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Author Topic: GB_Direct posting bogus diesel prices! Back to Topics
RogerB

Champion Author
Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 3, 2013 9:54:02 PM

Now GB_Direct is posting bogus diesel prices for a station that doesn't sell diesel fuel:

Spotted: Tue 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct

Diesel $4.03 9

Shell (Circle K)
2104 N Capitol Ave
Cross: W 21st St
Indianapolis - Central, IN, 46202

(I wish I could have deleted this from my Android app!)
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2013 7:48:09 AM

>> Yes, I think it's a technical glitch.

But whose technical glitch? It could just as easily be a computer at the particular organization that is posting errant prices as with a GasBuddy server.

And, again, it shouldn't take in excess of six months to figure out and remedy, no matter what the cause.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Nov 4, 2013 4:34:09 AM

Yes, I think it's a technical glitch. For one thing, the periodicity is characteristic of a machine. For another, if it really is a human doing this, then what's the motivation? Who gains from it?
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2013 8:55:08 AM

kwzh wrote > I still think it's more likely that they haven't found the source of the problem yet. (I'm pretty sure that it is *not* some guy with the user name of GB_Direct who logs in like the rest of us and happens to be posting bogus data like the infamous app users.)

You don't think there are people who enter the prices for GB_Direct? You're really going to pawn this off on a technical glitch?
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jimbeaux53
Champion Author Kansas City

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Message Posted: Nov 3, 2013 2:22:04 AM

"The accuracy and reliability of the site's data *should* be important enough that they'd want to track this down sooner rather than later."

You would think this to be the case but I'm not sure.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2013 8:08:14 AM

2 more:
Spotted: Wed 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct

Diesel $4.19 9

Admiral
6201 E Washington St & Sheridan Ave
Indianapolis - East, IN, 46219



Spotted: Wed 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct

Diesel $4.19 9 Admiral
1435 E Washington St near Arsenal Ave
Indianapolis - Central
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2013 7:03:43 AM

>> I still think it's more likely that they haven't found the source of the problem yet.

Six months should be plenty of time to have figured it out. The accuracy and reliability of the site's data *should* be important enough that they'd want to track this down sooner rather than later.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2013 6:35:12 AM

Bogus diesel prices posted by GB_Direct
From Me to GB Moderator
Nov 1
This seems to be a weekly occurrence, every Thursday evening / Friday Morning.


Spotted: Mon 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct

Diesel $4.03 9
Shell (Circle K)
2104 N Capitol Ave & W 21st St
Indianapolis - Central, IN, 46202



Well, it was gone for ALMOST a week, but today this bogus diesel price showed up again.
- This station DOES NOT sell diesel.
- This station does not not use OpenStore® - no prices for grades of fuel it actually DOES sell have ever been posted by "GB_Direct"
- The time stamp is phoney also. NO diesel price has been posted here all week, including this morning. It appeared sometime after I posted this stations prices this morning at about 7:45 AM. It appeared later today with a timestamp 4 1/2 days old. This does not show up on the main site, but it does show up on the gas price map and on the Mobile app.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From GB Moderator
Nov 1
Hello RogerB,

Thank you for sending in an email.

We are currently looking into this is an hope to have it corrected shortly.

Thank you for the continued help.

Regards,

Jess (JM)
GasBuddy.com
$4.03 9
Shell (Circle K)
2104 N Capitol Ave & W 21st St
Indianapolis - Central, IN, 46202
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DavisSta
All-Star Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Nov 2, 2013 2:24:33 AM

The problem is definitely still occurring. Here are current examples for the same four stations that do not sell diesel that I used in my posting of October 15.

Diesel: $4.199
Updated: Tue 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct
Shell
2200 Alemany Blvd
Cross: Geneva Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112-3311

Diesel: $4.399
Updated: Wed 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct
Valero
310 San Bruno Ave E
Cross: 2nd Ave
San Bruno, CA, 94066-3627

Diesel: $4.299
Updated: Thu 11:05 PM
By: Nickiebits
Shell
400 Peninsula Ave
Cross: Woodside Way
San Mateo, CA, 94401-1653

Diesel: $4.299
Updated: Fri 9:30 AM
By: tomyobomyo
Shell
690 Veterans Blvd
Cross: Brewster Ave
Redwood City, CA, 94063-1409

The last two are not GB_Direct posts, but I believe they originated as GB_Direct midnight posts and Nickiebits and tomyobomyo have reposted the invalid GB_Direct posts.

[Edited by: DavisSta at 11/2/2013 2:29:34 AM EST]
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2013 11:44:08 PM

I still think it's more likely that they haven't found the source of the problem yet. (I'm pretty sure that it is *not* some guy with the user name of GB_Direct who logs in like the rest of us and happens to be posting bogus data like the infamous app users.)

Note also that this issue is orthogonal to "posting prices for a grade that doesn't exist". While a fix for the latter problem might mask the symptoms of the former, it wouldn't be a fix for it. Also, given the ad-hoc nature of the GasBuddy code base, I could easily imagine that the GB_Direct code path doesn't go through the same checks anyway.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2013 10:16:57 PM

>> Maybe this explains why there has been no GBO response in a month to this topic.

Given my original report of inaccurate GB_Direct postings was back in April, and as evidenced by continued inaccurate GB_Direct postings, the more likely reason for no response from the mods is that they just don't care.

[Edited by: bytebug at 11/1/2013 10:17:55 PM EST]
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2013 4:05:10 PM

Maybe this explains why there has been no GBO response in a month to this topic.



[Edited by: CampKohler at 11/1/2013 4:07:57 PM EST]
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Nov 1, 2013 1:28:00 AM

This seems to be a weekly occurrence, every Thursday evening / Friday Morning.


Spotted: Mon 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct

Diesel $4.03 9
Shell (Circle K)
2104 N Capitol Ave & W 21st St
Indianapolis - Central, IN, 46202
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 31, 2013 12:48:25 AM

That Gulf (Cumberland Farms) station that Batman mentions sounds like exactly the same glitch that is showing up at my neighborhood Shell station.

As he indicates, this has nothing to do with someone posting prices in the wrong place. It is some bug or glitch in the system that feeds prices from other sources to the main Gas Buddy site database.

My Shell station hasn't posted any diesel prices this week, but the week isn't over yet.
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MadFueler
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 7:01:20 PM

Didn't know this had been supposedly in the works for years, bytebug - guess that's what happens when you're newer to the organization and think you're moving it faster than it's actually going. Yes, it'd be the easy and obvious solution, along with letting senior members zero out false prices from the app or the map. Can't say I know what's keeping them either.
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Batman302
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Oct 30, 2013 5:34:10 PM

We have one like that on WilmingtonGasPrices too:

Gulf (Cumberland Farms)
1801 Concord Pike
Talleyville, DE 19803

Diesel: 3.67
Posted by GB_Direct 12:00am 10/28

The station doesn't sell diesel, and the posts are always more than 48 hours old and at midnight.
This morning when I looked at it the post was from last Thursday, and now it is from Monday.

It must be a programming glitch for it to work this way, and only the mods can do anything about that.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 9:59:15 PM

>> I don't think the problem is apathy among the mods

They've promised a solution for years – simply disallow posting of prices for grades of gasoline that aren't sold by a given station. If this were currently implemented, any member could correct the problem by simply updating the MSL with information on what grades of gasoline are sold at the station in question.

As well, the mods could generate a list of members posting bogus prices with a simple database query. Instead of reacting to complaints, they could be proactive by warning members of being tossed off the site for posting bogus prices.

For a problem with such a simple remedy, inaction really does point to the site not caring about the accuracy of the information posted here, and caring more about the revenue generated by its users.
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MadFueler
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 8:38:51 PM

I don't think the problem is apathy among the mods - I just think they don't have the tools to trace this sort of thing directly and have a lot of incoming messages to deal with. Whenever I report one of these, I do get a response each time so I think they care and they're just as frustrated as we are about the situation. The more we report, the closer they can get to finding the culprit(s) - but it's a process.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 7:03:20 AM

That's not what I meant RogerB. I was referring to your app post.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 6:53:30 AM

I agree. Nothing that is going on with the diesel prices at this station makes any sense.
If you think you can do a better job of deleting this, go right ahead! Give it a try:

Diesel $4.03 9
Shell
2104 N Capitol Ave & W 21st St
(NO DIESEL FUEL SOLD HERE ! ! !)
Indianapolis - Central
RogerB
6 hours ago

Another reason why it would really be nice if we could delete prices from the mobile apps.

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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 6:22:58 AM

That makes no sense RogerB. Did you refresh the app?
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 12:40:29 AM

I am also unable to delete this price. I re-post this price with a current time stamp, then try to delete it on the full website. I can delete it from the full website and the price map, but it still shows up on the mobile app.

When I try to delete it, the comment I posted with it is deleted, but the price still appears on the android app, now with a current time stamp. I've re-posted it and leaving it with the comment: NO DIESEL FUEL SOLD HERE!

[Edited by: RogerB at 10/25/2013 12:41:22 AM EST]
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 25, 2013 12:11:15 AM



Well, it was gone for ALMOST a week, but today this bogus diesel price showed up again.
- This station DOES NOT sell diesel.
- This station does not not use OpenStore® - no prices for grades of fuel it actually DOES sell have ever been posted by "GB_Direct"
- The time stamp is phoney also. NO diesel price has been posted here all week, including this morning. It appeared sometime after I posted this stations prices this morning at about 7:45 AM. It appeared later today with a timestamp 4 1/2 days old. This does not show up on the main site, but it does show up on the gas price map and on the Mobile app.Spotted: Mon 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct

Diesel $4.03 9

Shell (Circle K)
2104 N Capitol Ave & W 21st St
Indianapolis - Central, IN, 46202
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maddog57
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2013 6:29:51 AM

We've got one that posts here a lot at a station that doesn't sell diesel. One good thing is that we've discovered several people who we suspected were spamming prices really are since they will post the bogus price as well as the others.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 24, 2013 2:50:48 AM

The original station (above) has not had any diesel prices posted in the past week.

I don't believe any of the Moderators are volunteers. They do have at least some access to the system, but they have to refer programming and technical issues to programmers.
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ronbo2010
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2013 4:02:00 PM

I don't know if the moderators here are like other forums sites who are made up mostly by volunteers. If they are, they do not really have any access or control on the application itself. Most of their access are probably confined to the forums and the front page. Some may have but the site is not really clear about who has access to what.
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Furball
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2013 10:15:27 AM

<I find it disturbing that this subject has been up here for over two weeks and there isn't one response from a moderator.>

The mods really don't care. I have tried long and hard to clean up the numerous bogus prices posted locally, and the reward for my trouble was being threatened by the mods.
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mohrorless
All-Star Author New York

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Message Posted: Oct 23, 2013 6:24:31 AM

THANK YOU ROGERB!!!!! I have been trying to clear out a diesel price from a station in my neighborhood that does not sell diesel! Your instructions were right on the money!

Now to get the offenders to STOP posting the diesel price for that station!

The mods really aren't stopping it...
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 20, 2013 12:08:47 PM

The station (above) that started this thread has not had ANY diesel prices posted for several days now. I'll hope that continues.

I have seen comments posted that some people were unable to remove, or "zero out" prices, and some have contacted me directly for instructions. Here is how it is done:


You can only "zero" out a price from the full website, "Search Gas Prices" section.
This cannot be done from a mobile app, mobile website, or even the gas price map on the full website.

The price you want to delete must be displayed in the "Search Gas Prices" results list. If necessary, select only the area and station name you want to remove. You must be sure the Diesel tab is selected if you want to delete the Diesel price. The price you want to delete must be displayed in the gas price search list.

Click the update link below the price you want to delete, to get to the "Report a Price Here" window for that station.
Enter zero ( 0 ) for the price, and a comment, such as NO DIESEL FUEL SOLD HERE ! to explain why you are removing the price.

Click the submit button, and you should then see that station listed with a price of 0.00.

Click the "Show prices from the above areas" below that station, and you should then see the other stations from that area, with the station for which you deleted the price missing from that list, confirming the deletion.
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Batman302
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Oct 20, 2013 12:12:28 AM

I find it disturbing that this subject has been up here for over two weeks and there isn't one response from a moderator.
I have seen a couple of stations that don't sell diesel, with GB_Direct posts lately and even after zeroing out those prices, the prices reappear the next day, with the original date that I zeroed out.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Oct 19, 2013 5:11:26 PM

bytebug:

"Mods have said previously that OpenStore® is a paid program..."

You're correct that OpenStore® is a paid program, and the program does integrate "logo" into Gas Buddy station identification (Gas Buddy LLC promotes the program by noting: "With OpenStore® , you'll stand out from the crowd on GasBuddy.com with a branded listing." The branded listing option, from everything I've seen/read, doesn't automatically integrate GasBuddy Direct price posting but rather that while they may be complimentary programs, they're independent programs stations or companies "join".

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I haven't found anything in "advertising" or "publicity", etc., for the GasBuddy Direct and OpenStore® programs that indicates they're an integrated operation.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Oct 19, 2013 6:18:49 AM

>> Last I heard, no money changes hands in either direction.

Mods have said previously that OpenStore® is a paid program, allowing for posting of prices and altering station logos, both of which have been problematic and prompted complaints.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 18, 2013 6:31:50 AM

"... all I've ended up with is a bogus diesel price with my name on it (instead of GB_Direct)"

You must not be doing it right. If you post a zero price on the MAIN website, along with a comment, it will be gone, at least until it is re-posted.

You cannot zero a price from a mobile app or the map.

I deleted the diesel price at the above shell station yesterday, and this time it stayed gone so far.
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wheelman82
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Oct 18, 2013 12:51:42 AM

I've tried what has been suggested here to zero out a bogus diesel price and all I've ended up with is a bogus diesel price with my name on it (instead of GB_Direct)...
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2013 11:48:56 PM

bytebug"

"But GB_Direct pays for the privilege of posting bogus prices, so it's okay."

Unless you know otherwise and have a source, that Gas Buddy LLC or OPIS has changed the business plan of the GasBuddy Direct program, I agree with kwzh and take Gas Buddy LLC at their word that "There is no cost or fee for stations to access the GasBuddy Direct program. It is simply a way for stores to get their prices on the site more easily on regular basis. Many stations current report prices to Gasbuddy manually. Hopefully now the information will be more timely and reliable."

And I take Gas Buddy LLC at their word that "the prices posted under GasBuddy Direct do not count for points and those stations etc are not eligible for the contests etc." is still in effect.

bytebug: If you can show otherwise, that "GB_Direct pays for the privilege of posting bogus prices, so it's okay." I'll be pleased to say I was wrong.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2013 11:32:09 PM

bytebug writes,
> But GB_Direct pays for the privilege

Last I heard, no money changes hands in either direction. If you have newer information, I'd like to see the source.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2013 7:37:15 AM

>> When you delete the price, also PM the moderators.

Obviously, they don't care or it would have been fixed months ago. If it were you or I repeatedly posting bogus prices, we would have been booted from the site by now. But GB_Direct pays for the privilege of posting bogus prices, so it's okay.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2013 6:44:16 AM

"What's the point in logging on to the main website to delete a bogus price that will likely re-appear within a few hours."

The point is it is misleading and needs to be dealt with. When you delete the price, also PM the moderators. Letting this go is not the answer.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2013 12:33:49 AM

"Giving up will not solve the problem RogerB."

What's the point in logging on to the main website to delete a bogus price that will likely re-appear within a few hours. I notice the price on my Android app while posting prices, and am unable to delete the incorrect from the android app, which many of us have complained about. Lately I have just been re-posting (updating) the diesel price, along with a comment: ( NO DIESEL SOLD HERE ).
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 17, 2013 12:23:34 AM

"... a bogus price with a timestamp of Mon 00:00 will show up on Wednesday, and then if you zero it out on Wednesday, it reappears, with the original Monday timestamp? Have I got it right?"

Almost. Like you said later, you can't really zero a price that is over 2 days old. I would first re-post the price with a current time, usually from the android app or the map - with a comment (Diesel fuel not sold here).

I then immediately zero out the price I just posted, this time using the main website. Then when go back and check, the diesel price is blank, and remains blank for a couple hours, then sometimes within 3 - 6 hours, a price posted by GB_Direct shows up again. I think it was the same day as the one I tried to delete, but it may have been a day or 2 later. It's always too old to show up in standard searches from the home page. I have to go to the map or Android app to see the diesel price.

I deleted the diesel price for the Shell station about 20 minutes ago (around midnight) and so far it has remained blank.
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DavisSta
All-Star Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 10:38:11 PM

I received the following reply from the moderators today in response to my message requesting that they look into this problem.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

From GB Moderator
5:39 AM
Hello,

Thank you for sending in an email and bringing this to our attention.

We are currently looking into this and hope to have it corrected shortly.

Thanks for the help.

Regards,

Jess (JM)
GasBuddy.com
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 8:09:09 PM

Should we not be hearing from the horse's mouth on this subject?
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 9:31:06 AM

You can not zero out a price more than 36 hours old in San Francisco. If it is more than 36 hours old, you have to enter a new bogus price and then zero out the newly entered bogus price.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 6:17:01 AM

Giving up will not solve the problem RogerB.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 2:17:08 AM

RogerB writes,
> Also, the ones I am seeing don't appear until at least 48 hours AFTER the indicated time spotted.
> I've given up trying to delete these, they just keep reappearing within a few hours.

So, for example, a bogus price with a timestamp of Mon 00:00 will show up on Wednesday, and then if you zero it out on Wednesday, it reappears, with the original Monday timestamp? Have I got it right?

Have you checked to make sure that your erasure "takes"? On occasion, I've had to enter a bogus diesel price just to update the timestamp, and *then* immediately zero it out, in order for it to be truly erased. (When I do this, I use the comment line on each of the two steps.)
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DavisSta
All-Star Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 12:50:37 AM

RogerB,

Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if it were some sort of programming error, like merging GB Direct prices onto the wrong database records. I've sent a message to the moderators asking them to look into such a possibility.

Like you, I have not seen the bogus diesel prices until a good deal of time has elapsed since the reported "time spotted". I have noticed them less than 48 hours after the "time spotted", however. For example, the Valero station I used as an example in my post has a time spotted of Monday 12:00 AM, and I noticed the bogus post today (it's still Tuesday here) at 3:19 PM when I posted prices for that station.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Oct 16, 2013 12:24:24 AM

DavisSta, what you describe sounds exactly like what I have been seeing.

I agree that this is likely a glitch, NOT a deliberate or even accidental error by any individual.

The time of exactly 12:00 AM on each posting is one clue. Also, the ones I am seeing don't appear until at least 48 hours AFTER the indicated time spotted.

I've given up trying to delete these, they just keep reappearing within a few hours. I am now re-posting the same price along with the comment: No Diesel fuel sold here!
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DavisSta
All-Star Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Oct 15, 2013 11:56:47 PM

I have also been seeing GB_Direct diesel price posts for stations that don't sell diesel. This has been happening for about the past two weeks and is at stations of many different brands (Shell, Valero, 76, Chevron, ...). All the ones I have seen have an update time of 12:00 AM. Probably just as common has been GB_Direct posting just diesel prices (not posting regular, midgrade, or premium) timestamped 12:00 AM at stations that DO sell diesel, but where the GB_Direct-posted diesel prices appear to be inaccurate.

The multiple brands, the multiple geographic regions, the fact that most seem to be timestamped midnight, and the fact that generally only diesel prices are posted makes me wonder whether this might be some system glitch rather than one or two rogue updaters.

Here are some examples of current GB_Direct posts for stations that do not sell diesel:

Diesel: $4.299
Updated: Sun 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct
Shell
2200 Alemany Blvd
Cross: Geneva Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112-3311

Diesel: $4.399
Updated: Mon 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct
Valero
310 San Bruno Ave E
Cross: 2nd Ave
San Bruno, CA, 94066-3627

Diesel: $4.299
Updated: Sat 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct
Shell
400 Peninsula Ave
Cross: Woodside Way
San Mateo, CA, 94401-1653

Diesel: $4.299
Updated: Mon 12:00 AM
By: GB_Direct
Shell
690 Veterans Blvd
Cross: Brewster Ave
Redwood City, CA, 94063-1409
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,304
Points:4,007,405
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Oct 15, 2013 3:50:38 AM

The one near me is a Chevron. It's been "clean" the last few times I've checked, but I wouldn't want to bet that it's fixed.
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MadFueler
Champion Author Winston-Salem

Posts:2,720
Points:504,160
Joined:Sep 2012
Message Posted: Oct 14, 2013 7:04:33 PM

Still at it around here too - and the funny thing is, it's also mostly Shell stations. Well, I'll just keep reporting those to the mods and zeroing them out (when I can).

[Edited by: MadFueler at 10/14/2013 7:05:18 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:91,066
Points:3,585,145
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Oct 14, 2013 8:59:51 AM

Stay diligent RogerB. If the mods are true to their word they will deal with this.
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