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Gas at 33 cents – Can your conscience handle it?

by J. Money on Monday, April 21, 2008

This happened a few months ago, but it popped in my head this morning and I thought you might find it pretty interesting. With gas prices these days, it’s no wonder people go rabid with this stuff!

From “Error sparks mad dash over 33-cent gas” on MSNBC.com:

“Dozens of drivers made a mad rush for cheap gas after a station employee accidentally changed the price to 33 cents a gallon. An employee closing Trig’s Minocqua Shell for the night meant to drop the price of gas by 1 cent.”

Forty-two people bought 586 gallons of gas in an hour and 45 minutes. Talk about some good news traveling fast! As sexy as it sounds, however, would you consider it dishonest? I could see how the first person could have filled up w/out much attention, but when your tank tops out at $5 bucks, you HAVE to know something’s up. But do you say something?

The article goes on and talks about how the station owner was pretty upset (rightfully so), and that the customers were dishonest. “They knew there was a problem, and they took advantage of an employee’s mistake and I think that’s terrible.”

I’m no goody-goody, but i have to side w/ him. It’s an obvious mistake that not only hurts the station, but could possibly have the employee fired. Some might even consider it a form of theft. In all honesty, I’d tell the station manager. That’s not to say that i wouldn’t fill up FIRST and THEN tell him, cuz i probably would, but without a doubt i’d bring it up.

I know this because that’s exactly what i did a few months ago while down in Richmond. The gas was SUPPOSED to be $2.96, but as i was filling up i noticed that it was actually set at only $2.69! Not as extreme as 33 cents/gallon, but that’s still a good $6 saved in the end.

So I filled up the rest of my tank (i knew i would!), and then i walked over and alerted the station manager. Who knows how long it was going on before i got there, but i can tell you one thing – that guy was THANKFUL!

$hit, even the look on his face was worth the honesty :) And you know what? It felt great afterwards. Sure i didn’t tell him before i filled up, not that i had known yet, but that’s one good deed that prevented a lot of heart ache in the end.


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