The Times: Chequing out: “SHELL has quietly banned cheques from its petrol station forecourts.”: “A company already with a reputation for arrogance and high-handedness, now I come to think of it.”: Posted Saturday 12 November 2005
By Martin Waller
SHELL has quietly banned cheques from its petrol station forecourts. A friend filled up the other day and found he couldn’t use his debit card. No problem, I’ll write a cheque. No, we no longer accept them.
Cheques are on the way out, admittedly, but the British Retail Consortium is unaware of any of its members having banned them, and BP has every intention to keep taking them.
I ring Shell to get an awful lot of corporate guff about “retailer resources” and “transaction value” and the claim, as is the way of such things, that it is in customers’ interests to restrict their choices and that there are signs on the pumps informing them thus. So there.
Now, the more logical among you may have spotted the problem. Petrol, unlike plywood or pancetta, say, is the one purchase you can’t hand back at the counter if your card doesn’t work. Should my friend carry a bucket and siphon tube, just in case? “He should have seen the notice.” Yup, the customer clearly comes first at Shell. A company already with a reputation for arrogance and high-handedness, now I come to think of it.
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