|NJ Transit has its own police force. This Dodge Durango was photographed at Secaucus Junction. (Wikipedia)|
Editor's note: Another gaseous column prompts a concerned reader to complain about the Road Warrior's answers to readers' questions.
Once again, the Road Warrior misleads, confuses, misdirects and wastes readers' time with answers to their questions.
Some of the same questions have been asked and answered by the Road Warrior multiple times, including as recently as his October 5 column.
His Nov. 28 column is the 19th problem article, starting with his 9/12 piece, about which I've notified The Record's management & the Road Warrior without indication of any preventive actions to address these problems and very few published corrections.
It's time for answers, corrections, and solutions.
His online posted column was aptly titled "Gaseous Omissions," because his responses to some readers' questions were long winded and/or omitted key, relevant answers to those questions.
Highlights of misleading or false facts and statements from his column are noted below. The Record or Road Warrior should make appropriate corrections.
Road Warrior also has a frequent habit to NOT directly address a reader's specific question or provides unrelated or somewhat related information, as noted below.
The Record's management should question who are these clueless "readers" who ask the same questions over and over, and why does the Road Warrior offer the same unsubstantiated or wrong theories.
Does The Record need to stop or revise this practice?
1. Repeated question - "Why don't many stations post premium-gas prices on [street] signs anymore? asked one reader."
Repeated false Road Warrior answer - "A few readers theorized that posting only cheap regular-gas prices amounted to a bait-and-switch scheme to lure unsuspecting premium buyers."
PROBLEMS WITH ANSWER - The same clueless question and unsubstantiated answer were posted in his Oct. 5 column, which I addressed in a previous e-mail. Why was the same clueless question and wrong, unsubstantiated answer repeated?
The Road Warrior wasted readers' time and damages The Record's credibility. The Road Warrior then wasted readers' time further with 5 paragraphs of more details about this issue that was succinctly and fully answered in 3 sentences in his Oct. 5 column.
The Road Warrior and his other clueless "readers", who apparently don't read recent Road Warrior columns, mistakenly theorize there are some unsuspecting "clueless" premium customers (is it 1% of 1% of 1%?) that do not know Premium costs considerably more than Regular gas and could think that the ONLY price listed in a street sign is for their more expensive gas rather than the less expensive Regular, which most people use.
There are NO bait-and-switch schemes since the correct higher pricing, including cash and credit, where applicable, must be prominently displayed right over each pump!
2. Misleading, confusing answer, including omission of key relevant items - "After negotiating with retailers in 2007, the state Division of Consumer Affairs settled for minimalist street signs that list only two regular-gas prices – one for cash and one for credit purchases."
CORRECT FACTS - In 2007, NJ Division of Consumer Affairs only settled for notifying the Gas Retailers Associations to tell its members the concerns/preferences of the state agency to make changes to post both cash and credit pricing, if different, on street signs that list any fuel grade prices.
The Road Warrior omitted a key fact that since this signage preference was not being universally implemented at NJ gas stations, a law was passed in January and became effective in May 2012 that requires both cash and credit pricing, if different, for any fuel grade that is shown on street signs. Pricing for all grades of fuel do not need to be shown on the street signs. As a minimum, gas stations with street signs show cash and credit pricing, if different, for regular gas.
3. Repeated question - "Why is New Jersey the only state I know that doesn't allow self-serve gas pumps? Wouldn't this shorten lines and reduce prices by removing the cost of attendants?"
PROBLEMS WITH ANSWER - "Maybe not" was NOT a legitimate response and showed a complete lack of any investigation of the facts based on economic competition factors and experiences in other states. The Road Warrior then misdirected readers based on polls of what NJ motorists think might?? happen with pricing rather than report on what has actually occurred in other states and what experts know about this answer that are somewhat different than these polls. The Road Warrior should also be aware the reason why NJ motorists are still in favor of attendants is that there are many other benefits to keeping attendants and drawbacks to eliminating attendants that go beyond the impact on pricing.
He also never even addressed an answer about shorter lines.
This is a regularly repeated question about the potential for N.J. self-serve pumps and pricing with misdirected answers that omit key relevant information in Road Warrior columns.
4. Clueless misleading question - "Shouldn't NJ Transit resume cross-honoring rail and bus passes [through the end of November] bought just before [S]uperstorm Sandy? ...this miserly policy forced me to buy daily bus fares from Secaucus to Manhattan because storm damage no longer allows me to take the cheaper PATH trains from Hoboken to Manhattan."
PROBLEMS WITH QUESTION AND ANSWER - First off, this is an inaccurate question since this policy change by NJ Transit did NOT FORCE this rider or anyone else to buy daily bus fares from Secaucus to Manhattan. This daily bus fare option was chosen by this rider because he did not investigate his other bus and train options, which were offered by NJ Transit online or by customer service telephone that would have avoided any extra costs during the trying times after Sandy.
In fact, NJ Transit was very generous and NOT miserly since it offered free bus shuttles and ferry rides into Manhattan for a period of time that could have been utilized by this rider. In fact, NJ Transit's regular policy allows current riders with train passes to Hoboken station, which has reopened, to transfer at no cost to a bus to reach PATH at the Jersey City journal station.
The Road Warrior forgot to tell this rider and other readers about how they can contact the NJ Transit customer service telephone number and find applicable sections of the NJ Transit Web site in order to easily address these questions in the future rather than ask the Road Warrior.
Even though I normally do not take the train, I was able to easily call NJ Transit customer service and access the NJ Transit Web site to get all of the needed facts and answers.
Instead of providing any specific answers that would be helpful to the rider and other readers, the Road Warrior told the rider that a NJ Transit customer rep would get back to the rider. So readers were left with no answers to this easily solved problem.
5. Misleading false answer - "One day before Tuesday's snowstorm, NJ Transit announced it would cross-honor all its rail, bus and light-rail tickets. So, thanks to Mother Nature, you should at least be able to enjoy one or two days of cross-honoring even if NJT fails to deliver on its promise."
CORRECT FACTS - NJ Transit announced on Monday it would cross-honor all its rail, bus and light-rail tickets ONLY for the day of the storm, which was a relatively weak storm, on Tuesday. NJ Transit was no longer cross-honoring passes on Wednesday. Sadly on Wednesday, the Road Warrior tells the rider that he can expect one or 2 more days of passes that would be cross-honored, even though it already expired the day before the paper was published.
Here's hoping for change and better fact-checking, corrections, reviewing (Googling?), and oversight of proper questions and answers to readers' questions by The Record's editors, columnists, & reporters based on more reliable, accurate and common sense information prior to publication.