On Monday (13 Jan), the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) launched a website which allows the comparison of online petrol pump prices.
Although there are existing websites that offer such comparison guides already, the new website, www.fuelkaki.sg is the first interactive website of its kind that makes it possible for users to compare actual spending across petrol brands.
Some of the key features that separate fuelkaki.sg from the others are its more user-friendly and legible format in the manner that it provides information as well as its more timely updates.
One of its most defining features is that it can calculate the effective price based on the information on current promotions and methods of payment such as fuel cards or credit cards. From this, consumers can be well-informed on the current effect prices of fuel.
According to the Chairman of CASE’s consumer empowerment taskforce, Melvin Yong, the effective prices that road-users end up paying could markedly differ due to the many loyalty-linked and card-based promotions. This is true even though pump prices are generally transparent in nature.
Similar to the food prices and grocery price comparison app, Price Kaki introduced earlier in September last year, the crux of this new initiative is “information availability”, he remarked. In time, the website will improve to become more user-friendly.
“We will see how useful it is to consumers…We will gather feedback and will consider other functions,” Mr Yong added. For instance, two possible functions could be, an alert to that flashes the lowest price permutation and an alert when prices change.
Mr Yong further reasoned that due to the lack of available information on the consumers’ part, they often spend based on habit or convenience and he looks forward to see how consumer behaviour responds to this new availability of information.
CASE highlights that the website, which is also supported by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), will “give motorists access to one-stop information on retail fuel prices and promotions in Singapore and the estimated effective prices that they will be paying”.
The CCCS argued that due to the differing terms and conditions, it is not easy to compare various promotion schemes by petrol retailers. Before this, the CCCS had been pushing for a mobile app or comparison portal “to improve the transparency of the effective retail petrol prices that consumers pay”.
This new initiative by CASE also has the backing of ExxonMobil, who is the operator of Esso station network in the country.
Esso’s, as well as the Chinese newcomer, Sinopec’s petrol prices remain unpublished. This means to know the prices, consumers must go to their stations to check.
According to CASE, it did take “some persuading” to get Esso to join the initiative.
CASE further affirmed that it will “endeavour to check on such pricing and promotion information and update the website directly in a timely manner”