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Author Topic: A stupid question, perhaps Back to Topics
JamesCalvin

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Lancaster

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2013 10:46:46 PM

When I have just tried to post the price of regular unleaded gas, why does the GasBuddy app ask if this station sells regular unleaded gas?
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Retired-Coastie
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2013 9:47:49 AM

@Scrapheap;
There are a couple of stations in Fort Smith that offer "Member" pricing.
Granted they are check debit card at the pump, memberships.

I don't like have that much information floating out there.
I myself am working to get on cash, and off the cards.
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JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Aug 15, 2013 4:05:54 PM

Scoutmaster,

Honestly, I can't remember.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 13, 2013 8:11:01 AM

JamesCalvin,

And you posted a link to my profile page because......?
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JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 8:43:57 PM

Scoutmaster, "Excellent!!" I agree!

I am waiting with baited breath for the moment this is implemented!

[Edited by: JamesCalvin at 8/12/2013 8:44:22 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 6:21:49 AM

What do I say? I say if the station doesn't sell a grade no one should be able to enter a price for that grade. How's that, JamesCalvin?
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Aug 12, 2013 12:59:36 AM

LarryMarg writes,
> would like so see updates rejected if the MSL ...

This seems to be in the pipeline; just need to be patient.

JamesCalvin writes,
> an immediate popup should ask, "Are you sure...?"

That's independent of the current info-gathering question, and probably not worth implementing if a planned update is going to make that situation impossible anyway.
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JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 10:59:48 PM

LarryMarg has a great point!

If someone enters a price for a type of fuel the station feature set indicates is not sold at that station, an immediate popup should ask, "Are you sure this station sells this type of gas/fuel?", just like the popup when a price seems out of line!

What do you say, ScoutMaster?
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LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Aug 11, 2013 8:11:35 PM

Someone wrote, "asking whether diesel is sold at a station where you've just entered a price for diesel is silly."

Having gone out of my way to go to a station that had a cheap price for diesel listed in GB, only to find that the station didn't even carry diesel and some bozo had entered the midgrade gas price for diesel, I don't think that's silly at all, and would like so see updates rejected if the MSL doesn't show that the station carries that grade.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 9, 2013 12:42:09 PM

DON wrote > The next question will be member pricing (discounts) and member card required. These are now 2 separate questions.

Wasn't there only 1 question previously about member pricing? If so, what constituted member pricing for that question? I thought it only applied to membership only stations like COSTCO.

For the new member pricing (discounts) question, is the work "discounts" specified in the question?

I don't have a problem with the pop ups, as long as they can be turned off. Some people drive while they report prices and this extra distraction can be dangerous to themselves and others.
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JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Aug 8, 2013 11:23:09 AM

The discussion and dialog in this topic has been very helpful me and I hope all.

Moderator Don and Moderator TB’s insights have brought clarity and focus to the discussion. To summarize, the original purpose of the pop-ups is to gather and verify information regarding the features of a particular station.

Since the pop-up questions will benefit the site in the long run, I favor continuing them.

I recommend several changes:

- 1 - Eliminate the word “unleaded” in the pop-up. “Unleaded” is used nowhere in the MSL feature set. Presumably, all gas sold for over-the-road cars is unleaded.

- 2 – Since, according to TB below, “the system currently does not look at the fuel type you just entered,” modify the smart prompt system so that it takes into account the data that is just being entered.

- Tell the iPhone app programmer to add a few lines of code to the pop-up sequence to check if the gasbuddy has just provided sufficient information to answer the question before popping it up.

- For example, the iPhone screen clearly shows/retains my price entries that I have/am submitting (at the top of the screen) while popping up the question at the bottom of the screen. I can still see on the iPhone app screen where I entered the station’s advertised price of “Reg” while being asked if the station actually “sells regular (unleaded) gas?”

At first, this was confusing to me. Now that TB has explained below that the iPhone app doesn’t evaluate my entry before popping the smart prompt, I understand.

The iPhone intelligently evaluates my entries at other times. It has always questioned me regarding a price I just inaccurately entered that is way too high or way too low by asking, “This prices seems too high (or too low). Is it correct?” Similar programing could be done with the prompts, resulting, I believe, in less confusion, while at the same time, maintaining the over-all purpose of accuracy in the station feature information.
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Aug 8, 2013 7:58:38 AM

"Yep, I have no problem with the occasional pop-ups if they will help gasbuddy.com improve the apps and site over time"

Check
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Aug 8, 2013 7:18:42 AM

Yep, I have no problem with the occasional pop-ups if they will help gasbuddy.com improve the apps and site over time.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 8, 2013 6:38:35 AM

I agree with Gas_Buddy. If the occasional pop-up questions will benefit the site in the long run, so be it.

Thanks for the answers TB.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 7, 2013 7:30:03 PM

For what it's worth, after all the years of membership and all the years of discussion in Talk Back To Us and Suggest A Website Improvement, if responding to occasional pop-ups will help the website, I would rather have the occasional pop-up than asking that it be disabled. In any case, it's not anything more than a minor distraction if even that. Just my "for what it's worth."
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TB
Moderator
Message Posted: Aug 7, 2013 6:53:59 PM

So I have a few more answers for you.

Yes the "does this station sell regular" was a sanity check question. It was easy to implement and of course 99.9% of stations sell regular gas so if for some reason the system had a bug in it, it was not going to hurt anything. I have just been informed that as of yesterday we will no longer be asking that question.

Our main concern at this time is the cash/credit issue. That will be the first question that is asked about a station. Once we feel we have enough data for cash/credit I am sure we will be limiting what fuel types members are allowed to post for stations as well as offering cash/credit prices to be entered.

The next question will be member pricing (discounts) and member card required. These are now 2 separate questions.

Currently there is no way to turn off smart prompts from the iPhone app however you can from Android. If smart prompts are annoying you on iPhone I suggest you use the contact us link and send us an email. I believe we can disable them on our end for you.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 2, 2013 10:51:37 AM

RichWLIN - Yes they are ongoing. I just got one this morning asking if a station had different prices for cash and credit.
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JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Aug 2, 2013 8:58:06 AM

When the pop ups first appeared (this spring?), the only question I was asked was does this station have "different cash/credit pricing?"

Then the question changed to "Does this station sell regular unleaded gas?"

I have never received any other questions, in my local area (Lancaster, PA) or when I travel outside my area (New York state to Iowa).
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JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Aug 2, 2013 8:47:39 AM

There are more than a dozen gas stations within a three mile radius of my home (Lancaster, PA) for which I regularly post from my iPhone 5.

I get a pop up question about once every three to ten posts. I don't ever remember getting the same question twice for any given station. So I don't get the pop ups unless I travel outside my home turf. If I have answered the question once, I don't get it again for my local stations.

Yesterday I traveled 150 miles to and from the Philadelphia Airport on roads I don't usually frequent. When I posted the regular gas price, I had two or three pop ups, always asking if the station "sold regular unleaded."

(As I stated before, I have GasBuddy notifications turned off.)



[Edited by: JamesCalvin at 8/2/2013 8:52:11 AM EST]
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 2, 2013 8:41:06 AM

Scrapheap, Are the pop-ups ongoing?
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 2, 2013 6:09:26 AM

"I have gotten pop-ups for regular, mid-grade, premium, diesel, different cash credit pricing and membership only pricing."
Likewise."

Double likewise.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 10:26:35 PM

Based on reports from several confirming the pop-ups are not just for regular, I am leaning to the regular being in the mix for "sanity checking".

CK - you had better see the doc about that hurting side.
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Byte_Doctor
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 8:36:51 PM

"I have gotten pop-ups for regular, mid-grade, premium, diesel, different cash credit pricing and membership only pricing."
Likewise.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 8:27:04 PM

I have gotten pop-ups for regular, mid-grade, premium, diesel, different cash credit pricing and membership only pricing.
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 7:40:54 PM

TXJeans, I only got the pop-up just a few times early on and it was for "regular unleaded". Let's hope that diesel is in the cards.

RG
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 7:17:11 PM

Rich - before my Smart Phone died, I thought I had received pop ups for other than just the "regular" gas. I was under the impression the pop ups were NOT just for the one regular grade. If that is really all that is popping up, I agree, it is not a sanity check but just insanity.
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Michael29644
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 7:06:34 PM

CK,

I'll have to check it out personally before I change anything. It's in a part of town I don't frequent much anymore, but I should be by there in the next week or so. It is possible that corporate may not realize what the station actually sells. There is a major local chain here (Spinx) that corporate NEVER knows what is going on at the stores. This Echols station appears to be not much of a station (if you bring up the MSL record and look at its picture you'll see what I mean) and it looks to be geared more towards diesel, including off-road diesel. I think they also handle bulk diesel sales, too. In fact, I'd bet that bulk fuel sales are the majority of this station's sales.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 6:46:31 PM

Glad you are ecstatic CampKohler. And Spain does exist. My daughter has been there.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 4:18:40 PM

Michael: If you mean the Echols Oil station on Whitehorse Rd that you added to the MSL in 2011, that station no longer sells E-free midgrade; IT NOW SELLS REGULAR INSTEAD.

I could, on the basis of information provided by the Echols Oil Company head office, correct that station's MSL entry, but I will leave it to Michael to do that. (If he doesn't report back here in a few days, I'll tickle his whiteboard to remind him.)

SM: To answer your question, I'm absolutely freaking ecstatic. So, I guess Spain doesn't really exist after all, does it? (The rain in Spain must now fall mainly in some plain in Portugal or even France.) Oh, now my side REALLY hurts. :-)
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 2:49:07 PM

And there it is! Proof. Ya happy now CampKohler?
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 2:16:34 PM

"There is one station in my area that only sells ethanol free mid-grade and diesel."

What does the MSL show for fuel grades?
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Michael29644
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 2:12:25 PM

"This sounds like a good idea, but shouldn't it be done by the windy one who suggests that such stations exist?"

There is one station in my area that only sells ethanol free mid-grade and diesel. People are frequently posting the mid-grade price as regular, I guess understandably so, but the sign is clearly marked.
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 1:55:35 PM

"Maybe someone could do a scrape of the MSL info, and see if the database includes any stations with "Regular" unchecked?"

This sounds like a good idea, but shouldn't it be done by the windy one who suggests that such stations exist?

RG

[Edited by: RichWLIN at 8/1/2013 1:56:34 PM EST]
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 10:21:02 AM

"Still, I suspect it might be used as a sanity check against the other responses..."

That's one possibility. I still think it's more likely to have originated by someone with little knowledge of U.S. gas prices; perhaps a programmer of recent immigration...not that there's anything wrong with that and no racial slur intended. It's just not a question that makes much sense to anyone who has purchased fuel here for any length of time.

Personally, I hope whoever is responsible will proceed on to verifying diesel. I'd be more than happy to answer queries that move towards more accurate prices.

RG


[Edited by: RichWLIN at 8/1/2013 10:23:39 AM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 7:17:44 AM

Yup kwzh someone could do that. I vote for CampKohler since he seems to have a lot of time to do nothing.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 5:54:04 AM

Sounds like the perfect job for CK to check site by site to see if he can find one.

Still, I suspect it might be used as a sanity check against the other responses...
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kwzh
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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 3:19:00 AM

Maybe someone could do a scrape of the MSL info, and see if the database includes any stations with "Regular" unchecked?
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 5:20:29 PM

Well CampKohler, just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it ain't true. I've never been to Spain but I know it exists!
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 5:07:47 PM

"I have never seen the wind...." Oh, my side hurts. :-)

Seriously, anyone knowing of a station that continuously sells mid or premium, but not regular, should, if for no other reason than conforming our minds to reality and returning us to sanity, announce to us exactly which station(s) it is (are). Really! I would sooner think a grocer would stock empty cartons instead of milk; while that is technically possible, it defies logic to the point I can honestly say I don't believe it, wind or no wind.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 8:25:18 AM

It could be a sanity check. But then again, if someone posts a price for a grade a station doesn't sell, it makes sense.
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 7:33:16 AM

I wouldn't disagree that there may be some number of stations where regular unleaded gas isn't offered. However, with access to the entire GB database, surely the programmer/pollster understands that these stations constitute a minute fraction of the total?

If the question had been about diesel, I think we would have all breathed a collective sigh of relief in the belief that something useful is in the works.

Bogus price entry is still rampant here. Correction of fabricated prices is a daily challenge; typically with posters who assume prices for those not listed on the signage, enter diesel where it isn't offered and app award price cloners. The ability to zero prices has been hampered of late making errors in pricing even more frustrating.

It would be nice to see a concerted effort to address issues rather than simply ignoring them or suggesting that they aren't problems in the first place.

RG

[Edited by: RichWLIN at 7/31/2013 7:34:40 AM EST]
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Byte_Doctor
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 7:14:41 AM

"I have not yet seen a gas station that does not sell "regular unleaded gas"."

I have never seen the wind but I know it's there. Stations that don't sell regular unleaded are out there. They are few and far between but they exist. Just like posts from scoutmaster carping about CampKohler's posts, questions and wiki.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 7:09:23 AM

I suspect it was easier to create a global solution of all the MSL check boxes and the "regular" is just a sanity check.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 7:08:40 AM

"I have not yet seen a gas station that does not sell "regular unleaded gas"."

I have never seen the wind but I know it's there. Stations that don't sell regular unleaded are out there. They are few and far between but they exist. Just like CampKohler's totally unauthorized and unendorsed wiki.

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 7/31/2013 7:10:36 AM EST]
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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 1:41:27 AM

I agree with the JamesCalvins questioning this question.
I have not yet seen a gas station that does not sell "regular unleaded gas".
So the posters question in my opinon did not ask a stupid question, but rather the GB question is stupid. Becasue there is only one posible answer. "Yes".
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2013 12:14:08 AM

I don’t imagine that anyone willing to enter accurate gas prices routinely has a problem with answering a few questions from time to time.

The OP asked, and rightly so, what the purpose of confirming that a station offers regular unleaded gas was meant to accomplish? I don’t think this question has yet been answered by anyone. We all know that virtually all branded stations sell regular unleaded gas. The question itself smacks of a lack of knowledge in the subject; that is, it sounds as though the programmer/pollster doesn’t know much about purchasing fuel products in North America. Frankly, it's similar to the kind of questions asked by alien tech support personnel.

Gas_Buddy (the member), in typical round about and rambling manner, suggests that doing something, even if it’s on its face apparently useless, is better than doing nothing at all. Once again his underlying intent generally tends to defend a perceived slight of GB management by anyone challenging, or even questioning, the validity of pretty much anything that goes on here.

This discussion, like so many others, doesn’t exude much confidence in the future of accurate fuel prices.

RG
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Byte_Doctor
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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 9:39:39 PM

I tend to get questions asked an average of about once a day when posting prices. Is it annoying? A lot less annoying than scoutmaster complaining about CampKohler's posts, humor, and wiki!
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 9:03:40 PM

For how often I've been asked "Does this station sell...", or "how infrequently" I've been asked, if it helps Gas Buddy to consolidate findings and improve fuel price posting, even if the questions are "stupid" or "silly", it's at worse a minor inconvenience let alone an annoyance.

Everyone keeps saying they want Gas Buddy to "do this...do that...fix things" so that pricing is accurate, but when there's a minor inconvenience, a pop-up or a question (even if it is a frequent pop-up or question) everyone seems to complain and would like Gas Buddy's intervention to end. Granted, the pop-ups and the questions may be worded less specifically or different than some of us might word the questions, but isn't it better that Gas Buddy management is doing what people want done...making at least SOME effort?
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 8:31:36 PM

I've only been asked questions a couple times while posting prices. Is it annoying? A lot less annoying than CampKohlers totally unauthorized and unendorsed wiki!

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 7/30/2013 8:33:05 PM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 4:42:38 PM

Hooboy! "If the members who diligently enter, correct and keep current the MSL data can't be trusted, how in the world can there be confidence in data generated by random questioning of app users?" pretty much says it all!
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 30, 2013 5:32:35 AM

I personally have no strong opinion on which of the two sources is more likely to be correct; I don't find the arguments for either side to be all that compelling. Fortunately, I don't anticipate any situation where it would be at all important to me (let alone life-threatening) in the near future.
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