Saturday, 9 January 2010

Petrol stations in the UAE to be self service

Just like in the 'old days' in NZ and Australia, in the UAE there are attendants at the petrol stations who put in the petrol for you, wash the windscreen, take the money and give you the change, you don't have to leave your car.  The petrol distributors are introducing self service, some stations already have it and more are to follow.  The concept of getting out of the car and doing the fill myself is no problem in winter here but in 50 degree heat during summer I really don't fancy standing in the sun pumping gas so I'll pay the extra and tip the guy who does it for me.  They say it will speed the process up, but how many times have you put petrol in the car, gone inside to pay for it and been stuck behind someone who's doing what seems to be their weekly grocery shopping or someone who's child can't decide between peppermint and strawberry.
PS for readers outside the UAE, credit cards cannot be used to pay for petrol in the UAE either, its got to be cash.
Source and photo:
Fuel station attendants will be available for an extra charge to motorists once Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) introduces its self service option later this year.
Customers using the new self service offering will pay a flat rate for their fuel but those still wanting to use an attendant will have to pay extra, the company said on Thursday without saying what the cost would be.
ENOC said the self-serve concept for motorists would "bring about time and cost efficiencies and also reduce the waiting time at the service stations" in a statement.
The company added that it was considering the implementation of the self-serve concept as an option across its network of 170 service stations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates by the end of the first half of 2010.
Some of its employees currently involved in attending to customers at service stations may be transferred to other service stations in line with the company’s expansion across the UAE while other may also be trained for other careers within the company.
"The group is looking at providing motorists the choice to fill up petrol on their own and pay at normal retail prices, or use the full-serve option by attendants at an additional fee," the statement added.
According to ENOC, the move "is in keeping with international trends and offering customers greater convenience" and follows the results of a pilot scheme held in 2008.
"By learning from global best practices and integrating these into its local petroleum retailing business, EPPCO/ENOC hopes to benefit customers and the UAE community at large," it added.
The company said it has recently invested AED50 million to "modernise and automate all its service stations, and enhance customer service, operational efficiency and environmental performance".
Services at the revamped stations will be managed from a remote facility, saving time and introducing new ‘interactive’ features for customers at the fuel pump. The new systems will be fully operational within the first half of 2010, the company said.

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