Petrol stations (notice I do not call them service stations!)

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14 years 4 days ago #23023 by reggit
Since our old mom and pop service station that I used in Hamilton (even went out of my way to use!) closed (probably because the petrol company didn't think it was flash enough for current standards), I've been forced to use other stations - the ones with the big forecourts, huge coffee and cafe areas, lots of snacks but, strangely, no staff in front of the till or automotive accessories anywhere in sight...:rolleyes:

Went in today and, knowing I would get no service, had to (a) park car at pump (b) go inside and wait in queue to tell them I wanted to fill up so they could release the pump (c) walk back to car and start pump going (d) check oil (e) walk back to the shop and try to find some oil (one tiny little stand by the door) (f) walk inside and queue again to ask which of the two bottles I was holding was best for my car (g) walk out again, top up my oil, finish the pumping (h) walk back inside and QUEUE AGAIN to pay.

Phew!

It was only looking around during this interminable queuing that it really struck me that these newer stations have little or no items for the car for sale at all - no spares, no emergency stuff, no maintenance stuff...great, so they are open 24/7 for coffee emergencies, but what about spare part emergencies?

And as for this 'no checking oil and water' policy, a good legal column here about this: www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article...=3&objectid=10645545

As far as I can see, the biggest safety issues in these places are the lack of visible staff (well, any staff) so they are easy targets of drive offs, hold ups and robberies. Why isn't the staffing level an OSH issue???

Grrr! [:(!]

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14 years 4 days ago #329446 by ronnie
There was an article on just such things last week on Close up I think??????

The comment from the petrol companies is "Our staff are not mechanics" and as such, will not perform/comment on anything to do with your car. I think you were lucky to get a comment on which oil to use [:0]

They are far more interested in serving coffee and snacks than teaching their staff how to pour petrol, although they did comment on their staff being trained to actually pour petrol, but nothing else.

The trick is obviously to find a petrol outlet that still has a working mechanical workshop attached to get any sort of service at all.

Oh, and good luck with finding one - they are like the proverbial hens teeth.

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14 years 4 days ago #329449 by reggit
Our old one did have a mechanics workshop attached...luckily the workshop is still going, just no petrol tanks :( similar to close to where we live, lost the petrol station many years ago but the garage is still open.

What annoys me is that when you try to pour oil by yourself the first tip usually misses the hole (or maybe that's just me)...and there is never one of those very cool little oil pourer tins with a spout that you can use [:(!]

I went to one station the other day that didn't even have a paper tissue dispenser for wiping dipsticks/hands etc. What a joke! Had to find a tissue in my pocket and then hope my nose didn't run the rest of the day [}:)]

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14 years 4 days ago #329451 by kate
Tigger I never prepay...even in the ones that say prepay only. Just get out of the car, and start pumping. The person behind the till will look out, decide you're not a likely 'drive-off' and start the pump. Unless they think you are a likely drive off [}:)] Works in all the petrol stations I've tried in Hamilton and Cambridge. Of course, I do look exceptionally honest [:I] :p

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14 years 4 days ago #329452 by reggit
Kate, I never prepay as I am always wanting a complete fill up and don't know how much it will be - and I have tried the 'catch their eye so they unlock the pump' bit, but when there is a queue inside they never look outside anyway - no wonder they have so many drive offs! [:0]

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14 years 4 days ago #329453 by FencerMan
Tigger you cant just "catch their eye", you have to put the nozzle in and lock the trigger on...Then their computer beeps at them and thats when they look at and unlock it and it starts pumping.... Im the same as Kate, have never had to ask for the pump to be unlocked, just put it in and pull the trigger....Usually takes 20-30 seconds for it to be unlocked and start pumping...

Do something.

Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

'Ted Turner'

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14 years 4 days ago #329454 by wyseyes
I too usually just get out and start pumping. (secret - some stations don't *really* have their pumps on prepay, they just have the signs up). Rarely will I need to give a wave to the counter-monkey make it look like I'm asking for him to *activate* the pump.

One recently though, did have their most distant pump (the only one with diesel) locked down. I went through the motions, then sat there staring at the monkey. He got on the little intercom - "mumble mumble prepay mumble".
So I traipsed inside, where he said "mumble mumble prepay mumble" (sheesh, I though it was the crappy intercom). I think he said something about needing to pay more than I was going to use, then when I gave him $100 he mumbled about needing to hang up the pump first.
I think I kind of stared him down on that one, I have a fair idea on what their pumping systems will do, then went out to sort out the tank.

Then when I came in, he looked at me as if I hadn't recently been there, and said "yes"? Yes?!?!!!! Only again when I told him I gave him $100 did he grudgingly offer some change. Should have said I gave him $200.

When they train these people in the operation of a fuel station, service is definitely not on the list.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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14 years 4 days ago #329456 by reggit
Okay that's good to know about the beepy thing if you just put the nozzle in and lock it down, thanks :rolleyes:.

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14 years 4 days ago #329458 by drifter
Yeah that's what I do too, just start pumping. If I'm in a cheery mood I will smile and wave too :)

I've worked on the other side too. It's a pretty thankless job. No one seems to actually make time to re-fuel they do it 'on the way' so no matter what you just can't do it fast enough. The public growl and bitch constantly[}:)] For every person who moans that you didn't wash their windscreen, there's their opposite, whinging that you've ruined their paintwork letting water splash.

Those dinky oil cans mentioned earlier are prime targets for thieves, followed by the windscreen brushes and the darn air hose (I mean seriously, who steals one of them?)

*cough* and 'back in the day' when I did it, it was fully staffed and full service... and y'all weren't happy then either . You thought the price of petrol would come down if we didn't have 'so many unnecessary staff on the forecourt. it should be part of every drivers basic abilities to refuel and check their own oil and water.' :D

Strange how much you've got to know, Before you know how little you know.

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14 years 4 days ago #329459 by reggit
I always appreciated the service [;)] which is why I went out of my way to go to the stations with service. Not that I mind pumping my own gas BUT it would be nice if someone else could check the oil/water and make you feel like you were actually a customer not a nuisance!

I am not sure if it is the same over in the US now, but it used to be that you chose self-service pumps or full-service pumps - and you paid less for the self-service pumps (or more for the full-service pumps, if you want to look at it that way).

Either way, it acknowledged that you had a choice...

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14 years 4 days ago #329460 by sod
Must be your area:( because here in "MASTERTON" [;)][^]they still have forecourt staff at all the ones we go to and even over the hill at Upper Hutt Caltex they do too. Big one up for our town :D :D;)

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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14 years 4 days ago #329461 by kate
The problem is that most bowsers could take eftpos but because they want to get you off the forecourt and into the shop (because that's where they make the profits) they don't activate the 'self-pay' option.

At the Countdown or New World (can't remember which it is) at Whangarei there is a self-serve, self-pay petrol area [8D][8D][8D]

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14 years 4 days ago #329462 by reggit
I've noticed in my travels, sod, that the smaller centres often have good stations.

In Hamilton, as underground tanks reach the end of their lives in older stations, they are not replacing them, just closing down the stations altogether, and concentrating on these massive centralised outfits that are more minimarts than anything.

I have noticed also that many of the smaller stations in what could be termed economically-challenged areas of town have been shut over the last 5-10 years at an alarming rate.

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14 years 4 days ago #329464 by sod
drifter :) been there done that too but as a second job in the evenings, so only me on, no flash pumps:rolleyes: had to work out cost in head no computors or auto stops on pumps:eek:

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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14 years 4 days ago #329466 by sod
tigger very true all ours are privately owned, only "Shell Mini mart" and "Gull/ Countdown" But Shell has forecourt staff not "gull"but cheaper fuel.The two Caltex are now have same owner and have both had tanks replaced SMALL TOWNS RULE

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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