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Author Topic: There needs to be a way to indicate station ran out of gas. Many have.SANDRA Back to Topics
GooseBay_Camper

Rookie Author
New Jersey

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Message Posted: Oct 31, 2012 8:08:56 PM

Looking for OPEN gas stations!!! here in new jersey, after huricane Sandra passed, large areas don't have electric to pump, so great prices are listed, but of 100 stations seen only 2 or 3 are pumping. The rest are without electric, or have sold out their delivery. Regardless, GB could be a whole lot more helpfull if posters going past DRY stations could indicate so, so we don't waste time and gas searching for it.

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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Nov 7, 2012 6:59:04 AM

Don,

This is a great idea! I tried to update a station in Pittsburgh to "Has Fuel" and it didn't take.
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Nov 6, 2012 5:58:20 PM

@Gas_Buddy,

A station status of "Unknown" will be present if a station has not yet been updated to "Has Fuel" or "No Fuel".

A station status of "Unknown" will also be present 3 hours after a station's status last being changed, after 3 hours, users have the option to select "Unknown" as a status.

The Fuel Shortage Tracker has nothing to do with the prices being reported at any particular station. This is because under these circumstances, prices being reported at a station does not guarantee that's there's actually fuel there.

@ sillywagon,

I inquired with why you might have been experiencing the issue with updating the station, and there was a small bug in the station status menu selector.

The default was set to Unknown, if you went to update the station and say, only added a comment and left the previous status as Has Fuel, it would default the update to Unknown.

A change was made either today or yesterday, now when you keep the present status and update the station with a new comment, it should keep the previous status and not default to Unknown.

That particular problem should be resolved.

-Don

[Edited by: Don at 11/6/2012 5:59:26 PM EST]
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sillywagon
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2012 3:58:40 PM

Don - Thank you for listening.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2012 3:20:21 PM

Don:

First, thanks to the developers for their help.

Just for understanding, can you explain how is it determined that a station does or does not have fuel versus the fuel status is unknown.

For example, the listing for a Shell station reads as follows:

Shell
731 Central Park Ave (Southbound) & Mile Square Rd
Yonkers, NY 10704
Unknown
As of 3 hours ago

Is the station listed because it's in the Master Station List and the "As of...hours ago" based on prices being deleted after X number of hours? Or is there another method to the listing?

I guess I'm just not sure why someone would update a station with "Unknown" (unless it were to simply make a "comments" section entry).

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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Nov 6, 2012 1:33:14 PM

@ sillywagon,

I noted that you said "Fix it Moderators."

Sorry, but this is not something that we can change.

I've forwarded your suggestion toward the software developers for further review.

Your patience is appreciated.

@ kwzh

There were forum topic stickies made in the NJ and NY forums in an attempt to help users share this information amongst themselves(example here)

As you can imagine, GasBuddy was never originally designed to track natural disasters or mass power outages and flooding etc, I also say hats off to our developers for trying to assist those in need.

The Fuel Shortage Tracker has been available since (if I recall correctly) Saturday afternoon. Member support from these areas is appreciated while the software developers still attempt to work some of the kinks out.

-Don

[Edited by: Don at 11/6/2012 1:38:41 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2012 7:53:38 PM

There are no stations in the Pittsburgh area that are open that are out of gas. The BP on Banksville Rd is listed as closed. It is open. I tried to update it but this site won't let me.
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sillywagon
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2012 7:29:51 PM

I just tried to post on the "Storm Sandy gas finder - find/report open gas stations." I tried to submit an open station with gasoline, and it wouldn't work. When I checked back the station was listed as "unknown".

The "Storm Sandy gas finder" sounds like a good idea, but if it doesn't work... what's the point? I will be left to posting gas prices with writing in the comments section "no gas" or "has gas". Leaving no information leaves people with no information.

Fix it Moderators.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2012 8:50:14 AM

If my area were in the path of a disaster, I would make sure that my local forum had a topic for reporting stations that are out of gas. Then, if I wanted to gas up at a station and saw that it didn't have a price listed -- or even if it did, for that matter -- I would check that thread to see if anybody had reported it as unavailable.

I expect that I would be starting such a journey from home or workplace, and hence have access to a real computer, not just a phone. But if for some reason my only access was through a phone at the time that I needed to make a decision, and if the phone app doesn't support reading the forum, then I'd fire up a browser so that I could read it. Or I'd phone a friend who had a computer. In any case, I don't think I'd blindly drive to the station and hope to get lucky.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2012 1:16:40 AM

If you go to a station that isn't listed instead of a station with a comment "two hour wait", and there is no fuel, there is only one person to be upset with, and that person is the person who makes the decision to go there speculating they have lots of fuel, have power, and staff to immediately jump to the pump when half the stations in the city have no fuel, or no electricity, or both.
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 9:00:08 PM

Scrapheap: "Please provide a list of these websites. Otherwise, let us recognize your post for what it is, nonsense dressed up as an excuse to attack someone with a low point count."

Try to stay on topic here instead of using your own bias to attack other members. You may not agree with the advice that Gas_Buddy suggested but I did not view it as an attack anyone else. Perhaps the local media outlets do have a better overall view of the availability of nearby fuel.

The link below might be helpful as well, but it will only include those locations that other members report. Nevertheless it is a quick response by GasBuddy in an effort to consolidate the information. Hats off to them.

Fuel Shortage Tracker

[Edited by: maxstar at 11/3/2012 8:59:57 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 8:44:05 PM

I think calling is a whole lot smarter than driving all the way to a station who doesn't have a price posted. In an emergency situation like this, common sense must prevail. It there is no price posted, assume they don't have gas.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 8:32:16 PM

LOL! No electricity, spotty phone service, cell towers down, lines down all over, and upheaval at a gas station with long lines, aggravated customers, one, maybe two people working there with a line of customers buying food and drinks while they wait in line, and you think that they will answer your call when you phone them (if you have a working phone)? I would be surprised if many would answer the phone in normal conditions let alone during disaster conditions. Actually, I'll bet at least in the beginning of this disaster, many people couldn't even pull this website up (no internet).

Leaving the station off of the list is not helpful to members here. If there was a way to enter "NFA" (no fuel available) in the price, and still list the station, that might be better, but leaving the station with no data and not on the list is not the right thing to do.

Don, the way you addressed this was IMHO was the best way to handle this situation.


[Edited by: EZExit at 11/3/2012 8:37:44 PM EST]
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 6:12:41 PM

"Two hours later, and you are on fumes, you find that the station is temporarily closed. You have wasted 2 hours, and who knows how much fuel, trying to go to a station that wasn't listed, because some member on this site located in California or Canada with the luxury of driving down the street at a moment's notice to get fuel on the other side of the continent insists that the technique used for listing stations was not technically correct."

Or, using the logic that should have been ingrained in you by your parents, you could possibly have assumed a station with no price posted had no price posted because there was no fuel to sell, instead of going there on spec and blaming somebody else.
If we flood and half of Manitoba is under water I am not going to try to buy fuel at a station that isn't listed, except maybe at the station on the corner that I have to drive by to get anywhere.
And while we haven't had quite the storm to match Sandy, we have had areas larger than many US states flooded in spring melts, towns evacuated, whole settlements washed out, so some stations aren't just out of fuel they are half under water. I sure as heck don't need our GasBuddy page showing a price for a station like that.

And, as scoutmaster said, there is always Ma Bell. While it may not be kosher to get your GasBuddy points by phoning for prices, in times of emergency the telephone may be the easiest way to find if a station has fuel to sell. If there is no answer, there is a possibility the station is closed.
People get justifiably upset at any retail operation that advertises good prices, but doesn't have stock, right?



[Edited by: rumbleseat at 11/3/2012 6:16:54 PM EST]
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 4:55:36 PM

Gas_Buddy wrote > Websites of local news media are generally more comprehensive and more accurate than what isolated Gas Buddy members can or will report

Please provide a list of these websites. Otherwise, let us recognize your post for what it is, nonsense dressed up as an excuse to attack someone with a low point count.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 4:01:40 PM

I posted the following in another topic in another discussion category, on the same issue.

Here's my difficulty with having an "Out of Gas indicator" or a "Temporarily Closed" indicator.

For the most part, it's temporary; it's short-lived. Granted there are extreme cases (such as the on-going New Jersey Sandy issues (among other places) but the outages or closings are generally short lived. Websites of local news media are generally more comprehensive and more accurate than what isolated Gas Buddy members can or will report; add to that (in my opinion) members will be qucker to close a station than they will be to re-open the station, skewing the information.

Second, it's location. I'll beat a horse for a moment and say it's Location, Location, Location.

The best solution would be if there were a way to click a link that opens a list of any/all gas stations in the affected area (the list being extracted from the Master Station List) which can be continually updated by members to indicate Open, Closed , and "Accurate as of XX:XX o'clock (according to [Member's name], with a one or two line comment box under the listing for that station,

The problem with the above suggestion?
The information, no matter how accurate at the time posted, is transient; the information is a moving target. Just because a member posts completely accurate and timely station update information doesn't mean that the station will or will not have fuel when another member gets to the station, nor will the length of line or waiting time be accurate when another member gets to the station (expecting the information to be accurate).

What an unknown is, is that most of the "Where can I get gas...Who has on Staten Island...How long are the lines in..." are started by new members (i.e., the 120 point members - and I understand that) who are posting in the United States/Canada discussion categories and not in their local discussion categories (where more knowledgeable people can answer their questions, however accurate or timely), and they never return, meaning no one knows what if any information has been useful.

Even having a list of Open/Closed gas stations, and even knowing there are/there are not waiting lines, stations (for staffing reasons, just trying to get someone to work the station) will or may continually be short of or resupplied fuel; they may stop the line from moving and close for "a couple of hours" in order to bring in a delivery truck to resupply the station.

More and more I'm of the view that these are local discussion issues, and that there could be a banner on the home pages when there's a "possible significant closing" that directs members (especially new members) to their local discussion forum and directs them to their local media, and that Gas Buddy as a collective organization should "stay out of being responsible" - because we all know that people will yell that the information was wrong (by the time they got to the gas station) and Gas Buddy misdirected them, business.

Local media, radio, television, newspapers, chambers of commerce and better business bureaus, etc. websites, are better able to respond to such issues than random Gas Buddy members. I'm open-minded but I simply can't see a "Gas Buddy solution", even if it's simply temporarily marking gas stations as being closed...out of fuel...let alone telling people about changing prices or waiting lines during such turbulent/transient times.

(End of repeat post)

And now I'll get slightly cynical, and not intentionally. If you're going to complain that Gas Buddy isn't doing everything it can for everyone, especially in time of immediate need, please consider posting gas prices so that others can learn of gas prices during the best of times, enabling them to be smarter or more knowledgeable shoppers. While I sympathize with GooseBay_Camper (and others), posting an average of less than one gas price over a seven year period doesn't help other New Jersey Gas Buddy members. The intent should be to help each other continually, not just when gas stations in your area are closed under emergency or abnormal circumstances. But that's just my opinion; that's all. Just my opinion.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 2:00:13 PM

My heart goes out to all suffering due to the damage of Sandy.

I know the situation is difficult in the storm areas, but except for major disruptions due to these extreme storms, the out of fuel is usually rare and short lived. Additionally, a station could be out of just one grade, or could be closed due to power outage, or other emergency/reason.

Comments work when there is some grade still available, but that means everyone must be conscientious in posting the comments as they are not durable and the first post updating another grade that is available with no comment clears the comment field.

In the situation of a local emergency / issue, I would likely go first to my local forum for local information. The local forum may have also other pertinent storm/emergency related information as locals talk with locals.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 1:49:40 PM

EZ Exit,

Pick up the phone and call station A, B & C.

I rest my case.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 10:58:00 AM

Put yourself in this oversimplified situation. You live at location "X" and between unpassable roads, traffic, and backed up bridges, the three stations that you know of to choose from are stations "A" "B" and the opposite direction, there is station "C". Travel time even though they are only 4 miles away each, is 1-2 hours.

Station "A" is listed with comments "2 hour wait"
Station "B" is listed with comments "out of fuel"
Station "C" is not listed at all, as another member zeroed out the price because they are closed until later that evening when they are supposed to get more fuel.

Hmmm, I wonder if that station I know is located at station "C" is selling fuel, I know that this is more of a neighborhood station, and a two hour wait is ridiculous. I think that I'll go to station "C" and see what happens. Two hours later, and you are on fumes, you find that the station is temporarily closed. You have wasted 2 hours, and who knows how much fuel, trying to go to a station that wasn't listed, because some member on this site located in California or Canada with the luxury of driving down the street at a moment's notice to get fuel on the other side of the continent insists that the technique used for listing stations was not technically correct.

I rest my case.

Later, I finally get to station "A" and find that they are sold out now as well.

[Edited by: EZExit at 11/3/2012 11:01:14 AM EST]
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 10:35:05 AM

Imagine this, the purpose of this website is to convey information in regards to fuel pricing. The fuel pricing doesn't change to $0.00 per gallon just because of a power failure or temporarily sold out of gas. The fuel is not available for the moment, which would make it appropriate to notate this in the comment field.

Now, until this format is reprogrammed to have capability to differentiate between stations that have a temporary problem, and those actively selling fuel, this is the best "work around". This is something that hardly ever occurs, and I highly doubt that the owners of this site are going to go through the trouble of recreating the format on antique forum software to accommodate something that rarely ever is an issue.

Isn't the purpose of this website and the reason that we all use it is for conveyance of information? If you look at a station that is on the list, and the comment field states that they are "out-of-gas", haven't you successfully conveyed to the other members that there is no fuel available at that location?
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 3:12:19 AM

I repeat, what is the possible logic of posting a price for gasoline that a station doesn't have, then posting a comment that there is no gasoline? That makes absolutely no sense.
Prices for stations with no product are useless.

Imagine this.
A whole page of prices with no fuel are posted, then somebody posts a station with fuel that is 2 cents higher, so it doesn't make the page at all. How helpful would that be.
Why not a SEPARATE local page on these sites where members list no-fuel stations, and nothing else?
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ziyulu
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 1:07:21 AM

I'm surprised that gas stations did not raise prices several dollars a gallon like Hurricane Katrina or Isaac.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2012 1:05:24 AM

>> What good if you know the price of a station, but no gas is for sale.

If a price is being posted, that implies that there is gasoline available. If there isn't gasoline available, nothing should be posted. This has absolutely nothing to do with comments.

It would be stupid to post a station's prices with a comment "Out of Gas".

A price posted implies that the station is selling gasoline at that price per gallon. So, anyone posting prices for stations that are closed, and not actually selling gas should be reported for incorrect price posts, even if they post with a comment that the station is "Out of Gas".

Posting a price for gasoline that isn't actually available from a station is a common problem, regardless of the current situation with Sandy. People post prices for diesel at stations that don't actually sell diesel. It would be no less wrong for them to post a price for diesel with a comment that the station "doesn't sell diesel".

Is it just me, or does it sound like someone should be reporting "sillywagon" for bogus gasoline price posts?

[Edited by: bytebug at 11/3/2012 1:08:07 AM EST]
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sillywagon
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2012 6:23:31 PM

I am in the New York City chapter of GasBuddy. I have noticed that most posters are not posting in the comments section that certain stations do not have gas. It could be ignorance that there is a comments section when posting gas prices.

Could GasBuddy send e-mails to those members who belong to a GasBuddy chapter affected by Hurricane Sandy. Tell people how to use the comments section. Currently GasBuddy in affected areas is almost useless, if there is limited information on whether gas stations have gasoline. What good if you know the price of a station, but no gas is for sale.
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Nov 2, 2012 11:06:05 AM

There has been a sticky recently posted in all NY and NJ forums for both state and metro area sites).

Feel free to refer to your local area level forum such as this stickied topic in the New Jersey forum

-Don
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2012 6:36:12 AM

Sounds like the perfect discussion to have in your local message category!
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2012 6:12:46 AM

Well you could always pick up the phone and call the stations.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2012 12:48:08 AM

It would be irresponsible to tie up a spot with a price and an "out of fuel" note unless one is prepared to sit there to erase that note when the station once again is able to supply to customers.
An "out of fuel" note for a station that is once again in business would damage that business.
Far better to have NOTHING listed, no fuel means no price posting, period.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 31, 2012 11:28:13 PM

I agree with Scrap if there is no existing price post for a station that is out of fuel or cannot pump; however, if there is a posted price I would repost it with the “out of fuel” comment so that others can learn the situation. I agree with the OP that it would be nice to be able to indicate that a station is temporarily out of fuel without posting a price. Perhaps color coding the map pin would be a step in that direction.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 31, 2012 10:18:31 PM

If a station is out of fuel, the price should not reported and the comments would not be seen.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Oct 31, 2012 9:57:32 PM

There is a comment field at each station listing, where you can note "out of fuel" or "temporarily diesel only", etc.
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