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Author Topic: Incomplete implementation of Membership Only and Cash/Credit pricing checkboxes in MSL Back to Topics
Scrapheap

Champion Author
Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 12:01:56 PM

I have noticed two new checkboxes in the MSL. One is for Membership Only and the other for Cash/Credit pricing. The implementation of these boxes is somewhat flawed and incomplete.

I say they are flawed because there should also be checkboxes for Cash Only and Credit Only stations.

They are incomplete because they do not show up as station features when looking at an individual station after doing an area search on the website, while using the map or on the app. Also, they are not tracked as changes in the MSL history for the stations.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2013 8:00:14 PM

Thanks TB for the update!

I like that you will not depend on members having to run to check and to update the MSL but go on a response system that includes a confidence rating system.

I also like that the APP and web site are tied together for this process so you don't have to answer for each access point.

Good job. We look forward to the end solution as well :-)
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TB
Moderator
Message Posted: Jul 25, 2013 3:32:46 PM

This prompt is tied into the smart prompt system on mobile. They run off the same system so if you have answered the cash/credit prompt on mobile you will not get it on web and vice versa.

Not every member needs to respond to the prompt for the change to take affect. Every time someone responds we put that response in a confidence rating for that prompt for that station. Once the confidence rating is high enough the system will automatically make the change in the station master.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 25, 2013 3:16:53 PM

TB:

While I'm pretty sure I know the answers, I submitted the following after opening the link in order to ensure that the questions are answered for others:

- To me it's not an inconvenience but a simple step that's being asked of me.

- Will this "prompt" show up for both website and mobile device price postings? And if so, will there need to be a response for both devices?

- And, if another member responds to the question for a specific station, will each and every other member have to respond to the prompt for that same station?
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TB
Moderator
Message Posted: Jul 25, 2013 12:26:36 PM

Hello Everyone.

So we are proposing a new change when posting prices. Well actually its on the price thank you page. We are really hoping to gather information on cash credit stations as that is going to be the first step in solving this long awaited problem on GasBuddy. I have put a screen shot up of what the change will look like. Feel free to leave a comment on the photos of what you think.

Proposed Change

[Edited by: at 7/25/2013 12:27:15 PM EST]
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 4:46:22 AM

CK wrote > I understand your reasoning, but if a station in such a situation is the only one within distance before your gas is flat out, you might want to know for sure that you would be able to buy (even at an inflated price).

The stores we are talking about are COSTCO, SAM's and BJ's. These stores are built in metropolitan areas and their suburbs. In every case I have come across one of these stores, there are other gas stations nearby. I have never seen a warehouse store built out in the middle of nowhere. I also highly doubt that anyone is going to be using the features checked on GasBuddy to make sure a warehouse store is not members only. Your fears are tenuous at best.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 7:48:15 PM

CK "Meanwhile, back at the ranch... I tested both MO & CC boxes today and they now both individually generate a new version, so the bug has been fixed. Oddly, there is nothing in What's New about this change. However if neither box deserves to be checked at a station, you can still add "MO & CC evaluated" in the station notes in order to leave tracks that the station is done with regards to those boxes. "

I really don't expect them to post every little tweak/bug fix to an already announced feature. I am sure they will post something when they are ready to roll out to the full membership the next major step in the enhancement of the MSL and linkage to the fuel types for reporting.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 6:35:58 PM

I understand your reasoning, but if a station in such a situation is the only one within distance before your gas is flat out, you might want to know for sure that you would be able to buy (even at an inflated price). Let us ask GB what the answer to this should be. (If there is no answer in a few days, I'll PM them.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... I tested both MO & CC boxes today and they now both individually generate a new version, so the bug has been fixed. Oddly, there is nothing in What's New about this change. However if neither box deserves to be checked at a station, you can still add "MO & CC evaluated" in the station notes in order to leave tracks that the station is done with regards to those boxes.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 4:57:23 PM

I would most likely check the Member Only box. Typically when stations like this sell to non-members, the non-member price is so high that the budget concious user of this site would not buy there. Typically the member price is posted here, in spite of the official policy. For all practical purposes, it is a Members Only shop and the prices posted here are deceptive to the non-member.

[Edited by: Scrapheap at 7/9/2013 4:58:01 PM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 4:38:43 PM

I would think the word ONLY is the key to this question. Only if a station sells exclusively to members would one check the MO box. The purpose of the box is to warn users that they can't buy if they are not a member, so if they sell to both, the warning would be false, hence it should not be checked.

I found a strange station that does not fit the mold. Gasoline credit purchases have a $1.00 fee added to the posted cash prices, but diesel has a higher per-gallon credit purchase price with no fee.
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socrdad
Champion Author Lincoln

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Message Posted: Jul 9, 2013 10:50:29 AM

The use of the Membership Only check box should only be used if the station ONLY sells fuel to club members correct?

If it is a station such as a Sam's Club which sells fuel to BOTH members and NON-members alike but the Members receive a discounted price this check box should remain empty correct?
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 8, 2013 12:45:54 AM

Now I have a quandary. I noticed that dcjauburn checked CC in the MSL for at least four stations and he says he made no other changes before saving them in the first two weeks of June (see his whiteboard). All of them generated new versions, which contradicts what I said to Scrap on the 6th (which I learned from examining other member's edits) and what Hank919 also found from his testing. Is there some condition that makes this not repeatable? I don't know and can only suggest that more testing is in order, which I will be able to do on the 8th.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 5:19:13 PM

The MO & CC boxes appear on the Stations List page in each station's features if they are checked. The MO box shows up as "Membership" and the CC box shows up as "Cash/Credit", which the latter I rate as a poor choice of words.

It may appear to the uninitiated that Cash/Credit means that the station accepts both cash and credit and not the true meaning that there is a price difference between the two. Perhaps this should be changed to "Cash=Credit Pricing" or "Credit Same As Cash" (two lines), which would not be confused with simply accepting both cash and credit. "C/C Pr Diff" might do it in one line, but would be a bit cryptic for use outside the MSL (those not understanding what it means in the MSL would be able to find out on the Edit page).

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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 4:49:15 PM

Scrap: It is a known problem that making a station edit that consists of changing only MO or CC will cause the following problems with regards to the History of Changes:

MO: No new version created; MO field not checked.
CC: No new version created; CC field is checked on previous version.

Making any other changes, such as the Station Notes*, will create a new version with the MO & CC fields properly registered as well as show who made the edit.

____
*I put "MO & CC evaluated" in the Station Notes to force a new version. Even if neither box should properly be checked, you will be able to tell that the station has been evaluated by virtue of the new version.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 4, 2013 8:32:30 AM

I had changed the location, and that is highlighted in the station history.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 2, 2013 9:04:31 PM

Maybe that feature is re-using a field that once meant something else? Hm. Do you recall what you *did* change on that date? I don't see anything else highlighted in the history.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 1, 2013 11:58:31 AM

These boxes are acting strangely. I brought up a MSL entry that was recently editted by GB_Direct. They unchecked the cash/credit box. The really strange thing is that according to the history of changes, I checked that box on January 10, 2010. That box never existed back then and I never would have checked in for that station anyway.

[Edited by: Scrapheap at 7/1/2013 12:00:33 PM EST]
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jun 30, 2013 5:30:39 PM

CK - Membership clubs are pretty standard as Credit Only (read that as PLASTIC - I think they take DEBIT and their own "cash cards", and members of clubs would know if they are credit only. I think the MO takes care of the COSTCO issue.

[Edited by: TxJeans at 6/30/2013 5:34:02 PM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 30, 2013 5:22:52 PM

GB: In my area, Costco does not accept cash, because, although they have an attendant on duty, he is not a cashier. They accept debit and MC and Amex at the pump.

[Edited by: CampKohler at 6/30/2013 5:23:44 PM EST]
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 7:12:54 PM

Zimcity:

"...Costco does not accept cash in this area."

ARCO, not Costco; ARCO.

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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 6:34:03 PM

In any case, if the past is prolog, we will BOTH be holding our breaths.
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 3:11:07 PM

"The "NO" method doesn't quite cover every situation. For example, for debit as being the only payment method, you would need to check two boxes. Expecting the average member to correctly deduce the situation using Boolean logic is a bit much I think."

I'm OK with that, since I don't believe there are any stations where only Debit cards are accepted, or there are so few as to not merit worrying about them.

I'm not expecting any members to use Boolean logic, but whatever programming that is eventually tied to the MSL entries, should be able to parse those stations with NO checked for Cash, Credit or Debit.

Expecting members to √ 3 boxes where only a few are needed, seems more unrealistic.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 2:21:00 PM

Zim: The "NO" method doesn't quite cover every situation. For example, for debit as being the only payment method, you would need to check two boxes. Expecting the average member to correctly deduce the situation using Boolean logic is a bit much I think.

----

The MSL HOC is not tracking changes of the two new boxes. While the boxes are shown as HOC items, they don't register. For example, this Costco has a box checked, but shows no changes have been made since February, an impossibility. I wonder why they didn't hook up these boxes to the HOC?



[Edited by: CampKohler at 6/14/2013 2:23:34 PM EST]
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 2:21:12 AM

Just to clarify -- my point in listing those five modes was to see which ones are actually in use. (If it turns out that only one of them is, then we have a nice simple answer for how to treat debit cards, right?)
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 13, 2013 1:25:53 PM

Gas_Buddy, Costco does not accept cash in this area.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jun 13, 2013 12:28:46 PM

Zimcity:

I don't disagree about not wanting to add three check boxes to every MSL entry, but I'm of mixed opinion. On one hand I want to have clarity (which is why I favor entries in the station notes) but I don't want to make the MSL page cumbersome.

That said, I agree with Scrapheap regarding a "Cash Only" entry, but I've never seen (as you paraphrased) stations with:
Credit Only
No Cash accepted

As for No Debit Cards being accepted, I've only seen that at Cash Only stations (and some otherwise cash only stations, such as ARCO, do accept debit cards).

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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 13, 2013 11:05:40 AM

Hmm, not sure I want to go through the effort to add 3 check boxes to nearly every MSL station listed.

There has to be a more efficient way to accomplish this.

What if the boxes were simply:

NO Credit Cards accepted
NO Cash accepted
No Debit Cards accepted
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 13, 2013 5:23:27 AM

Yes, I mean payment method, the three boxes being in addition to the two new ones.
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 12, 2013 4:31:39 PM

"We should eschew the word "only" and use three checkboxes:
1. Cash
2. Debit
3. Credit
It doesn't really make sense to check more than one box if both have the word "only" appended."

I am not sure what the above 3 categories represent, is that payment method, if so then we would also need a pricing attribute.

1. Pricing
Cash/Credit the same (hopefully the default)
Cash discount
Member/Rewards discount
Other

2. payment method
Cash
Credit
debit





[Edited by: Zimcity at 6/12/2013 4:34:25 PM EST]
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jun 12, 2013 4:18:32 PM

kwzh:

I almost exclusively pay cash for gas in the DC Metro area (DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia) and by debit in the southern Georgia/Northern Florida area (and it varies along the highway between the two, depending on the gas station and pricing).

From personal experience, every station except one has treated the debit card the same as a credit card for pricing. The reason, according to service station personnel, is that gas stations pay an interchange fee on the processing of debit cards just as they pay for credit cards (though the rate may be different). The one exception I can think of over many years is one unbranded gas station that accepts debit card payment in-store only and charges a 10 cent service charge above the total cash price (i.e., it's not 10 cent per gallon extra).

Significant other, who has managed gas stations on U.S. government installations, has said that treating "plastic" the same, regardless of whether it's debit or credit, is the norm.

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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 12, 2013 3:50:36 PM

We should eschew the word "only" and use three checkboxes:
1. Cash
2. Debit
3. Credit
It doesn't really make sense to check more than one box if both have the word "only" appended.

----

Here's an odd situation at this station. There are different prices for regular cash and credit. but the same price for premium cash and credit. Which do you check the Different Cash & Credit Pricing box for, the regular or the premium?
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 12, 2013 9:16:08 AM

kwzh's post makes the debit card aspect look to complicated for any practical inclusion in the MSL check boxes.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jun 12, 2013 2:11:02 AM

Among dual-priced stations -- including "no credit option" as the degenerate case of that -- we have a number of possible ways that a debit card might be handled; I don't know which ones exist in practice, and which is likely to be the common case. (I've never intentionally used a debit card for gas.) I think we need to know the breakdown before we can discuss what additional checkboxes would help.

1. Any debit card is treated as if it were a cash payment.
2. You pay a fixed fee for using a debit card, otherwise same as 1.
3. The station's preferred card is treated as cash; other cards as credit.
4. Any debit card is treated as if it were a credit payment.
5. The behavior of debit cards is a third tier, distinct from both cash and credit tiers, and not simply differing by a fixed fee per use.

If I find the spare time, perhaps I'll stop in at my nearest dual-price station and ask them what their debit card policy is.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 11, 2013 8:10:08 PM

Will it be understood that Cash Only and Credit Only means debit is always an option? Or is it intended that Cash Only means only currency? If the latter, there would have to be third additional box as well, because you could have:
1. Cash only
2. Cash & debit
3. Credit & debit

What do you think is the answer?
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 11, 2013 6:12:33 PM

McD: Just to keep things clear, the two new boxes are not the final answer to the cash/credit problem. These boxes won't necessarily be displayed as is, but are there only to collect data for future use. In this topic, we are not trying to get management to deploy the finished cash/credit solution; we are merely trying to get this "data-collection-only" phase to be good enough so that the data will be there for later use.

Itty-bitty baby steps.
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mcdowelle
Veteran Author New York

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Message Posted: Jun 11, 2013 5:08:14 PM

What we need is for every searched price to be flagged as cash or credit. I'm not sure how this box in the MSL leads to that solution. I understand the difficulty of getting the "cats" to enter prices but it doesn't seem to complicate the process much to have a tic box in the entry form to indicate the prices entered are for cash. If not ticked, the entered price would be for either. I would suggest that cash prices be flagged by showing them in red.

Yes, I know this topic has been hashed over many times but at this point something seems to be moving on it.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 11, 2013 3:52:59 PM

Since the data is not currently displayed, I imagine that adding additional boxes to provide clear and unambiguous data would be a small matter.

Another, but inferior, method would be to additionally add the data to the Station Notes in some standard format. The data could then (with some tricky parsing) be incorporated into the site.* But try getting the members to a.) remember to provide the data, and b.) adhere to the format to do it. It's herding cats all over again. No, it would be FAR better to to slap in the boxes now. If the boxes could be added quickly (while we are still young) it won't have much impact. We could simply re-edit the few stations that have been recently updated and it would be perfect.

C'mon GB, purty please with sugar or Splenda on top? (Your choice.)

----
*Or at least be present to be used to populate additional boxes added in the future.
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 11, 2013 9:54:56 AM

"With the boxes the way they are, what will readers see in the MSL for the two following conditions:
1. Don't accept credit cards (cash or debit only).
2. Cash and credit have the same price."

For number 1. they will see a comment in the notes section.

I would think adding a Cash only box might be helpful. Not sure it's necessary to add Credit only too, but I guess it wouldn't hurt.

For number 2. they will see nothing checked, which is how it should be--the default.

[Edited by: Zimcity at 6/11/2013 9:56:36 AM EST]
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 10:30:37 PM


The only thing I can imagine is that at some point both cash and credit prices will be visible side by side, except when the 'Cash/Credit Same' box is checked, then only one set of prices will be displayed.

However there still needs to be an option to show that a station only accepts cash (or cash+debit card) since those stations do exist and are more than a rarity. I can think of several (ARCO & Thrifty) within a 15 mile radius from me and they are chains, not independent.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 8:44:28 PM

I agree -- "cash only" needs treatment as well, unless we agree to consider it to be the degenerate case of a dual-priced station where the credit price is infinite. If the goal is to eventually be able to view cash and credit prices in some distinct way, then cash-only needs to be recognized as a non-credit price.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 4:20:30 PM

(Continued)
The answer is that they are both the same. Since this is patently an unsatisfactory situation, it begs the question whether we should suspend updating MSL records (for these boxes) until the situation is resolved.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jun 10, 2013 4:12:27 PM

I have been checking local stations with no credit prices for the last few days and have realized Scrap is right on the mark. With the boxes the way they are, what will readers see in the MSL for the two following conditions:
1. Don't accept credit cards (cash or debit only).
2. Cash and credit have the same price.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2013 9:57:11 PM

coflyer wrote:

"What about grocery stores who offer discounts on fuel with their discount grocery cards? Is there a plan to add something so people know about that?"

While it's outside the issue in the original post, trying to add the various discounts that grocery stores and/or other organizations/businesses might offer could lead to a laundry list of pricing options. Many grocery stores/loyalty cards offer X cents off per gallon if you bought $50 worth of groceries, XX if you bought $100 of groceries, etc. Some of these programs offer it for an unlimited amount of fuel, others limit the discount to a maximum number of gallons for a one-time gas purchase, still others allow the discount up to a maximum number of gallons over a period of time (i.e., multiple gas purchases). Trying to clearly indicate this seems to be outside of what Gas Buddy's intent is, and extremely difficult to keep track of, especially considering that many of these programs are for limited periods of time or change in their rewards programs values.

To a degree, what you're asking for is a list of businesses/stores/etc that offer discounts. As maxstar said, this seems outside the scope of Gas Buddy.

What you could do, especially if you're talking local grocery stores/local businesses (rather than national or international programs - as this site is used in both the United States and Canada) would be to start a discussion thread on Gas Station Discount Programs Offered by Grocery Stores and Other Business. In your first, identify what it is you want to do, provide an example. Indicate if) or if each new post should be stand-alone information, it's a continuing list (i.e., copy the list and add new programs to it up and/or delete discontinued programs, indicate start/end date of the program or that it's other indefinite in length, and/or any other information.

Then, in your first post, start the list as you want it.

But, it doesn't seem something that Gas Buddy should be getting involved in unless you can provide more information about how your program would work and how information would be accurately received, posted, and updated. And, you should indicate how such information (what could be a massive amount of information) wouldn't clutter the viewing/pricing screens.


[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 6/7/2013 10:00:04 PM EST]
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2013 4:39:18 PM

coflyer: trying to track the promotional offerings along with the terms and conditions of the promotional campaigns, in my opinion is beyond the scope of this site. I would think that a note, as zimcity suggested, is the best way to handle.
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2013 4:11:59 PM

"How would these stations be treated in the MSL?"

I would mention this in the station notes.
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357revo
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2013 3:34:38 PM

I'm in Pittsburgh. We have two gas chains that lower the cost based on use of an affinity card, but they aren't "Member only" stations. Sheetz and GetGo reduce the $/gal by 3 cents just for scanning their Sheetz or Giant Eagle cards, respectively.

How would these stations be treated in the MSL?
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coflyer
Champion Author Fort Collins

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2013 11:40:51 AM

What about grocery stores who offer discounts on fuel with their discount grocery cards? Is there a plan to add something so people know about that?
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 6, 2013 9:15:57 AM

"I am looking for something that is actually visible when you perform a search"

I've never understood why a search of MSL station features has never been implemented. Oh yeah, APP profile badges were a higher priority. *zing*

[Edited by: Zimcity at 6/6/2013 9:17:12 AM EST]
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Zimcity
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 6, 2013 9:14:42 AM

I'm not sure if I should √ the check box for a station that only has a cash discount for diesel, or for stations that have a cash discount posted on their message signs from time to time.

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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 6, 2013 7:05:24 AM

I am looking for something that is actually visible when you perform a search, ideally a different background or color. Another valuable thing would be the ability to filter out cash only and cash/credit differential stations. As it stands now, I have to drill into the MSL entry for each station to see it.
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kwzh
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Message Posted: Jun 6, 2013 3:50:34 AM

Scrapheap writes,
> I am hoping that the Cash/Credit box will lead to something like the durable flag idea

The MSL's Cash/Credit box *is* a durable flag of exactly the sort that people have been asking for, isn't it? What else are you hoping to see?
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