A technical glitch at a Shell station in Illinois recently changed the price of gas to one penny, leading to traffic congestion so bad local police had to be called in to break it up.
While the rest of the country pays an average of $3.30 per gallon of gas, motorists in Woodstock, Ill., got off lucky late Sunday evening and were charged only $0.01 for a gallon of gas.
And no one informed the station attendant on duty about the obvious pricing error.
Word of the glitch soon got out and motorists flocked to the station to take advantage of the unintentionally low prices.
Police were soon called in because the line of cars waiting to get gas soon caused traffic to backup. However, according to Woodstock Police Sgt. Dennis Leard, after police cleared the traffic, the lines kept reforming.
Still unaware of the glitch, the gas station attendant was apparently just as confused as the police by the traffic jam.
"The clerk didn't appear to be aware [of the price change]," Leard told the Northwest Herald. "We made him aware of the situation and instructed him to shut off his pumps and fix the problem."
The error remained in place for a little more than two hours before the attendant and law enforcement officials discovered the cause of the traffic jam. Once discovered, police immediately shut off the gas supply and waited for the store to correct its prices.
Drita Castillo, the Shell employee who eventually sorted out the error, told CBS News she feels bad for her boss, who will undoubtedly have to make up the difference, and is upset that no one informed the attendant of the obvious mistake.
“I like my boss. He’s a good man. I don’t know what’s going on. I hope the company replaces that stuff. But I feel upset for him,” Castillo said.
When asked how many motorists took advantage of the error, she said: “No idea.”
During the gas free-for-all, a local radio station announced the price glitch on its its Facebook page.
“GAS FOR ONE CENT IN WOODSTOCK! No joke. Here's one listener's receipt and we're sure it's been changed since then. Not bad for 10 gallons...12 cents! What's this 1920?” the station announced.
The station’s Facebook page also included photos of customer receipts and images of the line of cars, a sight Castillo said she had never seen before.
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