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customer service desk
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easter weekend
gas prices
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$1 Per Gallon Of Gas In Pasadena, Texas
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$1 Per Gallon Of Gas In Pasadena, Texas

Ordinarily, I wouldn't be anxious to leave my home state to move to Texas. However, if I were going to be there, today, the 10 April 2012, would have been the day to fill my '99 GMC Suburban with gas. (You're probably wondering why we have such a huge gas-guzzler when gas prices are so high. We have 8 people in our family).

In Pasadena, some lucky Conoco customers were able to enjoy a computer glitch that charged a mere $1.01 per gallon of gas. The pumps were brand new. At midnight, the pumps spontaneously changed the price.

The word spread quickly. As the line of cars formed, the police were called. By 1:30 AM, the station ran out of fuel. The manager shut down the pumps, according to CBS affiliate Houston, TX TV station KHOU.

During Easter weekend, I filled my family's Suburban for $145. The price difference would easily be $110!

The national average is $3.92 per gallon. However, the average for Texas is $3.84.

It is no wonder people flocked to the station for this incredible, but short-lived deal. The problem was that this was a glitch, not some promotion. The station owner, manager, and others were short changed.

I think it would be interesting to know what kind of effect this glitch had on the station. Did the company who sold the computer and pumps to the station have any guarantees that will cover the losses sustained?

I'm sure that many people, myself included, wonder if any of the people went back to the station to pay the difference between the actual gas price and the price they paid that night. The reason I ask this is because countless people who receive the wrong change or are charged too little for the products they buy at a store take the time to correct the problem at the store's customer service desk.

To be honest, I probably would have bought the gas and been in such shock that I might have thought the station was doing some kind of public relations stunt until I heard about the real reasons for this unusual gas price on the news. Then, my conscience would have told me to contact the station manager or owner during regular hours to find out what was going on and, in this particular situation, rectify the situation in a way that satisfies the store and my conscience. However, that is only my best guess.

I would love to hear about what you think about this glitch, what you would do, and if you know even more about this story.


Street Talk

I wonder why they weren't able to correct it sooner. Didn't they realize that there was a reason people were lining up to buy their gas? Regarding whether I'd go ahead and pay them the correct price. Hate to say it, but probably not. I would, however, frequent the store in the future.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I think that they didn't realize it faster was that it was in the middle of the night. Perhaps this station accepts credit card transactions 24/7, but has no attendant during certain hours. I can't say I blame you for not wanting to pay the corrected price because it would certainly be a hassle. As time passes, I think I might not either.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rebecca, I doubt if I would make an effort to pay the difference. Surely the station manager realized something was up. He should have taken action and he didn't so shame on him.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

John, good points. There is a huge part of me that really wishes that would happen here so I could have that savings. That kind of money could do a lot of things for me. So, like I said, I'm not really sure what I would do.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thats a tough one to answer, would I go back and pay the difference, I don't think so. If I am in the position to see an error and know the person giving me the changewill be docked for the short fall I correct them and pay the difference. But a price advertised, be it on a petrol pump or store shelf that is incorrectly marked, I won't query. It does not sound honest but I think I would fill and run. A glitch in the system is not the responsibility of the purchaser to correct, but the problem of the seller.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree that it wouldn't be the consumer's responsibility. It would be either the responsibility of the gas station or the person/company who programmed the pumps/computer. In the case of buying gas, it's a huge difference in cash. I would hate to see a gas station or it's employees fail as a result of this huge loss. I've always returned to pay the difference on small change. I'm still not sure how I would deal with the large amount of change in this case, though I lean toward returning the cash or at least trying to.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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