Posts Tagged ‘Shell’

My experience with Shell

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Automobile
Tags: , ,

Back to blogging!! It’s been sometime since my last post and I had told all and sundry that a lot of posts will be coming up, but unfortunately did not. There are pending posts regarding Microsoft technologies, a movie review and also about an NGO. But, this post is taking priority as of now since it will simultaneously end up on different automotive forums.

Almost 6-7 months back, I was riding to office and had to urgently fill up my bike since it was out of fuel. Decided to ride into a Shell station beside Gopalan Mall on Mysore Road. This station had just come and decided to quickly fill in for 100 bucks. To my horror, I was short fueled. I know how much I get for Rs. 100. This became evident when I was riding back. The bike very quickly went into reserve and almost started choking and had to fill up again the next day!! Everyone swears by Shell and this was my first incident of getting short fueled. Though I wanted to bring this incident to the notice of the Shell officials, I kind of forgot and also decided not to go to that bunk.

Months flew and I more or less fill up at the twin Shell bunks on Mysore Road which is beside BHEL. Slowly becoming active on forums like Team-BHP and xBHP found how petrol pumps are rigged up and the tricks of the trade used by the attendants. This kept me alert all the time and even though I was in Shell pumps, I was very observant. I found that the attendants again used ploys like managing the trigger as to how much the fuel is dispensed. Sometimes there used to be coughing from the pump and the attendant used to say “Air saar, agotte” Air, my ass!! This was too much and I decided to write to Shell from their website.

What follows below is the mails which went back and forth between me and Shell representative. Notice the delay in replies to each mail. It was really frustrating and I had come to the conclusion that Shell was just like any other cheating station. I even had started to search for alternatives.

Read from bottom to top

Dear Shell Representative,It has been close to a month since my number was provided. Could you kindly tell me if there was any action taken against the pump operators? Even if you have, it doesn’t seem so since the pump operators continue to cheat. This was found again last week when the pumping gun trigger was purposely held by hand instead of locking it up. It is highly shameful to see this act continue. After charging a premium on the fuel, cheating this way is highly despicable. Unless the pump owners mend their ways, you will be losing plenty of customers.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,
Sunil
__________________________________________________ __________

On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 6:58 AM, Sunil <xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Shell Representative,

Please my number below as requested:

+91xxxxxxxxxxx

Regards,
Sunil
__________________________________________________ __________

On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 1:16 AM, <sipl-shell-reply@shell.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. Sunil,

Our Territory Manager Mr. Giriprasad Nair will contact you after we receive your contact information.

Best regards

Shell India

__________________________________________________ _________
From: Sunil [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2010 11:02 PM

To: SIPL Shell reply SIPL-ENQ
Subject: Re: Your query at http://www.shell.com/india

Dear Shell Representative,

Thank you for contacting back. Considering the delay in the reply, I thought that this issue was forgotten. I welcome the initiative taken to curb the inconsistency in the system and content in giving my number provided that, as a person, would like to know who I’m speaking to through email as well who would be calling me.

Hope to hear a response quicker than the previous two.

Regards,

Sunil

__________________________________________________ __________

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 3:43 AM, <sipl-shell-reply@shell.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. Sunil,

We wish to thank you for taking the time and effort to write to us. In your original mail you have made some complaints against some of our sites. It would be necessary for us to have a discussion on how you arrived at the conclusion and for us in turn to explain the systemic controls that are in place to ensure that such incidents do not occur. We would also be very happy to demonstrate the measures we take at any of our sites at a time convenient to you.

We would once again request for a telephone number where our company representative can call you and look forward to hearing from you at the earliest.

Best regards

Shell India

__________________________________________________ ___________

From: Sunil [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 8:03 PM
To: SIPL Shell reply SIPL-ENQ
Subject: Re: Your query at http://www.shell.com/india

Dear Shell Representative,

I have personally refrained from divulging my number in the form and would like to continue communications through email. I check my mail regularly and would be providing quick reply. Please do let me know if you would be needing any details and would be glad to provide them

Thank you.

Regards,

Sunil
__________________________________________________ _________

On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 11:36 PM, <sipl-shell-reply@shell.com> wrote:

Dear Mr. Sunil,

We shall be grateful if you could give us a number where our representative can get in touch with you to ascertain some additional information that would help us address the issues raised by you comprehensively.

Many thanks

Best regards

Shell India

I finally got a call from Giriprasad Nair asking me as to how I thought I had been cheated. He was very patient enough to listen to me and explain the details the working of the sites(the petrol pumps) and how they can assure the quality and quantity of the fuel. He even agreed to show me the quality implemented across their sites. An appointment was fixed, but unfortunately it was missed, thanks to my crazy schedules and the phone battery dying on me in the 11th hour. Rescheduled a meet and finally met him yesterday. Meeting Mr. Nair and Mr.Sabir(who is the retailer and manages the 3 bunks on Mysore Road) turned out to be a pleasant experience. As soon we introduced each other, I was asked if I would be needing water or juice, which I think is the most basic level of courtesy anyone can show 🙂

Mr. Nair went about explaining how each morning each fuel pump is tested for accuracy by pumping out 5L of fuel thrice. The measurement should be exact twice atleast. If it isn’t, that hose is not used for the day. I was also demonstrated of the quantity by dispensing 5L; once by manually pumping out the amount till the brim of the measuring can and next by entering the quantity in the petrol pump. I was also told that the pump delivers exactly the amount of fuel based on the amount or quantity specified and playing around with the trigger is not possible. Coming to the quality part, when I asked if there is a litmus paper test done to check, I was told that a density check is more accurate. Again, this density test was done and shown the accuracy.

One of the best things which I saw is, the ability to manage all the fuel pumps from a central location, i.e., usually within the Shell store. While you see 2 computers in there, one is for the general billing of the commodities bought in the store, while the other runs a proprietary software which shows the status of the fuel hoses. Starting from the time the hose is lifted, the amount/quantity dispensed and till it is put back, everything can be seen in real time!! There are few more things which I really liked. Shell takes care of its employees and safety is ALWAYS a standard. The truck drivers who deliver fuel to the stations are always expected to wear seat belts and they are subjected to random checks anywhere. All the trucks are fitted with GPS to track their movement. The employees are trained in various processes and making sure the customers are getting quality also ensures that the employees move up the ladder. There are a lot more things which can be written about the nearly 2 hours long meet, but that will be too painful for you all to read 😛

Oil companies like HP offer petro cards and I wish Shell could come out with the same. Things like these have been thought about and it would work out once there are more sites coming up. After a quick discussion about traffic, fuel affecting the economy,etc., I took leave from the place.

Overall, I am satisified with Shell and will probably continue filling up there. However, I was not told exactly as to what would be done to check on the case I was ‘cheated’ the first time at that site. The only solace is, I have the contact details of Mr. Giriprasad and Mr. Sabir and would be able to check with them for any further details.

Here is a pic of Mr. Sabir(L) and Mr. Nair(R)

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