It’s a sad, sad day

Over on WalletPop, I posted about the story of Trig’s Minocqua Shell. This week, an employee made a mistake when closing the store. He was supposed to change the price of gas to $3.30. Instead, he changed it to 33 cents a gallon. He closed the store for the night, but the gas pumps were left on for anyone who wanted to purchase with a credit card at the pump.

Consumers started filling up their tanks like there was no tomorrow, calling friends and family to come fill up too. The police noticed the commotion and called the gas station’s manager, who put a stop to it.

All told, the owner of the station lost over $1,700, the difference between the price that should have been used and the erroneous price.

Why so sad? There are about 200 comments and counting on the thread. And it seems that the majority of commenters think it was okay for the consumers to fill up at a price they knew was wrong, that the business owner deserved to get screwed, and that we should hope things like this happen more often.

In their heart of hearts, I know these people know what was done was wrong. I think those who filled up at the wrong price should go back to the station and pay the difference. I doubt that anyone will. And the idea that people are encouraging this dishonesty…. sad.

3 thoughts on “It’s a sad, sad day”

  1. Its funny how normal people wouldn’t pick pocket or shoplift from others, but don’t think twice about stealing, if its a mistake that they can capitalize on. This really is no different, then an ATM machine spitting out $20s and only charging your account $10. People can try to justify it as a bank error in their favor, but when they start calling friends, its a good indication that they knew that the deal was too good to be true to begin with. $1,700 isn’t a lot in the long run, but if this gas station had been shorting people on gas, you can bet that those same consumers would be up in arms over themselves being ripped off. It would have been one thing if the cost of gas was off by 10%, but when its a 90% discount, people should have known that it wasn’t legitimate.

  2. Exactly. It was wrong and they knew it.

    And for all we know, that $1,700 could wipe out Christmas for the family of the owner.

  3. The owner would have the credit card numbers of all of those who took advantage of the situation. He could probably re-charge the cards for the correct amount.

    The police would obviously be privy to the same information if they caused a fuss. I assume there is some concept in the law that doesn’t allow people to take advantage of obvious errors.

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