gas stations, it is divided between twelve in Badajoz and nine in Cáceres. In Catalonia there have been 18 -Barcelona (9), Girona (1), Lleida (2) and Tarragona (6)-, as in Castilla y León: Burgos (5), León (5), Salamanca (3), Segovia (1) and Valladolid (4). In the Region of Murcia, complaints have been filed against ten gas stations, as well as many others in Aragon: two in Huesca, seven in Teruel and one in Zaragoza.
In the Community of Madrid, six service stations have been reported; and both in Navarra and Galicia four. In this last community there have been one in Lugo and three in Pontevedra. Lastly, there is one in the Basque Country, located in Guipúzcoa, and another in the Principality of Asturias.
In total, gas stations in 37 provinces have been reported for having increased the price of gasoline and/or diesel. In addition, FACUA suspects that there are provinces where different service stations “have reached agreements to raise prices simultaneously.”
According to Facua, of the 230 service stations reported, 26 belong to Repsol. In second place, the chain that accumulates the most complaints is ES Carburantes, with twelve, followed by Farruco SA, with ten. Next, Cepsa, with eight gas stations, Galp with seven, MaxOil with 6 and BP with 4.
Agla, Avia and Petronor have three stations against which complaints have been filed, Ballenoil and Campsa two each, and Petrogas and Shell close the list with one. In addition to these chains, another 142 independent gas stations have been reported.
In its complaint to the General Directorate of Consumption of the Ministry of Alberto Garzón, FACUA recalls that the aforementioned royal decree-law establishes in its article 21 that “the competent authorities in matters of consumption may sanction unfair commercial practices with consumers or users related to the application of the discount”. For this reason, it requests the ministerial body to bring the facts to the attention of the regional consumer protection authorities “so that they investigate them and open the corresponding disciplinary proceedings against the gas stations where they consider that the aforementioned unfair practices have been committed.”
For its part, in the complaint before the CNMC, the association indicates that the aforementioned article of the royal decree-law contemplates that “the National Commission of Markets and Competition may take cognizance of those acts of unfair competition related to the discount that, for distort free competition, affect the public interest”. Given this, he asks the body chaired by Cani Fernandez to assess “whether all or part of the reported service stations would have violated the law.”
According to Facua, gas stations “have to pass on to consumers a discount of at least 20 cents, including taxes, on the retail price of gasoline and diesel refueled between April 1 and June 30.” Of these, 15 cents will be returned to them, charged to the General State Budget.