Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Tracy West: Shop Talk

I've written about this before and I'm sure I'll write about it again. It's to do with today's all-singing, all-dancing service stations. It's not a complaint: I love them. I wish I had more near where I live or at least one decent one near where I live.

The sites to which I refer are the ones with all the facilities the free-to-use ATM, the customer toilets, the great shop, the fast food concessions, oh and the fuel.

Let me explain my situation. I drove onto a busy forecourt and filled up with fuel. I then moved my car to one of the many parking spaces to free up the pumps for the next driver. I then used the ATM, went to the toilet, stopped at the fast food concession and did some shopping in the store. All was fine until I got to the till. I handed over my basket of goodies and was asked if I had any fuel. 'Yes,' I said and told them the pump. It was at that moment when I was met with rather a stroppy response along the lines of: "Oh we wondered where you'd gone. You've been gone ages. We have someone out the back looking at the CCTV". Rather bemused, and not very amused, I explained that I'd used the toilet, done my shopping etc, but this didn't really satisfy the assistant who conveyed an attitude of 'how dare you take your time using our lovely facilities'.

I know why the cashier was concerned. Drive-offs are a big problem and he was worried that I had driven off, but there are better ways of handling these things.

This is the second time this has happened to me. So what's the answer? Should there be a sign saying 'Don't move away from the pump until you've paid'? Or one that says please pay for your fuel straight away? I'm not sure, but all I know is that those facilities were there and I wanted to take advantage of them. And surely I'm not the only one, otherwise why have them in the first place? Things like this need sorting as this incident has definitely put me off going back there. I'm not sure of the etiquette, should I just have hogged the pump until I'd paid? Mr West hates going in a forecourt store and having to queue behind someone who's done their top-up shop inside, when all he wants to do is pay for his fuel. I know you can't please all of the people all of the time, but if you're tempting us with services then you've got to be prepared for us to use them.

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Weekly Fuel Prices 24 July 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East116.0159.90124.64114.98
East Midlands115.3357.90125.01114.79
London115.8656.90126.28115.17
North East114.6459.90124.42114.29
North West115.4951.90125.52114.98
Northern Ireland114.44121.70113.75
Scotland115.1371.90123.35114.30
South East116.3148.90125.76115.34
South West115.8161.90123.70115.00
Wales115.06122.25114.40
West Midlands115.5562.90126.47115.00
Yorkshire & Humber115.27127.08114.68

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