Saturday, April 09, 2011
There's a show on television that I don't think I've ever seen outside of their promos called "What Would You Do?" hosted by John Quinones. It stages scenes and finds out how ordinary people react (or don't). Sort of like Candid Camera but not funny. We're in St. Louis and specifically waited until we crossed from Illinois to refill our gas tank. Gas in Chicago is about $4/gallon and here in St. Louis things are about $3.65. So yesterday afternoon (well after crossing the border on Thursday night), we stopped to get gas. The price on the big sign out front said $3.65. Ronnie started pumping the gas and a few minutes in, asked me to get out of the car and look at the screen on the pump. With 7 gallons or so in, it read just under $19. That didn't seem right. And then he pointed down and showed me that the gas was ringing up at $2.65. I turned around and walked into the shop to let them know that they were losing a lot of money. I said to the woman behind the counter (quietly because I didn't want to incur too much wrath from the other customers!) that the gas that we'd expected to pay $3.65 for rang up at $2.65. She asked if we'd bought a car wash. I said no, repeated my first statement and left. Before I even got back out to the car, the pumps were changed. While I'd been inside, Ronnie found out it hadn't just been our pump. I imagine that many people just put in a credit card, filled their tank and didn't really think about the lower than expected number. And I would guess that others had noticed and not said anything (and probably called their friends and family). We didn't stop filling our tank when we realized the error and we didn't offer to pay the difference. We also didn't consider not telling the station. What would you have done? What would John Quinones have done?