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The manager of a gas station in Northern California has been fired after accidentally setting the price to 69 cents a gallon instead of $6.99 a gallon.
With the cost of running a car getting ever more expensive, it's no surprise that word quickly spread on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter of the low price on offer at the Shell station in Rancho Cordova.
The low price had been set by manager John Szczecina, who wasn't made aware of the mistake for several hours during which time hundreds of drivers took advantage of the unbeatable cost.
It emerged Szczecina had mistakenly placed the decimal in the wrong spot, dropping the price by more than $6 per gallon and ultimately costing the gas station $16,000.
Speaking to ABC 30 about his blunder, the manager said: "I put all three prices on there, except the diesel. The last one kind of didn't go. So, I just took responsibility for it and said yeah it's my fault."
Szczecina has been fired for his error, though he has admitted he's also worried about getting sued by the owners of the station. His family are now hoping to repay the lost revenue with the help of a GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $4,000 at the time of writing (15 June).
The description for the page explains: "My brother is the manager of the gas station in Rancho Cordova... He is being held responsible for the glitch that the station was unable to stop for 3 hours as local people lined up for $0.69 cent gas per gallon. This led to a $16,000 loss... Please contribute even a few dollars per person could erase this huge deficit for him which is a small deficit for all of US!!!"
Drivers in California are among those who have been worst hit by increasing gas prices, with customers paying an average of $6.43 per gallon in comparison to the national average of $5 a gallon for the rest of the US.
One driver who visited the Rancho Cordova station managed to fill his whole tank for just $14 thanks to the misplaced decimal point, ABC7 reports, after which he quickly called friends and family to tell them to do the same.
Another customer commented: "I looked at the numbers and it was 69 cents a gallon. So you know what I did, I hit that button and it started pumping and the dollar sign just stayed low?"
The gas station is said to have turned into a circus for the three hours before the mistake was corrected.
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