Drivers fill up with 34-cents-a-gallon gas – temporarily
Motorists pulling up to fill the tank at the Shell gas station at the intersection of Hughes Road and East Main Street last Wednesday might have landed the best price per gallon around the globe.
After all, where else will you find a rate of 34 cents a gallon?
“We were going to put in a price change, and it was keyed in incorrectly,” said Terry Spreier, controller at Robinson Enterprises, the company that owns and operates the station.
Spreier is not sure of the exact time the wrong price was entered, but he guessed when the mistake was detected.
“I think it got caught around 8:30 p.m. in the evening, approximately after eight hours,” he said. “Another employee was driving by the station and saw there was a line and called the manager.”
People flocked to the gas station as soon as the news of the unbelievable price spread through town.
“The most disappointing thing of all of this was no one came in to inform us that there was a problem,” he added.
Spreier attributed the indifference of the people to their dismay at the recent spike in the cost of gas. The last time the price of gas was 34 cents a gallon probably dates back to the early 1970s, he guessed.
The loss of around $4,000 – due to the error – will be shouldered by Robinson Enterprises, not Shell, Spreier said. Robinson Enterprises simply resells gas it buys from Shell.
Spreier said that Robinson Enterprises owns four gas stations – three in the Grass Valley-Nevada City area and one in Georgetown – and has around 200 employees involved in various operations.
“We are a logging contractor in Northern California as well as hauling aggregate in Marysville,” he said.
The owner of the company, Lowell Robinson, was not available for comment. Spreier said Robinson may not be aware of the incident; at least, he had not informed Robinson about it. At the same time, Spreier clarified that the occurrence was not being hidden from the owner.
For now, nothing has been done to ensure that such an error does not happen again, Spreier said.
“The (preventive) steps were in place before this, but they were not followed,” he added.
To contact staff writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4229.
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