With gas prices high, anything below $4 a gallon is a miracle. But $1 a gallon? Well, that might just be a bona fide gift from the Gods. Or a computer glitch.
Residents in Pasadena, Texas were sent into a frenzy on Tuesday when word spread that a local Conoco gas station was selling gas for $1 a gallon. Residents began calling friends and family. Some even posted the news on Facebook, according to the local Fox affiliate.
After a few hours, employees finally caught on -- and caught the culprit. It seems the station's new gas pumps malfunctioned. Somehow, prices dropped to $1 at midnight when the store closed.
Obviously the station planned to charge a much higher price, as gas for $1 a gallon is simply unheard of. Can the owners retrieve the difference between what customers paid and what they intended to charge?
Probably not. Consumer protection rules generally state that consumers are entitled to pay the lowest marked price. If retailers were allowed to charge whatever they want at the register, many consumers would be duped into purchasing unwanted products or spending much more than they ever intended to.
Courts will even enforce this rule when the disparity is just a few cents.
It's unfortunate for the owners that their gas station sold gas at $1 a gallon, but it's just something they're going to have to deal with. It was the price electronically posted on the gas pumps, so it was the price consumers were entitled to pay.