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Author Topic: Make it easier to suggest a new gas station! Back to Topics
SomeNumbskull

Rookie Author
Salt Lake City

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Joined:Dec 2013
Message Posted: Dec 13, 2013 2:52:46 PM

A search on 84036 returns the message: "No current gas prices reported" followed by a link to about winning prizes for spotting and reporting prices.

Wouldn't it make more sense to provide an link here pointing people to the process for suggesting a new gas station??

I don't think it's a very good user experience when I have to Google to find my answer!

/Suggest-a-New-Gas-Station-Listing-to-the-GasBuddy-Database
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 11, 2014 11:10:34 AM

Very nicely done TxJeans.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 11, 2014 8:29:02 AM

First - on the Web Site the price look back for SLT is 48 hours: SCREEN SHOT

A search on the Web site price look up turned up "No current gas prices reported."
WITH THE 48 HOUR LIMIT: SCREEN SHOT

On the MAP the look back time limit is longer:
SCREEN SHOT

With the longer look back you get:
SCREEN SHOT

Three stations show at this time with ONE price. Check the time and you will see why that one price doesn't show on the Price List page search.

SCREEN SHOT

I suggest you report prices more often and recruit others in the area to start also posting prices.

I do not know why they have different look back time frames between the two.

I don't have a Smart Phone handy right now so I can't check Android and don't have the other APPS.

I do think that the label should be changed to ZIP code AREA search or fixed to actually search by ZIP.

[Edited by: TxJeans at 1/11/2014 8:29:19 AM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 11, 2014 8:17:05 AM

" The website appeared to not have any stations in 84036, therefore I began to look for how I could add them."

No stations with prices reported. It helps if you pay attention to the entire map, including the legends.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 11:44:37 PM

Some: Sorry if I wasn't clear. If you expand the Search Gas Prices function on the home page by clicking Show Search Options, you see the option to select a search on your local site or on the state site. Depending on which you select, you get different area menus.

The local search areas menu should list all the areas for the stations that have been assigned to the local site by GBO. The state search areas should list all the areas for the stations that have been assigned to the state site by GBO. By checking them I meant that periodically these lists should be reviewed for correctness, which presumably the locals have the knowledge and motivation to do. In your case Kamas and Oakly do not appear on either SLC or UT lists, which seems to me to be wrong. Can you review the lists and report any errors after talking it over in your local discussion categories? That's what I meant.

If the system translates ZIPs to names and the names are missing from the list, could that explain some of this? Despite what Don said about a dearth of reports, I did see one Kamas price existing on the 9th. (If I knew Don was going to rattle off dates of price reports, I would have been more careful and taken notes or screenshots. Sloppy me.) Maybe someone on a PC should investigate this again and document the results (I'm on an iPhone now and it's a pain.)
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 6:49:12 PM

As an aside to Scrapheap- the when I enter my zip it centers closer to the center of the city - If I zoom in it moves down closer to the area of my zip, but the initial view is NOT centered on the ZIP.
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 5:57:02 PM

Scrapheap wrote > If I expand the search options, choose premium gas and type in "Kamas" in the "Other Area" box, it found the price.

I guess since that basic search box prompts me to enter "City, State or Zip", I'd still expect the basic search to return the result you got by going to the advanced search.

How the system finds that station shouldn't really matter to the user if there's a legitimate station in the system that meets the search criteria (regardless of having a price report or not). Searching by "area" doesn't seem to make it easier or much different than City in this case of Kamas. For example, what "area" would Kamas be in?? I'm not sure people think that way when presented with City, State, Zip options first.

[Edited by: SomeNumbskull at 1/10/2014 6:05:11 PM EST]
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 5:32:37 PM

SomeNumbskull wrote > searching by zip or city, doesn't matter, both expose the same bug.

When searching by the city, it might be necessary to type in the name of the city. For example, I reported a price for premium gas for a station in Kamas Utah, zip code 84036. Performing a search for 84036 returned nothing. If I expand the search options, choose premium gas and type in "Kamas" in the "Other Area" box, it found the price.
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 5:19:40 PM

Scrapheap wrote > "If you present a search field where you can enter a zip code, the user expects the search to be performed for that zip code."

That's exactly what I expected. The website appeared to not have any stations in 84036, therefore I began to look for how I could add them.

It could be a lot less confusing if the stations appeared in the result set but had "---" for no prices reported, just like it does on mobile app. That experience makes much more sense, requires far less explaining, and does not cause someone to wonder if stations they're looking for are even in the system in the first place.

I have the same issue with 84629 (Fairview, UT) and 84533 (Bullfrong, UT), other popular destinations in this state. The mobile app handles them great when they've gone 'inactive', but I didn't start there - I started from the website.

EDIT: searching by zip or city, doesn't matter, both expose the same bug.


[Edited by: SomeNumbskull at 1/10/2014 5:24:38 PM EST]
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 5:02:02 PM

Don wrote > On the sites, zip codes are programmed to be translated into area names.

If you present a search field where you can enter a zip code, the user expects the search to be performed for that zip code. If some other search occurs, that is a bug. I understand that is was programmed to do that, but it is still a bug.

Don wrote > Anyway, if no recently reported prices are available (which, there are no recently reported prices for this area) - then the site cannot produce or show prices for that area.

I reported a price for premium gas at a station in that zip code, searched for it and couldn't find it using the search feature on the Utah home page. Found it just fine using the map.
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 4:40:30 PM

Scrapheap,

On the sites, zip codes are programmed to be translated into area names.

Anyway, if no recently reported prices are available (which, there are no recently reported prices for this area) - then the site cannot produce or show prices for that area.

Without prices to show (just looking at the area and it's related station price report stats - there are none) that is why the user is getting the "No current gas prices reported" message.

-Don
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 3:35:33 PM

Don wrote > The problem with your example zip code of 84036 (Kamas, UT) is that this is a very "dead" area for user submitted price reports.

No, the problem is that performing a search using a zip code from the home page does not perform a search based on the zip code. There are stations in two areas in the 84036 zip code, Kamas and Oakley. There were prices reported for the station in Oakley but none reported for the stations in Kamas when he did his search. Since the system takes the zip code and matches it to an area in the MSL, and Oakley is not an area in the MSL, it did not return the prices for the station in Oakley.

This is a site programming bug that affects mostly rural areas. It is also annoying to people performing searches in urban areas who aren't interested in prices on the other side of the city.
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 3:23:39 PM

SomeNumbskull,

The problem with your example zip code of 84036 (Kamas, UT) is that this is a very "dead" area for user submitted price reports.

If you're not already aware, listed prices are removed after a period of time (the amount of time varying from area to area, based on how many prices are typically being reported) to avoid showing old/inaccurate info.

I believe for the UT site, this is 36 hours.

When I search for 84036 on the site right now, I get a message of "No current gas prices reported" because there are literally no recent prices to display.

That zip code is only assigned to 3 stations in our system.

The Sinclair station located @ 145 W 200 S was last updated by a registered user on 1/5/2014.

The Phillips 66 station located @ 220 S Main St was last updated by a registered user in the early AM of 1/8/2014.

The Chevron located @ 2 N Main St was last updated by a registered user on 1/2/2014.

All three of these stations only have about half a dozen price updates (each) in the last 30 days.

The app should show these prices in the lists as available fueling locations (being that the app shows you stations while on the go), but will show the stations with prices of "--" which is our indicator to users that there have not been any recently reported prices for the stations.

I hope this explanation helps.

EDIT - actually, at the time/date of your original message (12/13/2013), there were no recently reported prices available to show at all, because between these three stations, the earliest price report in the last 30 days was on 12/31/2013.

-Don



[Edited by: Don at 1/10/2014 3:37:45 PM EST]
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 3:17:36 PM

scoutmaster is referring to browsing prices using the gas price maps.

-Don
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 2:51:30 PM

"If you change the time limit to 72 hours, as station shows up."

72 hours! what are you smoking?
my choices are only 4, 8, 12, 24 and 36 hours.

are we having fun yet?
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 2:44:34 PM

Kamas, Francis, Samak all show up.

Getting "No prices reported" means there are no prices reported. It doesn't mean there are no stations in Kamas within the designated time limit which seems to default to 48 hours. If you change the time limit to 72 hours, as station shows up.

Gotta learn how to use something before you can complain it's broken.
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 2:44:31 PM

The search worked without issue for me as well.
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 2:38:11 PM

"Worked fine for me. Took me to the Park City area. "

Of course it works for you. But I still get the "no reported prices" error. Besides, how ever you're getting Park City to show up, Park City is not Kamas no different than Park City is not Salt Lake City (although Park City is halfway between both).

When I go into "Show Search Options", which is really Advanced Search, I don't see a "Salt Lake City" area that covers Kamas or Oakley. Nor do I see anything covering Kamas/Oakley when looking through the list for Utah statewide.

I see Oquirrh in the list, which isn't even a real city here (and reports "no reported prices" anyway), but nothing for Kamas/Oakley.

Why does this work just fine on the mobile app's search by zip but not online??
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 1:27:37 PM

"To summarize: 84036 on the website returns the error "No current gas price reported", AND doesn't even show the possibility that stations are in the system for that area."

Worked fine for me. Took me to the Park City area.
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 1:05:54 PM

Scoutmaster wrote > "You don't know how this works? Do you search the price board for prices? That is a basic function of this site."

...and you wonder why I have an attitude.

CampKohler asked me to "check the area lists for SLC and Utah". If that meant "search for stations in your area again", that wasn't obvious to my simple mind. Sorry.

SO... when I use basic site functionality with the ZIP CODE I've had problems with since DAY 1.... I STILL GET NO RESULTS!!

To summarize: 84036 on the website returns the error "No current gas price reported", AND doesn't even show the possibility that stations are in the system for that area. UNLIKE the android app which at least shows four stations but all without prices (which is fine - at least I knew they existed in the system but without any reported prices).

[Edited by: SomeNumbskull at 1/10/2014 1:06:35 PM EST]
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 8:38:30 AM

Well I just tried searching on zip codes 33705, 33711 and 33706 which are 3 zip codes in St Petersburg going from east to west and the center of the search area moved further west with each search. It seems to work for me and is better than the erroneous results using the search capabilities on the home page.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 7:38:09 AM

I am using a zip at the bottom of my city and county. The map seems to be centered on the city proper.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2014 6:18:17 AM

""Someome, please double check the area lists for SLC and Utah and then report any needed corrections. "

sorry, I have no idea how this works. I looked under each subcategory under the main navigation links up top and don't see where to do this."

You don't know how this works? Do you search the price board for prices? That is a basic function of this site.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2014 7:12:49 PM

What zip code are you using? Is it in the middle of the city? I have tested it with 5 different zip codes that are adjacent to one another and it has centered on the zip code I typed in each time.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2014 7:06:43 PM

@Scrapheap-- 'Okay but the map is centered on the zip code."

No, it isn't for my zip. It is centered on the CITY.
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2014 6:35:39 PM

"Someome, please double check the area lists for SLC and Utah and then report any needed corrections. "

sorry, I have no idea how this works. I looked under each subcategory under the main navigation links up top and don't see where to do this.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2014 6:24:21 PM

First of all, the no-prices message is badly worded, in that, in this case it is reporting that there are no STATIONS, not prices.

I think the problem stems from the fact that Kamas is a missing area on the Utah state site. The full site converts ZIPs to city names and then searches with that, so no city name, no results. (I believe the app is a true ZIP search, because 84036 provides both Kamas and Oakly stations. Either that or it can convert to any number of names, which would seem unlikely.)

Someome, please double check the area lists for SLC and Utah and then report any needed corrections.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2014 8:04:58 AM

TxJeans - Okay but the map is centered on the zip code. If it returns all prices on the map in that particular zoom level, that works just fine as far as I am concerned. It is better than the area search where putting in a zip code may return nothing because it doesn't work by zip code.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2014 6:22:33 AM

I get the same thing, TxJeans.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2014 8:15:32 PM

@Scrapheap
"If you click on the blue Maps tab, then put in the zip code, the search works just fine."

Maybe in your area, but if I click on the blue Maps tab, and then put in my ZIP code, I get the entire southern part of my county, not just my zip.
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2014 3:29:16 PM

"The search capability on the web site isn't what it appears to be. It actually searches on "areas" in its database. When you type in a zip code, it actually translates that to an area in the Master Station List (MSL) and searches for gas prices in that area."

"for the benefit of members, and a note should appear on the zip code search page reminding users that it is not really a zip code search, perhaps linking to the detailed explanation in the FAQ (or elsewhere)"

That's crazy! If it takes that much to explain how simple search functionality is supposed to work, forget the FAQ...make it work the way your common user would expect it to!! Redesign the feature so it requires NO SUPPORT to understand. If the software isn't intuitive, you generally have unhappy customers. But I'm guessing the majority of GB's user base is mobile and that produces the desired result.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2014 6:58:47 AM

You're wasting keystrokes Gas_Buddy. But I understand the point you are trying to make. Just look at the topics The_Waysiders has posted in.

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 1/3/2014 6:58:31 AM EST]
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 9:00:36 PM


Because it can affect so many GB users and shows no obvious sign of an error when used, this zip code bug should be documented in the FAQ (or elsewhere) for the benefit of members, and a note should appear on the zip code search page reminding users that it is not really a zip code search, perhaps linking to the detailed explanation in the FAQ (or elsewhere)
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 7:06:28 PM

The_Waysiders:

You wrote: "Agree"

You agree with what? You agree with what Scrapheap wrote? Or you agree with what Sneakers55 wrote? Or you agree with what I wrote earlier? Or are you agreeing with everything that's been written?

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The_Waysiders
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 4:05:42 PM

Agree
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Dec 18, 2013 9:36:16 AM

The zip code search on this site is not very good. Searching by area is much better.

If you are using the phone app, check "Show All Stations" and even those that don't have prices posted will show up.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2013 3:50:33 PM

As Scrapheap noted earlier, you seem to be talking about two entirely different issues: posting gas prices and identifying new gas stations (for the Master Station List).

If the issue is you're not finding gas prices for gas stations you're looking for/looking at, it's most likely that you or other members haven't updated prices for those stations recently, and prices are no longer being displayed. For your information, gas prices are removed from the lists after a set period of time (it varies from 12 to 48 or more hours after posting, varying on the different Gas Buddy sites). As prices are updated (even if it's for an already visible price), the length of time the price is visible is extended by the X number of hours.

If your concern is about posting gas prices for new stations, there are two things to consider. First, you and everyone else can post a gas price from the home page using the Report Gas Prices box; it's self-explanatory and shouldn't need much to point people to the process. If you're talking about posting new gas stations to the Master Station List, you're correct it's not immediately intuitive, but you first need to be a senior member (defined as a member with 10,000 or more points) to access the Master Station List in order to make new entries to the Master Station List. The link to the Master Station List can be found at the bottom of each website page.

Hopefully Scrapheap's earlier responses were useful to you.

[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 12/17/2013 3:50:48 PM EST]
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2013 12:53:54 PM

@scoutmaster: I searched for them using the zip code, just like I did from the website - both performed while sitting at my desk, nowhere near those stations. I expected to get the same result.
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2013 1:43:47 AM

Well, 2130-point rookies can't add new stations to the gas price database. I don't know how many posts you post, but GasBuddy is crowdsourced. You could be the one who keeps zip code 84036 up to date. Must be where you drive if you're interested in it. Report more prices in that area and you will have 10,000 points and in about two weeks you'll be able to add the missing stations yourself.

I know when I started using GasBuddy in November 2005, I was nearly the only reporting prices for a good chunk of the area around Johnson Space Center. I basically crossed the area going to work, so I took different routes to work and back. And I didn't take the most direct route so I saw more stations. That was back in the days when you could only get points for posting regular and Diesel fuel.

Most of the stations I report now have multiple daily updates. I stayed in today and I'm in for the night. I need to go shopping tomorrow at Target and that takes me by all the stations I usually report without having to go out of my way to cover them all. The station nearest home participates in "GB_Direct" and I think every time a GasBuddy posts prices for them they go in and overwrite the prices. So far, I've never found a case where the prices they entered don't match the pump. FWIW, same station always seem to have trouble keeping the sign current. If the price on the sign is higher than the price on the pump, that's OK but stupid. If the price on the pump is higher than the price on the sign and it's caught by a TDA inspector, that's a fine for the station. That station had the sign lower than the pump for several days, so I reported it. Got a phone call from the TDA inspector the next day. "IT's fixed now!" And it was! I reported a station down the street for having old inspection stickers. Got another phone call that went like: "We inspected them today, they were all fine, and they now have current stickers. Thank you for contacting us." I'm now running into stations where the gas pumps numbers are totally illegible. They are usually a Conoco or Phillips 66 station, and I know the name of someone to contact that will get attention with their franchisees. There's no blank to complain to the TDA, or should I put it as "other?"
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2013 11:31:42 PM

When you saw these stations on your phone, did you search for them or were they just there?
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2013 5:32:26 PM

The search capability on the web site isn't what it appears to be. It actually searches on "areas" in its database. When you type in a zip code, it actually translates that to an area in the Master Station List (MSL) and searches for gas prices in that area. Neither Camas nor Oakley exist as areas in the MSL, therefor it returns nothing. This design is also bad because if you search on a zip code for a city that has mutiple zip codes, it returns prices for all those zip codes, not just the specific one that iterests you.

If you click on the blue Maps tab, then put in the zip code, the search works just fine.

[Edited by: Scrapheap at 12/13/2013 5:32:19 PM EST]
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SomeNumbskull
Rookie Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2013 5:12:48 PM

Funny, I was just messing around with this app on my smartphone (because it's such a better user experience) and I see ALL THREE stations I expected to find on the gasbuddy website... ALL with a price updated 1 hour ago!

Now, you might say that's because someone just updated prices since I posted this issue. However, searching on 84036 again on this website STILL returns the error "No current gas prices reported".

Makes me go, Hmmmmmmm....
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2013 4:03:38 PM

There appear are only 4 or 5 stations in the 84036 zip code in the Master Station List. None had been reported in the 48 hours prior to your post. I don't see it so much as being able to suggest a new station as nobody had reported a price recently.
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