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Service Centre: Jac Roper on a duty rebate that doesn't work and a case where common sense prevails

What's the real price of petrol?

The price of petrol is a perennial headline grabber. You would think, by now, enough journalists reporting on the subject would have 'got to the bottom of it'; ie the public would know that the retailers have nowt to do with the price at the pump, even if they do own the ruddy pumps.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on retailers having a run-in with the planning office... and problem staff

Get approval before you improve

Sometimes there is no pleasing the local authorities. Linda Sheppard tells a cautionary tale that anyone who is thinking about making improvements should read.

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at computer headaches, a welcome refund and advice on staff

You really don't need crashes

After 18 months of firefighting with a system that is meant to help him run his business, Jon Brownsey says he is beyond angry now. He first got in touch with Forecourt Trader last September over ongoing problems at his Fordingbridge Service Station, Hampshire, with his Micros (previously Torex) system. It summed up as crashes, error messages, inability to poll at night or to order grocery supplies from Londis.

Service Centre: Jac Roper highlights problems when a supplier goes bust; and saving money on cards

How you can optimise your losses

Here's a cautionary tale for you. Back in March 2010 James Henderson, managing director of Cohannon Inn Ltd (which includes a filling station in Dungannon, County Tyrone), was approached by Energy Saving Company, an approved agent for Carbon Trust. It offered to supply electricity optimisers paid for via a no-interest loan from Carbon Trust.

Service Centre: Jac Roper delves into employee contracts, extra services and snow

Look after your assets

Here's a cliché question for you Mr Forecourt Boss: what's your best asset? I'm sure you have many but full marks if you said 'staff' unless, of course, you spend every working hour right there on the till.

Service Centre: Help and advice from Jac Roper

A pain in the cashflow

Quite an Easter wasn't it? What with a hole in the wall cash machine being blown up into a much larger hole at a petrol station in Weyhill, Hampshire, while Steve Jones was busy getting sued by a policewoman after the poor dear tripped on his Nun's Bridges forecourt kerb in Thetford, Norfolk, while investigating a potential incident. Both made front page news in the nationals.

Service Centre: Jac Roper discusses credit card charges and electric car charging

Do you take plastic? Of course you do

You'd probably have to go as far as Germany to find a forecourt that doesn't accept cards although I haven't been to Germany lately so I don't know if their 'cash only' policies still apply.

Service Centre: Jac Roper sorts your problems, including the rules on splitting up multipacks

Always check out the label

'Freddie' rang up. As you may have already sussed, that's not his real name. He believes that a nearby competitor may be trying to stitch him up but didn't want to ID anyone for obvious reasons.

Service Centre: Jac Roper on the New Year starting with problems with diesel tanks and cash machines

A second quote saves the day

Happy New Year to all. Right, that's enough joy; now back to the problems. Garry Gibson, head of operations at Cooper Bros in Wishaw, Lancashire, certainly had a time of it last year.

Service Centre: Help and advice from Jac Roper

Stand off at the pumps

Tony Barlow, whose business trades as Local Service Stations in beautiful Shrewsbury, had an adventure at the pumps one Saturday that you could all do without. He says: "Just after opening up, a small white lorry pulled up to the diesel pump and the driver asked if we took EDC cards. I knew we did but verified it on the till and confirmed as such to the driver.

Service Centre: A headache is cured and Jac welcomes new blood into the forecourt world

A chronic headache

Service Centre: Jac Roper covers a rave review; a rant about superstores; and yet another scam

A real five-star retailer review

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at two-tier pricing and who is willing to lend money

Texaco deal fuels debate

Service Centre: Jac Roper reveals problems with pumps, plus does it pay to put yourself out for customers?

Having a breakdown

Service Centre: Jac Roper reveals an extra happy ending for one Forecourt Trader reader

Credit where credit is due

Service Centre: Jac Roper covers home-made sandwiches as well as fuel card woes

Home-made recipes could go wrong

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at rates, a marathon deal and Britain's first driver-less car

Cliff-hanger

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    Average
Weekly retail fuel prices: 15 January 2018
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East124.9460.90131.85122.27
East Midlands124.34132.31121.54
London125.0662.90132.42122.10
North East123.94133.63121.07
North West124.1658.50132.51121.18
Northern Ireland123.4169.90128.40120.85
Scotland124.5774.90130.88121.33
South East125.1561.40132.52122.48
South West124.73130.24121.91
Wales124.44128.57121.19
West Midlands123.7465.23132.27121.20
Yorkshire & Humber123.9161.90132.74121.12

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