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Author Topic: Gaming the Point System Back to Topics
gaspricepasser

Champion Author
Miami

Posts:11,258
Points:949,080
Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Jul 4, 2013 10:01:16 PM

I really don't quite understand how people do this, but the new half year point totals show what would appear to be impossible. Assuming that the half year actually starts at midnight on July 1, then as of the end of today, July 4, the maximum number of points that could be earned would be 4,000, 975 x 4 days, plus 100 for the weekly poll. Theoretically, a few more points might be logged for telling a friend, but there are people with 5,100, 4,950, 4,800 and 4,220.

How is this possible? Why would the system allow someone to accrue more points than conceivably could have been earned? I guess that some people have figured out a way to sneak more points in, which just provides a disincentive for the rest of the people who play by the rules.
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2000fordVAN
Veteran Author Indiana

Posts:377
Points:200,345
Joined:Sep 2008
Message Posted: Jul 18, 2013 9:19:21 AM

"But if you are worried about points, then you are here for the wrong reason."

Then just get rid of them, or make them invisible to others and get rid of the lists showing the top ones.

The biggest problem with points is that it promotes cheating. Many will just post prices right over other prices, and not actually even post any prices they saw with their own eyes. Then the dumb forum posts to just get points. I admit, I did it at first, but not anymore.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,431
Points:3,536,095
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 7:05:57 PM

Folks: Not trying to dampen the discussion but the original post was about how a member could, in four days, achieve more points than another member thought possible. That issue seems to have been resolved (though not acknowledged by the original poster). All other issues regarding false price posting and local membership is extraneous and should be in a new thread, letting the original post carry on (if it warrants further discussion). Just my opinion.
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coflyer
Champion Author Fort Collins

Posts:1,149
Points:236,340
Joined:May 2013
Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 5:54:49 PM

kzwh: It looks like the Ft. Collins site was formed in 2010. The Ft. Collins forum has just two topics, both started by moderators. Just four posts in three years on that forum. The points leader for the Ft. Collins site has just over 636,000 points. So I would guess that many of the posters who post prices in the Ft. Collins "metro" area, are mostly members from other GasBuddy sites.

The population of the cities and towns in the Ft. Collins area in my estimate, probably doesn't exceed 300.000. The GasBuddy population is quite small. There are 83 members listed on the points leader board, of those, about five are active from what I see. So it looks like most of the GasBuddy members posting prices for Ft. Collins site gas stations, are from the Colorado, Denver, and I've see a couple of Wyoming members posting prices too.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,966
Points:4,177,905
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Jul 11, 2013 4:30:51 AM

I see. Well, maybe you could visit your local forum and see if you can find other regulars who'd be willing to back you up by reporting when they see bogus prices. I don't know how big the GasBuddy community is in your metro area.
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coflyer
Champion Author Fort Collins

Posts:1,149
Points:236,340
Joined:May 2013
Message Posted: Jul 10, 2013 1:15:20 PM

kwzh: It is just one person reporting false prices in my area, me. From what I've read from the mods, no one else is reporting false prices in my area. Plus, there seems to be a bunch of members in my area that just post for about two months and then just quit. I don't know if this is possibly one person, or a few people with multiple memberships.

[Edited by: coflyer at 7/10/2013 1:16:02 PM EST]
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,966
Points:4,177,905
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Jul 8, 2013 1:17:36 AM

coflyer, "your word against theirs" might work when there's only one member noting the problem, but when some member (or the GBD feed) is consistently wrong and is reported as such by multiple members, then the evidence is not so symmetric any more. Please do keep reporting bad entries.

[Edited by: kwzh at 7/8/2013 1:20:06 AM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:95,449
Points:3,754,990
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jul 7, 2013 6:16:14 AM

""Only your moderator knows for sure.""

What does this have to do with this topic, CampKohler or is this another attempt at humor?

Thanks for contributing coflyer. It is appreciated.

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 7/7/2013 6:17:14 AM EST]
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coflyer
Champion Author Fort Collins

Posts:1,149
Points:236,340
Joined:May 2013
Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 5:05:06 PM

I've been a member 43 days and have acquired 44,900 points. 975 points per day x 43, plus seven weekly polls at 100 pts. a pop, plus 100 pts. just for joining, and finally, 1200 pts. for referring the site, (BTW, it's a great way to piss off friends and relatives.), great idea Gasbuddy.....

The benefit for me was that I have used the site for years, but never joined. So I knew how to get the maximum points by reading about it on the site for the past 10 years. There were so many people posting prices in my area, that I really didn't need to join because the gas prices were most always up to date. Then in the past six months, new members showed up posting wrong prices, phantom diesel prices, and these GB_Direct prices also started showing up as wrong too, (Diamond Shamrock and Safeway), so I finally joined up so I could post the right prices, and remove the ones that were wrong.

I know mods have said to report people and GB_Direct members who post false prices. To do that with actual proof is very time consuming and even then they can still deny it and explain it as "human error. So it just ends up your word against theirs. It's much easier to just delete wrong prices and post the actual prices.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,551
Points:1,973,605
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 2:46:34 PM

"Only your moderator knows for sure."
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

Posts:25,136
Points:3,821,930
Joined:Oct 2002
Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 5:16:57 AM

It is very easy to game the system for ONE DAY, simply by taking advantage of the time zones.
However, they aren't extra points, all you can really do is get tomorrow's points a little early so it looks like you have exceeded the limit.
For instance, I can log in at 11 pm, and post today's points on a western time zone, then immediately log in to an eastern time zone site and it looks like I have received 1950 points in one day. If I have gotten all my referral points in those first 4 days, I could actually have over 6,000 points. But then the next group catches up on the 5th day because I already have my 5th day points on the 4th day if you check on a western site before the date roll-over.
If we were like internet games, and had a site time that was common, based on GMT or any set time zone, everybody would be on the same day at the same time, however the sites enter the next day based on time zone. For instance, Hawaii right now it is 11:18pm, yesterday to me, as it is 4:18 am in Central time zone.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 7/6/2013 5:20:42 AM EST]
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,998
Points:736,950
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 7:15:32 PM

Yawn....
What is the 1/2 year list? Oh, that. Got to many more important things in life to worry about...
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CelticHeart
Champion Author Detroit

Posts:141,955
Points:3,668,675
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 2:16:12 PM

Ya mean we get points for posting stuff?
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:17,055
Points:2,856,900
Joined:Sep 2006
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 1:32:23 PM

1200 points for tell a friend + 100 points for a new member + 975X4 daily + 100 for the poll = 5300 points for a theoretical limit.

[Edited by: Scrapheap at 7/5/2013 1:33:53 PM EST]
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Alex9990
Champion Author Jacksonville

Posts:7,292
Points:1,931,610
Joined:May 2003
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 1:04:14 PM

This has been discussed in previous postings that probably have been long since locked. It is quirk of the system when the member posts something at a certain time (i.e. right at midnight, 6 a.m., etc.) The members that remember how this can happen can chime in.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:95,449
Points:3,754,990
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 12:55:55 PM

If someone just joined 7/1/2013 and maxed out all their points they would be at 5,300.

But if you are worried about points, then you are here for the wrong reason.
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

Posts:17,114
Points:3,398,835
Joined:May 2005
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 10:19:55 AM

I have exhausted all of my referrals and other things and I just get the basic points, however when buying gas I use the I-phone app to check stations near me. It all comes out in the end to total the right amount, as I have seen by being on here many years now. I don't actually worry about what someone else is doing.
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TrixieNY
Champion Author Buffalo

Posts:2,873
Points:820,875
Joined:Apr 2008
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 10:07:10 AM

Who cares? Post for the good of the people in your town, not points.
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dassfg
Champion Author Fort Worth

Posts:2,111
Points:976,420
Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 8:00:21 AM

Just report and do not worry about it
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OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

Posts:7,886
Points:1,803,250
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jul 5, 2013 7:46:25 AM

Sounds like a lotta worry went into the original posting ... so sad
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:29,431
Points:3,536,095
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Jul 4, 2013 11:37:16 PM

First, what does this topic have to do in the General Gas Talk discussion category, which is for general discussion about gas stations, fuel, oil, etc.
Instead of asking fellow members, why not ask the moderators directly, in the Talk Back To Us discussion category, where your question will be seen by the people responsible for the website?

However, to answer your question, a member could earn 1,200 points for referrals, meaning that a member, in four days could earn 5,200 points, which is at least 100 points less than you're saying members have "sneaked in."

If they've earned less than the maximum points they could have earned, what's the problem? Where's the disincentive to you (i.e., the rest of the people who play by the rules) if those members earned all the points they could playing by the rules?
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AFOS
Champion Author Chicago

Posts:34,305
Points:3,566,720
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Jul 4, 2013 11:25:46 PM

I've wondered a bit about this but since I'm not here primarily to amass points I don't obsess about it. Maybe they're telling a LOT of friends.
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