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Service Centre: Jac Roper on more complaints about epos and the ATM minefield

Even more epos teething troubles

Service Centre: Jac Roper on irksome ATM deal; and flower shortage for Nisa stores

Service Centre: Jac Roper on more epos woes, late newspapers and court update

They took it very seriously

I was quite surprised to receive a second complaint about TLM's evoPOS system within a fortnight. I would have been less surprised if it had happened after Deen Yacub read last month's issue where we featured Andrew Wallace's account of the problems he had had with the same system. But in fact Deen rang before the last issue had been printed, so it wasn't a 'Me Too' reaction as is so often the case.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on a big system error plus more support for subpostmasters

It's not all systems go in Dumfries

Andrew Wallace, trading as Newton Gardens Service Station in Dumfries, had TLM's evoPOS installed in May 2018 after being convinced that it was the best system out there. From day one there were problems.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on going back to Londis; two become one; and a fond farewell

A remarriage of convenience

Once upon a time Mandeep Singh's site, Hillcrest Filling Station in Huddersfield, had been a Londis store but they had parted company it was a sort of square peg in a round hole situation. When he first contacted me a year or so ago, he had been shopping around for a new supply partner. It was not going well.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on Horizon in the dock; and warranty woes

Is there justice on the Horizon?

Some 560 retailers (the 'claimants') are hoping that their group action against Post Office Ltd (POL the 'defendant') will bring them justice retailers who lost their livelihoods, reputations and in extreme cases their lives over accusations of false accounting using the Horizon system. Among those 500-plus claimants at the trial is Phil Cowan, whom I featured in this column in early 2017. Phil, a very experienced forecourt operator, was a subpostmaster for just three years (his wife actually ran the PO) when he was told there was a deficit of £30K in the end-of-week balancing. The office was shut on the spot and he was asked one question: How soon can you repay it?

Service Centre: Jac Roper on inheriting a horrendous bill and cashing in on cashback

An 'inheritance' he could do without

Service Centre: Jac Roper on how One Stop threatens retailer with bankruptcy order

When One Stop was not the answer

This is a sad story about a garage that is no more. Well, it's still there, in Wales, waiting to be re-activated, more of which later.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on poor customer service and canopy carnage from HGVs

A big complaint and a big response

Service Centre: Jac Roper on shoddy work, ATM questions and why it pays to compare

It's undercover work so you can't check it

Service Centre: Jac Roper on finding the best fuel deal and going nowhere with deliveries

Fuel for thought and some tricky sums

Service Centre: Jac Roper - energy woes roll on... but a happy ending for one reader

Service Centre: Jac Roper on solving a supply problem and sending back Scratchcards

Service Centre: Jac Roper on fuel contract confusion and finding the right symbol group

It was a bad split up

Service Centre: Jac Roper on gas supplies, epos problems and staff safety

It's Catch 22

Service Centre: Jac Roper on another power struggle and finding the right fascia

Service Centre: Jac Roper on a tale of two energy queries plus credit card fees

Service centre: Jac Roper on fury at police response to drive-offs plus bespoke repairs

Service centre: Jac Roper - three reader problems resolved

Early Christmas present for Salim

Service Centre: Jac Roper on a major epos headache plus a happy ending for Diyan

Service centre: Jac Roper on fuel supply woes; epos help; and contactless feedback

I got an email from Trevor Griffiths, (Overbrook Recovery Services, Gloucestershire) which said: "We are a small garage who opened in 1969. We were first of all with BP and then changed to Butler Fuels in around 1981. They were eventually bought out by Power then Certas. The end of last year I had to have a fairly big operation which resulted in me being in hospital for a while and then receiving a course of treatment." He adds that, unfortunately but understandably he did not quite have his finger on the button. He changed bank managers at HSBC at that particular time and despite having an agreement with his previous bank manager, a payment was stopped and despite owing Certas nothing they stopped delivery on his fortnightly tanker.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on a coffee scam, plus Payzone and Paypoint problems

Wake up and smell the coffee rip off

Gunvant Patel got in touch from Hangleton Service Station in Hove, East Sussex, to alert us to what he describes as an "increasing problem" with Costa Express. He, like a growing number of you, has a Costa Express machine which is apparently rather easy to fool.

Service centre: Jac Roper with more on rates; a power struggle; plus an ATM win

The rates have gone up in smoke

Service Centre: Jac Roper on cash that won't come; Htec responds; and more on rates

Happy solution to ATM problem

Every so often I get copied in on emails that Nailesh Gokani fires off to Cardtronics about the various faults he has with his ATM at Empire Garage in north London's Enfield. Last year he found the machine out of money on a weekly basis. This time it's worse it's got money but it's hanging on to it.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on the unfair ratings game and a plea for a recommendation

Service Centre: Jac Roper on heavy-handed Horizon dealings and a name game

Lawyers acting on behalf of more than a thousand former subpostmasters are asking for others who ever had issues with Post Office Limited's (POL's) Horizon accounting system to come forward and join their Group Litigation Order. Some of their stories, such as the following one, are truly shocking.

Service centre: Jac Roper on business rates rage and a lottery turn off

At this rate... there'll be no profit left

Business rates, as a topic, is all the rage (and there's plenty to rage about) at the moment.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on seeking compensation after no power for nine days plus more NWF woes

Literally absolutely powerless

Can you imagine having your petrol station and adjacent MOT business and car wash being without power for nine days? Nine hours is crippling enough.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on a solution to an epos problem and reporting non-compliance

When things aren't going with the Flow: What a labyrinth it can be when companies hive bits off here and there so that your supplier/service support becomes owned by another company. They will usually all claim business as usual but for those on the receiving end when it goes wrong it can be anything but.

Service Centre: Jac Roper with a tip on reducing your water bill plus some happy endings

Going with the flow: Here's a happy new year tip from my regular tipster Steve Vaughan, Handbridge Services, Chester. He knows first hand that forecourt operators are more than happy to make any and all savings possible. And lately he's been looking at wait for it water. Sounds straightforward, simple, but it isn't.

Service Centre: Jac Roper talks about the auto-enrolment pension trap plus the worst service ever

Auto-enrolment nothing to do with cars: Anyone who knows Londis retailer Steve Vaughan (Handbridge Services, Chester) knows that he likes to pass on useful tips. In 2015 he recommended AEclipse, a company that will set up a pension scheme for you without ripping you off. (And as we all know, any new scheme involving money and red tape, automatically attracts rip-off merchants). His latest tip is on the same subject. (And I do know that 'pensions' is a very boring, easily-ignored subject although, funnily enough, the older you get, the more interesting it gets).

Service Centre: Jac Roper on treating staff correctly and a fuel agreement that went sour

You need to treat your best asset in a very civil manner

Service Centre: Jac Roper on an epos integration problem sorted plus a costly banking issue

A question of integration and co-operation: This one was a really very different case for me involving as it does, some fast-moving technology and two big organisations. Imran Khan runs St Giles Filling Station with a Costcutter convenience store in Durham.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on forecourts boycotting The Sun and how to build a business

Total eclipse of The S*n: That's not my headline it belongs to Liverpool. There is currently one helluva campaign going in the Speke area in Liverpool to boycott The Sun newspaper. If you want to see some colourful comments have a look at the public Facebook group called Total eclipse of the S*n which has gained some 13,000 members in just a few weeks including 10 major petrol stations in the area.

Service Centre: Jac Roper writes about an unwanted switch of power plus PayPoint delivers good news about

An unexpected and unwanted power struggle

Service Centre: Jac Roper on an insurance policy issue plus a £6,000 theft from within

Make sure you cover your back: When Jagdish Radia rang me from Leaway Service Station in Birmingham, in late April, he had been without insurance cover for over a month: a shock-horror story if ever I'd heard one.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on more energy bill problems plus a supplier who would not supply

Energy firms that are not fitting the bill: In the last issue I marvelled at Extra Energy's inability to bill Huw Griffiths for his electricity supply for 10 months. Huw had been putting the money aside in a big tin as he reckoned the bill was around £20K.

Service Centre: Jac Roper talks about a service issue; having to chase for a bill; and unwanted stock

Where was the customer service when it was needed? When you pay £3,000 a year for a service contract you rather expect a bit of prompt attention when things go wrong. In mid-February, I got a call from Khalid Mohammad who runs Shelfield Service Station in Walsall in the West Midlands.

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at dealing with debt collectors; a fuel pricing puzzle; and a makeover

Chasing after the money: I expect some of you have been chased by debt collectors. Not pleasant is it? Even if you do owe the money. But when you don't owe it, it's a very bitter experience.

Service Centre: Jac Roper talks about a run-in with the council and an ATM that's well out of order

How do you deal with such a petty bureaucrat? Gill Marsh Forecourts cannot be the only company to have had a run-in with the local council following bogus complaints about noisy remote refrigeration.

Service Centre: Jac Roper talks about a Sage saga; the pros and cons of an ATM; and edible insects

Not a very good start: Sharon Collins, from Saffrons Garage in Bodenham, Hereford, is kicking herself for signing up for a Point Four epos system. She did so because she believed that it could handle a link into Sage and fuel card bunkering, whereas her old system could not.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on two money stories - one with no cash and the other no collections

A cash point with no cash is no joke. You offer extra services, on top of your normal marketing mix, in order to draw in the punters and to make a bit (never very much) on the side. All very well when it's glitch-free, but a pain when it isn't.

Service Centre: Jac Roper talks about a canopy problem sorted; a possible 'insurable peril'; and cash is in

Booker's been in the news a lot lately and it's all been good. But for one retailer there had been a lot of frustration although nothing to do with Booker's offering, which he is quite happy with. Around six months ago a new Booker delivery man managed to back onto Jagesh Radia's forecourt (Leaway Service Station in Birmingham) and damaged the top of the canopy. "He didn't know the height of his vehicle," says Jagesh, "and it is now hanging loose and dangerous."

Service Centre: Jac Roper talks about a cycling update, more Allstar One trouble and a big con trick

In my last column I reported on the huge upheaval that Kumar Selvakumar's Black Horse Service Station in east London's Walthamstow had undergone due to roadworks. These were not just any old roadworks.

Service Centre:Jac Roper looks at charges for cash deposits; the legality of staff; and allergy labelling

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at Post Office collection chaos plus new pension rules that will affect you

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at pricing problems; a system glitch; and more on fuel cards

What a difference a day makes

Service Centre: Jac Roper asks if a price fix is on the cards? And problems with filling the ATM

Is this price fixing?

If you give everything away you'll get plenty of footfall... but no profit, says Paul Ghuman who runs Pentagon Service Station in Derby.

Service Centre: Jac Roper writes about a terrifying fuel card story and a solution to Suresh's lid problem

Really, really bad news

This is a totally anonymous story, although the two protagonists will recognise themselves. A reader approached Forecourt Trader with a very real problem. The other party will know who they are because of the details to follow. I am simply not naming anyone in the hope that this dire situation may be agreeably resolved.

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at licensing applications and an update on that pesky freezer problem

The rocky road to booze

I expect most of you are licensed or want to be. Even now though it isn't a straightforward process for forecourts. Here is a bit of a master class for you.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 10 June 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands134.59140.57129.69
North East133.19142.40129.15
North West134.1363.90139.73129.13
Northern Ireland131.34135.32128.05
South East135.2562.40141.74130.52
South West134.5167.90140.57129.57
West Midlands134.34140.64129.70
Yorkshire & Humber133.72140.40129.24

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