• May 17, 2011
When residents of Wilmington – a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California – got word that a local Valero fueling station was selling gas for the bargain price of $1.10 per gallon, almost immediately, vehicles lined up 'round the corner. This wasn't one of those promo deals on fuel, though. It was a computer glitch that lead to the station dispensing some 8,000 gallons of gas at just $1.10 each.

According to KCAL 9, it took hours for the on-duty gas station attendant to notice the glitch (didn't the line-up of cars give it away?). In the meantime, police arrived on the scene to direct traffic around the overcrowded station.

When station owner Kenny Nguyen got wind of his unintended act of kindness, he immediately shut down all of the pumps. All told, Nguyen estimates that he lost nearly $21,000 due to the glitch. Ouch.


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  • 56 Comments
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other news. job opening at Valero Wilmington. Must be able to read numbers.
      Car Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I find it interesting the article says the station owner had to shut down the pumps. I can picture some next-to-minimum-wage employee on the job at the time just sitting there and saying "Whatever, they don't pay me enough to care". I'm sure once he realized the glitch, he was on the phone to all his friends and relatives telling them of the "deal" -- probably along with filling up his own car.
        MechE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        Perhaps, but maybe not. Ever see those videos of midnight convenient store workers that stand up and fight against a cash register robber? When I was a teenager getting paid $4.50/hr at a grocery store I actually cared if someone was jacking packs of smokes. It didnt come out of my pocket but I had more than a sprinkle of loyalty to my employer, in other words I actually cared, and most the other kids I worked with did too.
      nemnutz
      • 3 Years Ago
      So I guess this is a Microsoft problem, right? That's what I concluded when you showed the BSOD from Windows. So, shame, shame, shame on Microsoft those dirty b$%#@$%s!!! On the other hand, if it's not really a Microsoft problem it seems pretty poor to imply that. Even if you're uncertain, why smear MS by default? Autoblog Staff...anyone care to comment? I don't work for MS but am still irritated to see people blame them for every computer-related problem in the world, whether they deserve it or not.
      ManOnFire
      • 3 Years Ago
      My guess is the clerk no longer works there.
      foci
      • 3 Years Ago
      It there are any hackers out there I think I have a project for you. You can call it a public service or guerilla warfare.
      iKingston
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've got one better... Gas prices were supposed to be 3.79 per gallon and because the 9 was left off I got a full tank of gas for 5.12. You can look it up. It happened in Raymore, MO.
      Jesse P.S
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats like C$0.2928 per liter (w/o taxes). Nice.
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the worlds smallest violin playing in sympathy for Mr. Nguyen.
        Dan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        You say that like Mr. Nguyen wakes up each morning and personally decides how badly he's going to fleece his customers. There's very little profit in fuel resale. But hey, if you want to kill the messenger, go right ahead. Don't cry in my beer when you have one gas station left in 10 square blocks, and THEY can...well...wake up each morning and personally decide how badly to fleece their captive audience. Unless, of course, you think that LESS competition is GOOD for consumers. Then, to quote Goldmember, "There ish no pleashing you!"
          creamwobbly
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan
          Let me introduce you to my friend. His name is "Price Fixin". A station just up the street from where I live sells diesel for $3.64/gal. Most other places, it's $4.10, or $4.26 with very little in between. Guess where I'm going after 620 miles?
          Dan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan
          And if there's nobody to match? If the station across the street charges $3.99/gal, I pretty much have to charge the same (unless I can convince my customers I've got a superior product). If there's no gas station across the street...or within a block...or within 5 blocks...or within 10 blocks...? Ever notice why isolated stations in high-demand areas charge a lot more than suburbs saturated with gas stations?
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cool! Also when a guy has a heart attack out on the street, you can reach in his pocket and steal his wallet and he won't be able to stop you. Free cash!!!
      svntsvn
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats what you get for minimum wage. Guess the station owner will write it off as a loss on his taxes, and still come out smiling!
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @svntsvn
        No kidding. Maybe if these companies didn't pay minimum wage to their employees, they might get ones competent enough to understand what is going on. As it is now, these business owners get what they deserve.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
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          Michael
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          I hope you realize how little gas stations profit on gas.
          Hazdaz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          @ Michael I hope you realize how little I care about how little profit there is in selling gas. If they weren't profitable, there wouldn't be one on every other corner. Try not to believe the sob stories most companies come up with.
      • 3 Years Ago
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