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Author Topic: New policy on posting cash prices Back to Topics
MyVanIsBigger

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New York

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2012 12:31:35 AM

I found out about this Feb. 6th change sometime over the Summer. Since then I've been watching what price people post. If the big sign by the road shows the credit price, people (almost) always post the credit price. If there is a cash price sign by the road, I have rarely seen the cash price posted. I'm not going to share my opinion on which price should be posted, but we must all post the SAME PRICES! If this cash price thing is going to work, somebody's got to get the work out there to everyone.
i.e. One of the worst offenders is 'GB_Direct', whoever is posting under that name is ALWAYS posting credit prices.

On a related note, now that we're not supposed to post the price on the sign out front, but the cheapest (cash) price, what are we supposed to do about gift cards? There are a number of stations around here that give a 5 cent discount for paying at the pump with a gift card. To get a gift card, you just go into the store and buy one, NO RESTRICTIONS. (It's not a membership or a club or need to signup ahead of time.)
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 11:20:39 AM

Please refer to your local area level price posting guidelines, along with the site FAQ on how to properly report Cash and Credit prices using GasBuddy.

-Don
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:48:23 PM

Back to the original thread, this will NEVER satisfy membership until such time as locations with separate cash and credit prices can have both prices posted in their own boxes, at least for the most popular grade, regular.
Thank goodness we don't have that conundrum here. I buy at a Co-Op, pay the same prices as everywhere else, get full service, and a profit-sharing cheque every year.
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:34:04 PM

However, in rumbleseat's example (a higher listed sign price than on the pump), we would say the higher price before an available discount price be reported - submit 110.9 c/L with a comment that says "-3c @ pump".
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`````````````````
As we explained at the time, that was of little use. We had media, radio stations, and newspapers, that had price tickers, with information directly from the GasBuddy site. Comments NEVER showed on those sites, only the price. So, if the actual price at the pump for everybody in the world, was 107.4, but the pylon said 110.9, the price ticker always showed the wrong price without comments, which was 110.9.
The ONLY place on the prairies that required the membership card to get that discounted price was Safeway.
The market has changed on its own, now the Safeway discount is earned by shopping in the store, not just for having the card, so it is moot, but at the time, as far as we were concerned, we were required to post prices that resulted in incorrect information on at least half a dozen sites that relied on GasBuddy for accurate pump prices.
It looked pretty silly for the price ticker on the CJOB website to say something like the price at Co-Op was 110.9, but the CJOB traffic reporter on the air would say "and at Co-Op today the price on regular is 107.4". As I said, it is now moot, but it was resented at the time.

Other inaccuracies are allowed by the system. It used to be we were supposed to comment things like Costco prices as "member only". I have several replies from the moderators where they sent notices to GBers that didn't post the comment. But the comments line became officially optional for everybody, so now we don't have a single member in Winnipeg adding the comment, and I long ago gave up requesting it because I no longer had standing to do so.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 1/16/2013 11:38:39 PM EST]
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:55:52 PM

In re-reading the moderators response below, it should be clear that no modifications to the MSL are likely any time soon. Uploading program changes to 250 sites seems to be overwhelming and apparently not cost effective when compared to simply maintaining the status quo.

Frankly, the argument over cash vs. credit is stale. It's been hashed out to the nth degree with no movement towards a reasonable solution (even though several have been offered). Here a moderator even insinuates that members with credit cards aren't really bargain shopping like people who prefer to use cash. Of course this is nonsense, but it seems to be the party line with the current management and it probably isn't likely to change any time soon.

Might as well just like what we have here and wait with bated breath for the next clever app update.

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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 8:45:10 PM

Scrapheap -- I agree - I rarely make a decision on where to buy gas locally using GB any more. I can almost predict the prices at my favorites based on the price of the first station I pass on my way home (which is almost always the higher station of my favorites). It is not worth going out of my way for a mere penny and I know where the dual priced stations are in my normal day to day travels.

It is when I wander off my normal beaten path that I look to BB only to be disappointed time and time again.

The fact that they say the comment field is optional, many won't bother. It would be better if it didn't mention "optional" but instead used POSITIVE encouragement by saying the use is RECOMMENDED. Being that it says RECOMMENDED rather than REQUIRED indicates it is optional but in more of a POSITIVE reinforcement of posting vs not posting comments.

Most of the time, unless someone goes in to fill up, they will NOT know the difference of 3 Cents vs 5 cents vs the $1.00 being reported at one time in L.I. However, cash discount or credit surcharge give fair warning. BUT, being it is not entered by most makes it worthless.

I fully understand the issue and complexity of the dual priced fields to implement. In fact, if you had read my posts, I have indicated that the dual fields by themselves would not solve the problem w/out changes beyond GB's control -- the posting requirements of the stations -- in the field.

With no flag for dual pricing, and folks driving by, they will be (if following the FAQ) probably pricing in the CASH fields from the signs and the CREDIT fields will remain EMPTY!!! Regardless of the dual priced fields unless the display of two sets is tied to the MSL, we will still need to have some sort of DURABLE flag for dual pricing tied to the MSL.
I would think this would be much easier to implement on the short term and not wasted code for the long term.

I also agree that the comment field should be made durable. If the discount changes then the next person should UPDATE the field.

At least in my area, I can beat the cash price at a near-by single priced station every time with my Cash Back card. Most of the time, I can find a single priced station w/ the same or w/in 3 cents. My Cash back beats that 3 cents every time at current prices.
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 1:53:40 PM

Ok then, how about making the comments section durable or persistent until the next reporter overwrites it? This would make using the comment section useful.

As it is, the next time someone inputs a price, the previous comments are summarily erased.

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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 1:15:27 PM

Before, users wanted to see the credit prices so that they wouldn't be surprised at the pump when they went to pay (in which return, we had users complaining they were actually paying less then what was observed on GasBuddy... go figure...).

Then users wanted to see the cash price over the credit price because the credit prices were no good to anyone who was actually bargain shopping for gasoline (which is the major purpose of GasBuddy).

In either case, the comments field has always been used to make users aware of the surcharges associated with stations charging more for the use of plastic to offset the cost accrued by using debit/credit machines.

It's almost been a year (February 6, 2012) since the site co-founders decided that the cash price should be reported instead of the credit price.

In areas where cash/credit prices are applicable, ultimately the cash price is the lowest price available to everyone, which is why we ask that the cash prices be the prices you post.

From what we've gathered about stations that vary their pricing depending on method of payment, the cash price is usually the advertised price on the sign anyway to draw in more customers - and the prices posted on the sign are the flagship for our users to report prices that they spot, being these are the easiest prices to spot and report. Understandably reporting the prices from the sign makes sense.

However, in rumbleseat's example (a higher listed sign price than on the pump), we would say the higher price before an available discount price be reported - submit 110.9 c/L with a comment that says "-3c @ pump".

For a further explanation on how other discounts - those that function differently than cash/credit prices - should be reported, see this link. That should help explain how those situations are preferred to be reported.

"MOST posters from the web site and from the APS do NOT post comments, so those of us that TRY to post comments have them over-written."

You'll notice about the FAQ designated for this specific issue (or other discounts) states something similar to "the Comments field may be used [...] but this is not absolutely required." - it's done this way because most people in areas where Cash/Credit systems exist realize the prices might vary, much like users that recognize stations such as Costco/Sam's Club offer wholesale club member prices.

For information on how to properly report cash and credit prices on GasBuddy, please review the FAQ or your local area level price posting guidelines

There is no definitive timeline we can give anyone as to when a dual pricing system will ever be implemented. There are about 250 websites that are built off a base code that communicate with the same database. Cash/Credit prices do not exist in all areas throughout Canada and the United States, therefore it really does not make much sense to include it as a "necessary" price reporting feature if it isn't going to be used by half the user base.

Of course we would like to accommodate all of our users to the best of our ability, but for now, this is how cash and credit pricing is to be posted on the GasBuddy sites and apps.

I would recommend posting cash and credit prices they way they are outlined in the FAQ's and the price posting guidelines.

-edit-

Now, as for the GB_Direct prices you are referring to, I'd like to quote kwzh's post from Dec 15, 2012 3:03:48 AM,

"GB_Direct is not an individual member, but rather the name used when a station's price is updated directly by the company. Yes, they're supposed to be sending the cash price [...]"

If you can provide us a little more info about the station details (either through this topic or feedback) then we can contact the source of the prices and remind them how these prices are to be reported on GasBuddy.

-Don


[Edited by: Don at 1/16/2013 1:21:51 PM EST]
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 4:24:19 AM

"The problem with posting cash or posting credit is most folks do most of their posting from the STREET sign."

Which is exactly what we were ORDERED to do, even when the actual pump price was lower.
We used to have a market situation where one chain offered a member discount, which was posted on the pylon, and every time others matched it, there was further discount, so the other chains started matching the PRICE on the pump, not the sign, and it was that way for a long time.
So, if the market price today was 110.9, Chain A would post 107.4 for all members.
Other chains would post 110.9, but the pumps all read 107.4, no cards or membership required, so we would put 107.4 as the price. We even had it confirmed by the moderators that that was fine, because that was the actual price.
Then one day, we told in no uncertain terms by the moderators that only the price on the pylon could be posted, we were posting against policy. We were supposed to put a comment about a discount, which wasn't really a discount because the pumps actually read the discounted price.

So, by the policy we were ordered to follow, whatever is on the sign to be seen from the street is the price to post, whatever service it is for.
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MyVanIsBigger
Rookie Author New York

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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 10:05:00 PM

@TxJeans - VERY GOOD post, I agree with it completely (except the second paragraph)

@moderator - GB_Direct is still posting credit prices...
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2013 10:52:38 AM

CC

The problem with posting cash or posting credit is most folks do most of their posting from the STREET sign. Most don't drive in unless filling up, and most don't fill up multiple times a day, or even daily.

Up until now, I thought most stations posted the lowest (Cash) price except when posting both (CA).

MOST posters from the web site and from the APS do NOT post comments, so those of us that TRY to post comments have them over-written.

Even having two sets of fields will not solve the problem in itself unless gas stations are regulated to post both sets of prices. I don't see that happening except in states like CA that like extra regulations.

In many areas, the "cash price" notice is not very prominent.

So, for the short term, I have two suggestions:

1 - make comments durable until someone actively over writes them or removes them,
2 - add a durable flag tied to the MSL that designates a "dual price mode station".

Both of these will still likely be needed once you (if you) provide dual price fields --- UNLESS law mandates better price posting by the stations (I don't see that happening anytime soon).

I find I am using GB less and less to look up prices before filling up locally (where I know where the low prices always are and their pricing mode), and when I use when traveling, I am handicapped by the inaccuracies and lack of info of cash vs credit.
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CC
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 11, 2013 4:49:03 PM

Sorry for any confusion on this long-time problem.

GasBuddy's goal is to help everyone make wise fueling decisions.

When reporting prices for stations in areas that have different prices based on method of payment, we ask that you post the cash price where it exists. If the station does not offer a cash price, the standard price should be reported.

The Comments field may be used to include a note about cash/credit prices, but this is not required.

Discounts are treated differently than cash prices on GasBuddy.

When posting prices for stations that offer a discount (price with purchase, members price, etc.), we ask users to post the price before the discount when possible. You can still provide the discount information, but please enter that information in the Comments field.

Web: Information entered in the Comments field will be shown within parentheses () after the station address.

App: Information entered in the Comments field will be shown on the station details page, below the prices.
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cookieguru
Sophomore Author Seattle

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Message Posted: Dec 22, 2012 6:12:53 AM

MyVanIsBigger: "It's my impression that we are supposed to..."
This is the problem. You should not be interpreting the policy. Just read it and follow it letter for letter.

When reporting prices for stations in areas that have different prices based on method of payment, we ask that you post the cash price where it exists. If the station does not offer a cash price, the standard price should be reported.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Dec 18, 2012 12:01:25 AM

In the (presumably rare) case of a station posting their credit price despite having a lower cash price, sometimes the best you'll be able to do is to post that, with a comment that says "Lower price for cash".
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 7:09:05 PM

Most stations post the CASH price if there is a difference because it is the lowest and they want to attract you with the lower price.

In most states there are minimal requirements for the signage at the curb. Most prices are posted from the sign at the curb. You will always have a mix of prices being posted if there are no regulations on the SIGNAGE.

Therefore there should be some "Flags" tied to the MSL that warn a station is dual priced (Cash/Credit), or Car Wash discount pricing is posted.

Where (such as CA) they post both cash and credit, the user should post the cash price with notes of the upcharge for credit per the FAQ.

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MyVanIsBigger
Rookie Author New York

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 9:23:36 AM

@kwzh, YES!!!

@ziyulu, I have only rarely seen that.

[Edited by: MyVanIsBigger at 12/17/2012 9:27:33 AM EST]
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ziyulu
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 6:56:26 AM

Some people post the price with car wash or in store purchase. Some stations display that price on the sign.
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GLM4205
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 5:53:19 AM

I post the gas prices as I drive to the work. There are several gas stations I pass by every morning.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 5:03:50 AM

Ya post the sign price. If it's a single priced station, no biggie! If it's a cash only station ya post cash only in the comments. If it's a dual priced station ya post the increase for credit card purchases in the comments. If you don't know what the increase is you post "Higher Price for Credit" in the comments. If there are discounts for car washes, etc. ya post them in the comments.

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 12/17/2012 5:04:58 AM EST]
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 2:28:54 AM

Alex9990 writes,
> there are always folks that won't post the pump price but the signage.

What does this mean? Are you saying that there are stations whose *only* sign-price is the higher credit price?
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2012 12:40:56 AM

>> For those that don't conform…

…should be booted off the site.
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Alex9990
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2012 11:22:09 PM

@bytebug, I would agree with you. I realize the site changed policy, but there are always folks that won't post the pump price but the signage. For those that don't conform, the option to indicate the discount is available.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2012 9:25:02 PM

For most of the time that GasBuddy Direct has been in existence, the policy has been to post the credit price. Many members complained about GasBuddy Direct posting cash or discounted prices. GasBuddy listened to these members and stopped GasBuddy Direct from posting the cash or discounted prices. Now that GasBuddy has changed its policy, it does not want to look like Sybil and tell GasBuddy Direct to do the exact opposite of what GasBuddy brow beat them into doing.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2012 6:21:14 PM

MyVanIsBigger:

"It's my impression that we are supposed to post the cheapest price available to the general public. Therefore if I go into a store a buy gift card with cash (or credit) then swipe it at the pump, I am getting the cheapest price. Yes?

No.
The cheapest price is the price that the gas station charges when you pull up to the point having to do nothing other than filling your gas tank and paying in currency or by designed card. Discounted prices, unless for cash payment, are considered discounts, and should be indicated in the comments section.

Sorry, but it's that simple.
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MyVanIsBigger
Rookie Author New York

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2012 3:00:39 PM

@bytebug - I know what we a supposed to do, the purpose of this post was to let Gas Buddy employees know that it's not happening. They should be able to get the word out to 'GB_Direct'.

And ask the other question....

It's my impression that we are supposed to post the cheapest price available to the general public. Therefore if I go into a store a buy gift card with cash (or credit) then swipe it at the pump, I am getting the cheapest price. Yes? and remember, I could have bought the gift card with cash, hence 'cash discount'!?!? Also, I'm NOT talking about a membership card, we have those too in this area.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2012 8:37:01 AM

>> you would have to note the pump or signage price and put in the comments that
>> "5¢ discount for Gift Card" or "6¢ discount for CASH" if you chose to post the
>> signage price and there is a CASH discount.

This is incorrect. The CASH price must always be posted, with comments indicating the CREDIT surcharge or Gift Card discount.
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Alex9990
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2012 5:15:04 AM

kwzh has GB_Direct down correctly. Although I suspect they do not always post the cash price, but whatever is on their signage.

As for Gift Cards, you would have to note the pump or signage price and put in the comments that "5¢ discount for Gift Card" or "6¢ discount for CASH" if you chose to post the signage price and there is a CASH discount.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2012 4:03:48 AM

GB_Direct is not an individual member, but rather the name used when a station's price is updated directly by the company. Yes, they're supposed to be sending the cash price, just like everybody else.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2012 3:24:04 AM

We really need another thread to hash this out? You couldn't have read up on this from one of the numerous other threads talking about cash vs credit prices?

Post the CASH price and note any discounts or surcharges in the comments. Period.
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