East Texas Companies Struggle With Gas Prices - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/16/08-Longview

East Texas Companies Struggle With Gas Prices

Mobile, service-oriented businesses are struggling with high gas prices, and passing on their costs to consumers.   Mobile businesses like A-1 exterminators and Lock-Doc use trucks, and gassing up cost more than ever, and that cost is passed on to consumers in service costs.

"We have to increase it by just a few dollars to offset the gas," says A-1 owner Danny Ausmus.

"We didn't have any choice. We had to go up on our service calls," says lock doc owner Ralph Warren.

To keep service prices reasonable, businesses are trying to better organize their service calls, to keep drivers from going long distances between jobs.

"We have to look at the trucks where they're going how many stops they have to make what kind of jobs they are. Obviously some are more money than others" Ausmus says.

Some say cut backs are not an alternative.

"I've got to have these employees. They've got to drive to work too. They're got to survive," says Warren.

Mobile oriented service businesses are very aware that passing the cost on to the customer could cost them, so they're trying everything they can to minimize that. But its not getting any better.

"See if there's anyway we can trim streamline it a little better. So far we've gone as far as we can go but sooner or later we're going to have to pass it on down the line," Warren says.

You may not see the charge, but a couple of dollars in gas are already there. And it may not get better anytime soon.

"If it doesn't slow down or doesn't stop we won't have any choice. Its biting into the business pretty heavy ultimately we're going to have to pass the cost on to the customers," says Warren.

Businesses we talked with today said if prices continue to climb, they may have to reduce the number of service calls they make in order to minimize costs to customers.

Bob Hallmark reporting/bhallmark@kltv.com

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