All Service Centre articles – Page 9

  • News

    This should keep you posted

    2005-08-17T00:00:00Z

    You would think that, if you had the best convenience store in town, with a forecourt to boot, plus parking, plus a customers’ petition supporting your application, that you would get the sub post office when the sub postmistress in the village decided to retire from her little ‘centre-ville’ shop. ...

  • News

    A good result

    2005-08-17T00:00:00Z

    In the April issue I carried the tale of Andrew Fraser who works at a couple of Hills Garage’s forecourts in the Northwest. He was about to be taken to court by Cumbria trading standards – along with a load of others in the area – after the TSOs had ...

  • News

    Tampering with the brakes

    2005-08-17T00:00:00Z

    My piece in the July issue about police efforts to put the brakes on drive-offs brought a bit of a scoff from a retailer who runs a filling station in Plymouth but wishes to remain anonymous. He writes, via email: “If we are not careful, petrol station operators could see ...

  • News

    Licence to print money

    2005-07-01T00:00:00Z

    The deadline for applying for your expensive new off licence ‘grandfather’ rights is now approaching swiftly. But it isn’t just retailers dragging their feet – a lot of councils aren’t up to speed either. Susan Young from Nantybuch Service Station at Tredegar, Gwent, was the first petrol station retailer in ...

  • News

    Phoney phone card service

    2005-07-01T00:00:00Z

    Nailesh Gokani, who runs Empire Service Station in North London’s Enfield, has had a bit of a saga with O2 top-ups. Early on May 9 he took £10 from a customer, swiped the card and got the receipt through. Soon afterwards the customer got two text messages saying there was ...

  • News

    Putting the brakes on those drive-offs

    2005-07-01T00:00:00Z

    Maybe one day fuel will have a built-in ‘activation’ capsule in it, or somesuch, that will only be switched on when the customer actually pays for the stuff. If I knew how to do it I would patent it. Meanwhile many of you are stuck with drive-offs and dud cheques/cards ...

  • News

    Watchful retailer feeling off-colour

    2005-06-01T00:00:00Z

    Here’s the scenario: retailer has a drawer-full of crime incident reports of drive-offs and has instructed staff to ask for payment upfront at their own discretion, either when they don’t have a good view of the registration number or if the car matches the description of a recent drive-off. Ayub ...

  • News

    Hi there…bear with me while I burn

    2005-06-01T00:00:00Z

    In the last issue I asked if anyone had ever witnessed a mobile phone blowing up on a forecourt (because the government has pronounced them safe). This prompted a call from John Dalton, manager at Watling Tyre Service, Southbank Garage in Margate, Kent. He has a friend in the United ...

  • News

    who will supply?

    2005-05-01T00:00:00Z

    You would think that oil companies would be tripping over themselves to supply Malcolm and Sue Bodell’s Londis store. They took over an old village inn and transformed the dance hall into an all singing-dancing c-store. In a bit over a year, their turnover has tripled. There isn’t much the ...

  • News

    A hot topic

    2005-05-01T00:00:00Z

    I think we would all agree that Pot Noodle would taste terrible without the addition of hot water (and I’m not going to make any cheap jibes here even though their press office didn’t ever get back to me despite their voicemail promises and me leaving three messages). The Pot ...

  • News

    Hello! I’m at the petrol station!

    2005-05-01T00:00:00Z

    A new study by Dr Adam Burgess entitled ‘Cellular Phones, Public Fears and a Culture of Precaution’ says claims about risks of using mobile phones on forecourts have crossed into ‘the realm of urban legend’. There is no risk. According to The Observer, BP fire safety officer Richard Coates agrees: ...

  • News

    How was it for you?

    2005-04-01T00:00:00Z

    Was it a cuddly Budget or did you see it more on the dark side, ie Michael Howard’s way? Leaving aside the freeze on petrol duty and oil companies having to cough up sooner to help cash flow, there was one very interesting announcement in the Budget. Finally there is ...

  • News

    Watch out - jobsworth are about

    2005-04-01T00:00:00Z

    Give somebody new responsibilities, new powers, and they will probably be out to prove something. Prove they’re up to it. Get results. Be a jobsworth in many cases. Unfortunately this seems to apply to a lot of trading standards officers who have been given the responsibility for ‘policing’ licensing. Most ...

  • News

    It’s enough to make you sick

    2005-03-01T00:00:00Z

    We are all more or less used to the try-it-on culture but when customers return stuff along with threats “to report you”, you are bound to look over your shoulder. I had a call from Hari Singh, who trades in Liverpool, concerning a customer who brought back an empty packet ...

  • News

    Driving down drive-offs

    2005-03-01T00:00:00Z

    I must put my hand up and say that I did a drive-off the other day. However, it was at my local station and I did wave at the checkout a lot as I drove very slowly out and point to the husband who was waiting in the queue to ...

  • News

    Building with bricks

    2005-03-01T00:00:00Z

    Just enough space left to tell you about a nifty little service you can register with, for free, which passes on an interesting range of ideas/thoughts/opinions to nearly 10,000 small business owners who have already subscribed. Run by the government-funded Small Business Service, ‘Business Bricks’ is written and sent out ...

  • News

    Keeping track

    2005-02-01T00:00:00Z

    f you sell newspapers supplied by John Menzies and are trying to keep manual track of sales and returns you have probably noticed that the handy diary and sales control annual is no longer available from them. Richard Webb, who runs Abbeygate Garage in Norfolk says Menzies has been ...

  • News

    A widening gulf

    2005-02-01T00:00:00Z

    One might say that the gulf has widened in the dispute between retailer Owen McKay and his supplier. In our November issue I recounted the story of a strained relationship between Owen, who runs Smithy Garage at Warrington in Cheshire, and Gulf Retail. Owen had nothing but praise for the ...

  • News

    Watch your backs

    2005-02-01T00:00:00Z

    I’ve written a couple of reports on the success of Kent Police’s Forecourt Watch scheme – and went so far as to ask why can’t the rest of the country follow such an impressive example. As a result I got a call from Terry McCormick, Neighbourhood Watch liaison officer ...

  • News

    A streamlined scam?

    2005-01-01T00:00:00Z

    It will be interesting to hear if anybody else out there has had an experience similar to Adrian Moore, who runs Grizebeck Filling Station at Grizebeck in Cumbria. He suspected a scam when he got a phone call from someone purporting to be from an investigation unit at Streamline asking ...