Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    3:26 PM

Message Forum - Read Message

Category: Talk back to us! > Topics Add to favorite topics   Post new topicPost New Topic
Author Topic: A sematics excercise: The Credit & Cash Diff feature at cash-only stations. Back to Topics
CampKohler

Champion Author
Sacramento

Posts:11,478
Points:1,838,070
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Nov 5, 2013 7:02:39 PM

Assume a station that takes cash only:

C&C Diff box checked: Implies cash & credit prices are different, but can't be due to no credit.
C&C Diff box not checked: Implies cash & credit prices are the same, but can't be due to no credit.

Answer: Not checked is correct, because that also means Unknown. How untidy!
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Profile Pic
LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

Posts:1,410
Points:328,620
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 19, 2013 1:25:47 AM

sloopfoot - you need 10,000 points. See Help / FAQ:

http://www.newyorkgasprices.com/faq.aspx#53

[Edited by: LarryMarg at 11/19/2013 1:25:18 AM EST]
Profile Pic
sloopfoot
Rookie Author Akron

Posts:52
Points:4,615
Joined:May 2013
Message Posted: Nov 18, 2013 4:20:57 PM

The original message in this topic is very confusing. If a station sells gas for the same price regardless if someone pays cash or wiht a card, the box should not be checked. If a station doesnt accept cards, then the box doesnt apply and the same if a station doesnt accept cash.

BTW, how many point do I have to get to be able to view the master list?
Profile Pic
LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

Posts:1,410
Points:328,620
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2013 8:51:20 PM

"those that only use cash, or live in states that mostly post BOTH prices where dual pricing exists are against a durable flag."

I don't see much use for it personally, but I certainly have no objection to having it be implemented.

"Even with two sets of price fields, you are going to find that the credit prices tend to get stale at the dual priced stations since most prices are cash at the sign."

If someone posts both prices, and then someone else comes along and only updates one of the prices, I think it's reasonable to assume that the delta hasn't changed and update the timestamp for both - particularly if the price being entered is the same as the previous price. It would be trivial to include that logic if the site management thinks this makes sense.

"So why all the angst against a durable flag from those that don't use credit?"

I haven't seen any angst, but perhaps I'm not reading the correct forums.
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2013 8:43:58 AM

TxJeans allows: "A durable flag implemented correctly would have very little down-side for those that carry cash and don't care about credit."

I would go as far as to say that there is no downside, and that this is an incontrovertible fact; yet, there seems to be a reason why the suggested graphic indicator identifying dual priced stations has been ignored?

A durable flag doesn't adversely impact anyone, except maybe the owners of dual priced stations where a large part of the fuel bargain hunting community may likely decide to shun.

RG

[Edited by: RichWLIN at 11/14/2013 8:43:47 AM EST]
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2013 8:19:46 AM

We've widened the topic a bit here, but credit cards are a part of the theme, so I suppose discussing the use of credit cards is fair game.

It seems that a key point is being overlooked here with regard to paying off balances monthly. Our particular group of people involved here in GBland are looking to save money on fuel purchases. We've even discussed the fact that some will go out of their way to pay cash to get the best price. Isn't this essentially the same thing as paying with credit, but carrying no balance?

My further contention is that people, from this same group of fuel bargain hunters, who use a cash back or rewards card to purchase fuel would, in all likelihood not see fit to surrender their 3-5% discount by accruing interest charges.

This isn't to say that some people don't fall into a credit/debt trap, but let's not summarily lump all credit card paying gas buddies with the rest of the populace when it is obvious that we are all looking to reduce our transportation costs any way we can.

RG
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2013 7:42:06 AM

A durable flag implemented correctly would have very little down-side for those that carry cash and don't care about credit. There could even be a setting to turn on or off the indicator. So why all the angst against a durable flag from those that don't use credit?

Granted, it will not satisfy everyone as the TOTAL solution for credit card users, but they really can't be adequately satisfied unless not only does GBO make changes but the stations are required to post all grades and both cash and credit pricing.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2013 7:21:18 AM

64% was CANADA.

Regardless, you know statistics are collected differently by different sources and for just about anything you will find a range of reported values depending on data collection methods. But, the percent that carry balances is not nearly all credit card users by any means. I can spend out of my "virtual" budget envelops using my CC as a form of payment as well as any Dave Ramseyite and get my cash back at the same time. And, the CC offers more legal protections and benefits than a debit card.

Since I have always found a single priced station where I travel (might be more difficult in a few places in the NE) that is w/in a penny or two of the CASH price at the dual station making the penny more at the pump actually cost LESS out of my pocket. A durable flag would help while they sort out the bigger issues with dual priced stations as mentioned before (not all grades dual priced, not set differential, not all stations posting both prices, etc.).

Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,299
Points:4,006,180
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 14, 2013 3:36:58 AM

I'm confused. How can 45% of the men and 39% of the women be 64% of the population?
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 9:35:20 PM

Gas_Buddym why is it that so many don't believe folks that say then CAN and DO use Credit Cards responsibly? There are a large number of folks that do just that.

Just because SOME people shouldn't ever use a credit card because they don't understand the safe and proper use of the card and SOME people that don't understand the proper use (or do but don't care) will use a credit card and may end asking how to get out of debt, doesn't mean that there aren't SOME people that actually understand how to properly use the tool. There are many that use credit cards for their own benefit w/out risking their financial security, or going into debt.

As I understand it, the FAQ started as CASH, then changed to CREDIT and then back to CASH. I think the REAL reason it was changed back to CASH is because that is what is most often posted on the BIG street-side price board and the source of most price postings.

That said, what skin is it off your nose that someone that knows how to use a CC and wants the best price (or one that doesn't want to carry cash) have a durable indicator of these dual priced stations? It is a simple improvement that helps while the PTB figure out if and how they want to address capturing both cash and credit prices.

When CASH and CREDIT are different, CASH is NOT always the cheapest price for ALL members.

I have seen numbers for the percent carrying credit card debt and there are significant numbers that do not carry balances. And, not carrying a balance, I get offers for the BEST cards. There are plenty of "convenience" credit card users out there.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303812904577295452897188314

For Canadians, the Canadian Bankers Association reported 64% of Canadians pay the CC bill in full.

Paid in full. Over the course of a year, 45 percent of men paid their credit card balance in full each month, and 39 percent of women did the same. Paying off your credit card balances can increase your credit score dramatically.



[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/13/2013 9:36:34 PM EST]
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:28,518
Points:3,362,650
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 7:47:12 PM

Two comments:

kwzh wrote: "Since most credit card users do *not* pay off the balance every month, this is probably cheaper even when the card has a cashback bonus."

I have long commented that many members, as many non-member credit card holders, likely don't pay off all their bills in full, because if everyone did, the credit card issuers be giving away their services free (and we all know that that the credit card companies do make a profit) to card holders, and thus making money only from the gas stations (in this case) who pay a fee to the card issuers, which would seem to justify a station having a tiered price system as a business model. However, while I agree with kwzh's comment, members have repeatedly said they pay nothing for credit card use, that they always pay their bills on time, that they always get rebates, and that those rebates are always higher (much higher) than any cash discount a gas station could offer. Obviously kwzh and I see things different than many credit card users.

Second, LarryMarg wrote: "...I just want to pay the lowest price possible. If that's cash, I pay cash. If cash and credit are the same, I whip out the plastic."

If people want to save money at the gas station, and unless they absolutely never pay any fee whatsoever to use their credit card and they always get rebates for using the free service the credit card issuers provide, then what LarryMarg says is why the prices we're supposed to post (at least under the current computer programming) is the cash price. It's simply the lowest price available to the average customer, and therefore the reason that most gas stations post the lowest generally available price on their signs, in order to attract business.

Maybe my question is, which is what I've said in the past and LarryMarg said, if you want to save money at the gas pump, and the lowest price available is a cash price, is it that unreasonable to expect that people might carry real money in their billfold? And I can probably answer my own question, because multiple members have said variations of "I don't carry that much money on me...", "I don't carry money...", and "I don't carry money because I don't want to be robbed...be robbed by the gas station lurkers...etc." Sorry, but I agree with LarryMarg's comment; if you want to pay the lowest price and the cash price is the lowest price (everything else considered), then do it; if the price is the same regardless of payment, cash, debit, credit, pay however you want. But (unless everyone is correct and absolutely no Gas Buddy members ever pay a credit card fee, or interest on their balance, and always gets wonderful rebates), cash just might make sense to save a couple pennies a gallon, a couple of dimes on a full tank of gas, which is what (if I correctly remember from earlier discussions or a poll) most Gas Buddy members buy every week or every two weeks.

Sorry, but LarryMarg's comments bears repeating:
"...I just want to pay the lowest price possible. If that's cash, I pay cash. If cash and credit are the same, I whip out the plastic."
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 12:52:38 PM

kwzh writes: "The mods have previously stated that, in regions were dual pricing is in effect, the survey results indicate that most people use cash. Since most credit card users do *not* pay off the balance every month, this is probably cheaper even when the card has a cashback bonus."

I beg to differ with you on accepting these assumptions, not to be argumentative but to simply point out that you are painting with too wide a brush.

I would agree that the conditions are regional, and it should be obvious that people will try to take advantage of the cheapest price. If paying less requires cash, then many will likely find a way to pay with cash. This doesn't mean that some of these same people wouldn't choose to pay with credit if the price was the same.

Secondly, where is the data suggesting that people who purposely use a
credit card to receive a discount on fuel purchases subsequently lose their discount? I understand that many folks don't pay off their credit card balances, but don't see proof of a connection in this particular case.

Finally, even if the assumptions were true, this only constitutes a total of ~10% of the GasBuddy members polled. The cash posting mandate is applied to 100% of the community.

RG
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 12:21:50 PM

Apologies Larrymarg. Sometimes subtle sarcasm doesn't play well in writing.

With all due respect, the point is that there has been no movement towards graphically identifying stations that offer dual prices either before or since the mandate for posting cash prices. In many cases, this information is already available in the MSL. It needs to be apparent at the point of price viewing.

Some folks are ultimately duped into chasing imaginary fuel prices now unless they carry enough cash to fill their tanks when they arrive and find out that cash is required for the lower price.

Catering to someone like me, would be to identify whether or not I should expect to pay cash for the reported price before patronizing a station.

Frankly, the only plausible reason for changing the protocol seems to be to mollify the 10% of cash purchasers. There is little regard in this decision for the 90% who either choose or, in some cases, need to pay with plastic.

It therefore seems a stretch of the imagination to believe that the "development team" will go to the extent of adding fields for both cash and credit prices. This really only creates another data field where confusion and price inaccuracy is all but guaranteed.

So too, a station that adds a surcharge to credit card purchases is rarely a good deal for those who receive a discount while using a credit card, but this is really a separate issue.

RG



[Edited by: RichWLIN at 11/13/2013 12:22:56 PM EST]
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,299
Points:4,006,180
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 12:13:50 PM

LarryMarg writes,
> your proposal seems overly complicated

It needs to be complex at the back end in order to be simple for the user.

RichWLin writes,
> the ~10% minority of members who purchase with cash

The mods have previously stated that, in regions were dual pricing is in effect, the survey results indicate that most people use cash. Since most credit card users do *not* pay off the balance every month, this is probably cheaper even when the card has a cashback bonus.

TxJeans writes,
> Even with two sets of price fields, you are going to find that the credit prices tend to get stale at the dual priced stations since most prices are cash at the sign.

And this is one of the things that my proposal attempts to address.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 6:46:49 AM

LarryMarg - I think that the point Rich might have been trying to make is in responses to some of the membership about how to implement. Implementing the dual fields is not going to be easy, but a durable flag as a first step would be simple, yet those that only use cash, or live in states that mostly post BOTH prices where dual pricing exists are against a durable flag.

Even with two sets of price fields, you are going to find that the credit prices tend to get stale at the dual priced stations since most prices are cash at the sign. And, there is then the need to figure out how to handle where not all grades are dual priced, and how to sort the price boards. This long extended "investigation" is something that should be done AFTER first implementing the easy path which is a darn good bandage... a durable flag.

With the durable flag they can then continue the investigation for the major overhaul so they can do it RIGHT when they do the more major coding it will take w/out just throwing two sets of price fields and not addressing the price board sorting and other issues the dual sets might create.

I am willing to bet with two fields we will get "10 cent" differences or other guesses applied and the CC folks will still be unhappy that they were "tricked" into going to one station over another. A durable flag lets them ignore the dual station --- as many of us use a 5 percent cash back card that beats most price differentials at dual stations.

Flag = Buyer Beware

[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/13/2013 6:48:30 AM EST]
Profile Pic
LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

Posts:1,410
Points:328,620
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 1:00:07 AM

"I suppose the amount of the surcharge/discount is important to the ~10% minority of members who purchase with cash. This seems to be the group who are being catered to by implementing a prolonged survey to discover which stations are dual priced."

I don't follow your logic here. Assuming that people post the cash price (which is what the group's rules say to post), then any delta between cash and credit pricing is irrelevant to those who pay cash; it's only meaningful to those who pay by credit card and want to know what their price would be.

"This seems to be the group who are being catered to by implementing a prolonged survey to discover which stations are dual priced."

It seems to me the ones being catered to are those who (like you) want to avoid dual priced stations. For myself, I just want to pay the lowest price possible. If that's cash, I pay cash. If cash and credit are the same, I whip out the plastic.
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 8:54:39 AM

TxJeans said: "Personally, I will drive out of any station I find that is dual priced unless on fumes. I can always find a better deal with my CC down the road."

Same here. Thankfully, there aren't many dual priced stations in my travel sphere.

Many people who use credit cards to purchase fuel are receiving a discount for doing so, myself included among this group. We discount credit card users don't want to pull into a station only to find that our discount is being decimated by unforeseen credit card charges.

The durable flag concept presents a means by which stations that add surcharges to credit card purchases (or discounts for cash depending upon your point of view) can be avoided at a glance simply by including a graphic that exposes dual priced stations. This is just plain common sense.

I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting for a dual priced graphic since we can't even convince management that the counterintuitive way the comment field is functioning needs to be addressed.

I suppose the amount of the surcharge/discount is important to the ~10% minority of members who purchase with cash. This seems to be the group who are being catered to by implementing a prolonged survey to discover which stations are dual priced.

Now, we're even discussing here how best to identify the cash/credit spread?

RG


Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 7:09:36 AM

kwzh - and how would most people know what the credit price is if they entered the cash from the sign?

"The new dialog would say something like, "This station is believed to have separate prices for cash and credit. Your price entry of $4.49 looks like it would be the cash price, and the credit price is probably $4.55. Is this correct?" -- followed by an opportunity to confirm or correct the guess."

What is the cash price is correct, but they have NO CLUE what the credit price is? THIS is why we need the durable flag as BUYER beware.

I believe in your neck of the woods many / most stations post all grads and both cash and credit when different. Not true in much of the country where it is getting harder and harder to find a station that posts all grades at the curb let alone the cash and credit. I can't remember seeing a station around here with both - at least not in a long time.

I have said all along that this is not a simple fix, and that even with dual fields there will be dissatisfaction from CC users because the majority of prices by members is from the STREET sign. With dual fields you will see the credit price missing or old frequently. How would they sort on the price list? By cash? By credit? You would need to have two means of sorting. This is NOT a simple fix which is probably why they haven't fixed it yet. And, considering how they have rolled out some of the smaller changes, it is probably a good thing.

THe DURABLE flag would be a relatively quick band-aid w/out a LOT of downside. IMO.

Again, a durable flag, or two sets of fields tied strictly to the MSL which would need a check box for DUAL per GRADE. The durable flag doesn't help the end user know the price accuracy for CC, but it tells them not to drive out of the way for a possible teaser CASH price.

Personally, I will drive out of any station I find that is dual priced unless on fumes. I can always find a better deal with my CC down the road.

Profile Pic
LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

Posts:1,410
Points:328,620
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 2:39:40 AM

kwzh - your proposal seems overly complicated, and also computationally expensive.

A simpler subset might be that if a station is known to have a 10 cents per gallon difference for cash and credit, and the last entered prices were 3.47 for regular cash / 3.57 for regular credit, and someone entered a price of 3.57, then the system would assume that the credit price was being entered.

Even that simple approach could guess wrong, though. So if GB wants to have accurate prices, I think the best way is to have a two-column set of entry fields, with one column for cash and one for credit.
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,299
Points:4,006,180
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 2:00:09 AM

LarryMarg writes,
> it could automatically provide [two] sets of entry fields [if] dual pricing.

I worry that switching to Siamese twin entry fields is likely to cause more confusion and/or incorrect input, possibly leading to some people skipping those stations, and others reporting randomly.

My proposal is that the input methods would work as they do now, but when the "Thank You" page comes up, there's another dialog there. (Much like we've already seen for the system *asking* whether the station is dual priced, but for this phase, I'm assuming that this bit is already known).

The new dialog would say something like, "This station is believed to have separate prices for cash and credit. Your price entry of $4.49 looks like it would be the cash price, and the credit price is probably $4.55. Is this correct?" -- followed by an opportunity to confirm or correct the guess.

This requires some "smarts" in the back end, which I'm assuming can be done. This could involve examining other prices in the same area -- if other stations have just raised their prices by about $0.08, then an input value which is 8 cents higher than the value that was holding steady last week is probably representing a cash price that has gone up; but if other stations have been steady, then the new figure is probably representing a credit price, instead. The guessing engine can also take into account whether cash prices, or both cash and credit, are posted at curbside.

This also works best if a station *usually* has a constant difference between cash and credit -- which seems to be the case here in the SF bay area. For such cases, if we know one of the two prices, we can infer the other with high probability. But it's still doable, albeit with lower accuracy, if the station's behavior isn't that consistent.

(Originally presented in the topic Dual-priced cash/credit stations: How would that work?, which unfortunately got overrun with discussion about the current system rather than the proposal.)
Profile Pic
LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

Posts:1,410
Points:328,620
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 7:07:24 PM

"I suggest that zeroing out your own prices with error should be at a much lower level (10,000 or 30,000 max). Zeroing other's mistakes might have a higher standard."

OK, so if I want to zero out someone else's price and I don't meet the cutoff, I should enter the current price (making it mine), *then* zero it out. Got it. :-)

"change the price posting options to eliminate mid-grade fuel prices"

We're already experiencing people who see 4 different prices and automatically enter them as reg., mid., premium, diesel, even for stations that don't carry diesel. In my opinion, dropping a grade from the price entry would just exacerbate the confusion.

"instead of "cash regular/mid-grade/premium/diesel", have cash regular/premium/diesel and credit regular/premium/diesel with a durable comment box"

If the suggestion to drop midgrade is in order to save some screen real-estate for the additional entry fields, I don't think that would really be necessary.

"The disclaimer/guidance should add "If you're sure a single price if for both cash and credit, include it in the credit box.""

Of course, if this were tied into the MSL, it could automatically provide one or two sets of entry fields, depending on whether or not the station were known to have dual pricing.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 12:11:47 AM

Gas_buddy --- sorry, too much WOT for me to wade through it all...

But, "Again, however, they don't have to ask, let alone get, our concurrence, and yes, their changes can fly in the face of what's being asked for."

I don't think anyone said that they HAD to ask.

That said, when you put a board out there called "Talk Back to Us!" it sounds like a place where you would expect a little more interactive discussion. Otherwise, just call it "Complaints" or "Comments" or something...

As far as ZEROING out prices, the zeroing out of one's own prices -- I suggest that zeroing out your own prices with error should be at a much lower level (10,000 or 30,000 max). Zeroing other's mistakes might have a higher standard. And, zeroing should have a mandatory comment/reason box.

TPB need to balance their own data gathering needs with the desires of those supplying that data. If they sway too much in either direction they risk losing the ability to track good data (the data they use to outside of the help each of us find cheap gas website).
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:28,518
Points:3,362,650
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Nov 10, 2013 9:25:42 PM

First, I honestly think Gas Buddy management listens to what's being said; that doesn't mean that they agree with the majority (or even a minority) of the suggestions made, be it by new members or the "regulars" when they "finalize" their actions. While I agree it would be good if they ran the "final idea" past the membership (even if it were run past the small number of "regulars" (after all, what are there, a dozen and a half, maybe two dozen at most) to get some last minute input. Again, however, they don't have to ask, let alone get, our concurrence, and yes, their changes can fly in the face of what's being asked for.

Second, what management should do - and I don't propose to be an expert in computer coding let along on the massive scale that Gas Buddy uses for it's several hundred independent and crossover websites, is to change the price posting options to eliminate mid-grade fuel prices (mid-grade, in my opinion, isn't much different than a specialty fuel such as E85 and non-ethanol gas (yes, I know that non-ethanol gas is available in many if not most parts of the country but E-10 is, and has been, the new "normal" regular for a while) and, instead of "cash regular/mid-grade/premium/diesel", have cash regular/premium/diesel and credit regular/premium/diesel with a durable comment box. And, the price entry entry box should have a disclaimer or guidance to the effect: "If you haven't confirmed that the price is cash or credit (i.e., you're seeing the price from the street sign), put your price entry in the "cash" box." (My logic for that is that few stations list, on their outside sign a credit price if it's higher than the cash price.) The disclaimer/guidance should add "If you're sure a single price if for both cash and credit, include it in the credit box."

The comments box should be durable and comments remain in effect until another member edits the comments.

Further, because mistakes are inevitable, allow members with a points level of (and I'm picking an arbitrary figure that should eliminate any concern about zeroing out prices), 250,000 points to be able to zero out prices, regardless of the posting platform (website, app, etc.). Feel free to suggest that 250,000 points is too high or too low, and 100,000 or 1 million points is more appropriate, it's an arbitrary figure and open for discussion.

Further yet, and I realize that other "social media websites" (though I can't speak for Twitter or FaceBook) do not necessarily/generally interact with their membership before making changes, etc.), it would be good if the moderators had an "open mike" time period, perhaps a day or two a month (or once a month, during which time (and I'm probably going to hate myself for suggesting it broadly as I am) members can post questions/comments to the moderators/programmers/etc., in a limited "discussion thread", after which the moderators can come back with responses or responses to select questions of their choosing. That said, I (for one) don't believe they have any obligation to saying "this is exactly what we're doing...this is what we're specifically and all inclusively looking at...this is where we stand on this issue..." Alternatively, the questions/comments go to the moderators special in-box, unseen by the rest of us, and they can pick-and-choose what the questions/comments and post their response to the ones they respond to, and it can be (for example) they pick a half dozen or dozen or (for that matter) all if they so choose, and put the questions/comments and answers in a single thread that resides at the top of the "Talk back to us!" discussion category (in the same manner the guidance and other threads are). Further, the topic can be a closed/not-open-for-reply post/topic available to only the moderators for editing.

Should I continue?
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 10, 2013 8:44:19 PM

Rich "The reason stated for not running the price accuracy poll was: "So as to avoid a potential skewed GB hatefest".

I don't buy this."

I don't buy it taken literally, but the comment has a lot of undercurrent in my opinion relative to how the PTB tend to interact with the membership.

JMO.

Additionally, I like RogerB's description of how the "durable" comment would work --

To repeat:

"A similar suggestion would be to have an existing comment associated with the regular gas price to be auto-filled into the comment box in the price reporting form when a station's price is updated. This would allow the member updating the price to easily either repost the same comment, post a different comment, or delete the comment before updating the price.

As it is now, most comments usually disappear within a matter of hours or less, and constitute a waste of time for members trying to impart useful information about a station, such as "cash only" or "OUT OF GAS". "

[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/10/2013 8:45:23 PM EST]
Profile Pic
RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

Posts:19,934
Points:2,952,055
Joined:Dec 2005
Message Posted: Nov 9, 2013 9:25:56 AM

I also strongly endorse the suggestion of allowing comments to remain until replaced by a different comment.

A similar suggestion would be to have an existing comment associated with the regular gas price to be auto-filled into the comment box in the price reporting form when a station's price is updated. This would allow the member updating the price to easily either repost the same comment, post a different comment, or delete the comment before updating the price.

As it is now, most comments usually disappear within a matter of hours or less, and constitute a waste of time for members trying to impart useful information about a station, such as "cash only" or "OUT OF GAS".
Profile Pic
RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

Posts:19,934
Points:2,952,055
Joined:Dec 2005
Message Posted: Nov 9, 2013 9:14:36 AM

I would CHECK the "Different Cash/Credit Pricing" for cash only stations, as it is the LEAST INCORRECT answer.

At Cash only stations, Gas is NOT available at the same price for the same price. Gas is available at the posted price for cash purchases, and for credit card users, gas is NOT available at the same price.

It is not available at ANY price.

Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 9, 2013 9:11:42 AM

TxJeans allows: "Personally, I think that a lot of reason they don't respond to some of these threads is the same reason they chose not to run a recently suggested poll."

The reason stated for not running the price accuracy poll was: "So as to avoid a potential skewed GB hatefest".

I don't buy this.

RG
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 9, 2013 8:17:58 AM

kwzh said: "I suppose I should repost my own suggestion, with updated thoughts, one of these days."

Please do. It would seem appropriate for this topic.

The comment box, in its present form, is essentially useless in my opinion. Erasing previous comments automatically when a price is posted renders the comment's content ineffectual; in fact a waste of the member's time who bothered to post the note.

If a comment remained in place until another member entered new information in this field, it would make much more sense. In short, why leave a note for other members that will be erased the very next time someone enters a price?

RG
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 9, 2013 8:08:28 AM

Ah - but kwzh, don't you live in an area where both prices are routinely posted on the big signs? Seems like it is that way in much of California.

" special case to make the cash/credit checkbox state visible at the price-board level would be patching a bad model instead of replacing it with a better one"

While with some of the programming we have seen it might end up being a bad patch, it COULD be done reasonably quickly and could be done without making things worse. They could even have an option to display or not display. And - no, I don't want a CHECK BOX at the price board, just small icon TIED to the MSL. If anyone thinks that the dual price fields will totally solve the problem - it won't --Especially if not tied to MSL. Until dual priced signage is at the road most places, there will still be unhappy CC users.

Yes, a bigger, better solution/model would be nice, but those bigger/better solutions haven't been forthcoming very fast. But, I appreciate your input. BTW - Rich said "pretty much everyone" not "Everyone" -- it probably falls somewhere in the middle - Much higher than many of the items thrown on the wiki.

If you find it such a horrible suggestion, why are you withholding your own "uggestion, with updated thoughts" at this time. Apparently the PTB are looking at this issue, so maybe NOW would be a good time to refresh the board with YOUR version.

[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/9/2013 8:15:12 AM EST]
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,299
Points:4,006,180
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 9, 2013 4:55:45 AM

Rich writes,
> Not that anyone here disagrees or makes light of it (in fact, pretty much everyone agrees with you [TxJeans])

Actually, I don't. I think that the existence of the cash/credit checkbox satisfies the immediate need, persistent comments would make things worse rather than better, and a special case to make the cash/credit checkbox state visible at the price-board level would be patching a bad model instead of replacing it with a better one. I suppose I should repost my own suggestion, with updated thoughts, one of these days.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 8:49:16 PM

@Rich: "Personally, I think this is more derogatory to the tone of discussion than are some of the subjective attempts at sarcasm or humor."

I think there is some real room in the middle. To say the PTB are not real worlders is incorrect...and they are not operating in a vacuum. The Ingnore Short Topics and the moving the REPLY are things that are related to discussions we have had here. But, they also could be more interactive and probably don't use their own site in quite the same way as the regular members do on a daily basis.

Do I think they could do a better job of communicating with us? Heck yes! Look how long the What's New languished (and may be again) before they were pushed to update it. They still haven't listened or at least applied the suggestion to put an indicator on the top area such as notifications to let members know that something has been updated.

Personally, I think that a lot of reason they don't respond to some of these threads is the same reason they chose not to run a recently suggested poll. It can also be seen by how locked threads are often handled as well. I'll leave it at that.
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 8:36:45 PM

LarryMarge "I was actually at a station a few days ago where they had different gas prices for cash and credit but the same price for diesel. First time I had seen that"

I have not noticed it myself -- but would be unlikely to as I avoid dual priced stations like plague. But, I have heard it is fairly common to NOT include the diesel in the dual price mode.

The biggest problem is outside the PTB at gasbuddy, and that is signage where in many states they not only do not post both cash and credit at the curb, but in many cases only post REG or REG and DIESEL.

Again, until the PTB can sort this all out, I would like to suggest a simple durable flag...buyer beware.
Profile Pic
LarryMarg
Champion Author New York

Posts:1,410
Points:328,620
Joined:Feb 2012
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 1:30:32 PM

I mentioned about a month ago that the problem with the "C&C Diff box" is that it's using a 2-state field to hold an answer to a 3-state question (C&C same? Different? Unknown?).

That's a separate issue than having a check-box for "Cash only?" and another one for "Credit only?".

TxJeans - I was actually at a station a few days ago where they had different gas prices for cash and credit but the same price for diesel. First time I had seen that.
Profile Pic
Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:16,277
Points:2,688,035
Joined:Sep 2006
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 10:54:21 AM

Gas_Buddy wrote > The "GBO" are real-worlders. While they may or may not take the suggestions I and others have suggested, and may not have made the changes the way I would have, they're not operating in a vacuum.

Personally I think they suffer from a severe case of group think and don't hold us in very high regard.
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 9:33:28 AM

TxJeans noted: "Maybe if we had some real discussions of issues rather than all the attacks and lame attempts at humor and if you don't agree with my side you are obstructionist back and forth with less posting of things just to be "funny" such as a recent link after Don made a very nice and clear response, they might be more willing to engage."

With all due respect, there have been many, many suggestions here with a relatively minute percentage of responses or feedback and discussion from GB management and this certainly does not seem dependent upon the tone of each conversation.

For instance, your very well thought out and presented case for a durable flag addressing the cash-credit issue has been repeatedly ignored in numerous threads. Not that anyone here disagrees or makes light of it,(in fact, pretty much everyone agrees with you); but rather, because there is seemingly no intention to "engage" by the powers that be.

Further, there is little reason to connect with forum contributors by management when any and all GasBuddy issues that may be seen as having fault or neglect are routinely championed by an author using a handle that suggests authority. The implication is somewhat more than apologetic, and the content is relentlessly consistent in defense of whatever position management may currently hold.

Personally, I think this is more derogatory to the tone of discussion than are some of the subjective attempts at sarcasm or humor.

Maybe if the defenders of the status quo were to speak positively and without tedious equivocating reservation to the issues brought up here, there would be less contention and or sarcasm by those who are frustrated by being among the ignored? Even then, it seems unlikely that suggestions here will ever carry much weight.

RG

[Edited by: RichWLIN at 11/8/2013 9:34:43 AM EST]
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 7:27:02 AM

"As I understand it, CK requested more involvment and discussion by site owners that includes open discussion with members who are using the GasBuddy web site/app, or as he called them "real worlders", before implementing changes.'

Discussion should involve some back and forth with a willingness to listen and debate."

Maybe it would have been better for CK to leave his "cutesy" home and instead posted a question and/or suggestion directly rather than an "semantics exercise" with his "How untidy" criticism.

Maybe if we had some real discussions of issues rather than all the attacks and lame attempts at humor and if you don't agree with my side you are obstructionist back and forth with less posting of things just to be "funny" such as a recent link after Don made a very nice and clear response, they might be more willing to engage.


[Edited by: TxJeans at 11/8/2013 7:27:56 AM EST]
Profile Pic
RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

Posts:6,184
Points:968,905
Joined:Jun 2011
Message Posted: Nov 8, 2013 6:58:50 AM

Gas_Buddy said: "The "GBO" are real-worlders. While they may or may not take the suggestions I and others have suggested, and may not have made the changes the way I would have, they're not operating in a vacuum. "

As I understand it, CK requested more involvment and discussion by site owners that includes open discussion with members who are using the GasBuddy web site/app, or as he called them "real worlders", before implementing changes.

Discussion should involve some back and forth with a willingness to listen and debate.

However, discussion here in this and the Suggest Improvements topic are largely one sided with the only debate taking place among members who ARE apparently operating in a vacuum since responses and conversation with site managers and those ultimately responsible is minimal.

RG
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:28,518
Points:3,362,650
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 8:28:33 PM

Consider me naive (and an apologist for the website) but, " it...would be a nice idea if GBO would trot out proposed changes for some discussion with us real-worlders before chiseling them in stone."

The "GBO" are real-worlders. While they may or may not take the suggestions I and others have suggested, and may not have made the changes the way I would have, they're not operating in a vacuum.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:11,478
Points:1,838,070
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 6:40:34 PM

GGG; About Costco: good point!

TX: I know a station where there is a per-gallon diff for credit gas, but a flat fee for credit diesel.

In summary, it would be a nice idea if GBO would trot out proposed changes for some discussion with us real-worlders before chiseling them in stone.



[Edited by: CampKohler at 11/7/2013 6:45:10 PM EST]
Profile Pic
TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:6,104
Points:630,965
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 7:12:25 AM

A lot will depend upon how they end up implementing. In my opinion, If they are just going to do the durable flag and no separate price fields, then it might be considered as checked any time cash and credit are not the same.

Until I get clarification from the PTB, this would be my interpretation:

Different Cash/Credit Pricing

Cash x.xx, Credit x.xx. Same price, BOX is not checked.

Cash x.xx, credit not available - You can't pay with credit so the they are not the same - thus different. BOX is checked. (CC users tend to avoid cash priced places as they can do better at other places with their cash back cards).

Credit only, Cash not accepted. Can't pay the same with cash or credit so the BOX is checked. This will be the biggest stickler but I suspect other than the membership stations, there are very few of these. Most, if not all Credit Only will likely be MEMBERSHIP clubs.

Buyer Beware.

A lot depends on how they plan on linking (if they do) cash and credit fields for posting. Didn't someone say previously that there are cash/credit differences at some stations only for gas but not diesel or in other combos?

If the first step is only the durable flag, the check box as existing might be fine. If they want to tie in the price fields, it may need to be at the grade level...

Even if they give us cash and credit entry fields, I don't believe our credit card user problems will be totally solved since in many areas they do not post both cash and credit prices at the street sign where most of the prices are posted. And, if some stations only put the differential on gas and not diesel or some grades we still will end up with a mismatch of entry fields and MSL.

I suspect this issue has languished for so long as they really didn't have the time to do it right. A durable flag thrown out there for the short term while they work it out would help.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what they actually end up implementing.
Profile Pic
GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

Posts:3,428
Points:688,975
Joined:Mar 2010
Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 2:21:34 AM


CK,
"The point of the excercise is that in the case of cash-only, neither Yes nor No makes sense. I am sure the back-office people gave the box lable [sic] a lot of thought, but not quite enough to deal with all situations."

So it would seem that the cash/credit option or flag is ok however the description needs to be more defined with instructions on how to set it for a cash-only station. GB could do this just as there are instructions on how to enter the address and intersecting street in the MSL.

Another thought: I don't know if they exist but what about a station that ONLY accepts credit (and/or debit) cards for whatever reason? (Costco comes to mind)
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,299
Points:4,006,180
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 1:58:53 AM

For the short term, I guess we can go with "Not Sure" when the dialog comes up. But it would be good to get this nailed down. Ideally, it should probably be a separate flag -- but if the folks in charge don't want to do that (or if they do, but it's going to take a while), then we should see if we can reach a consensus on which of the two answers is least bad.

I've been using "No" so far (i.e., I've left the box unchecked, perhaps because, as you say, it overlaps with "Unknown"). But I'm now leaning towards "Yes".
Profile Pic
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:11,663
Points:1,943,425
Joined:Jan 2006
Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 12:03:25 AM


Same issue with the new popup that asks whether the station just posted has different cash/credit prices. The answers offered (yes, no, idk) do not cover the cash-only situation.
Profile Pic
CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:11,478
Points:1,838,070
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 7:55:00 PM

GGG: I'm not suggesting that it WOULD be checked for cash-only stations; I was just rippling through all the permutations (both of them).

RC: Assume meant to use the given for the excercise. We have a zillion (give or take) ARCO stations in Sacramento and every one but one don't do credit.

The point of the excercise is that in the case of cash-only, neither Yes nor No makes sense. I am sure the back-office people gave the box lable a lot of thought, but not quite enough to deal with all situations.

Profile Pic
Retired-Coastie
Champion Author Arkansas

Posts:1,218
Points:366,590
Joined:Oct 2011
Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 9:30:04 AM

No need to assume CK, there is such a station in Fort Smith, AR.

In God we Trust, all others pay cash.
Profile Pic
kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,299
Points:4,006,180
Joined:Jul 2001
Message Posted: Nov 5, 2013 11:42:35 PM

One could argue that a cash-only station is the limit case of dual-priced, in which the credit price is infinity (i.e., "unavailable at any price").
Profile Pic
Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

Posts:28,518
Points:3,362,650
Joined:Aug 2004
Message Posted: Nov 5, 2013 9:48:04 PM

Better to have a comment and suggestion than to have a semantics exercise.

Profile Pic
GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

Posts:3,428
Points:688,975
Joined:Mar 2010
Message Posted: Nov 5, 2013 8:27:57 PM


That seems correct CK, but why would one check the "C&C Diff" box in the MSL if the station is not showing any credit card prices on the marquee, street signs or the pumps?
Post a reply Back to Topics