Just when you thought the oil companies couldn't go any lower...
Gas station refuses customer a call for help.
This weekend my friend was at the Shell Oil station at the corner of Burbank and White Oak Ave, just off the busy 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley.
After she PAID FOR HER GAS, she realized she'd locked her keys (and cell phone) in her car. When she asked the station manager to use the phone to call AAA HE SAID NO.
Remember when they called them Service Stations? Remember when gas stations used to be a refuge? A little oasis off the lonely, dangerous roads?
Not at White Oak Shell in Encino.
My friend begged to use the phone to call AAA - a FREE number. Her car was still parked at the pump. The money in his cash register was still warm from her hand.
"No. I will not help you. You cannot call from here."
Did you know the State of California gets about 1/3 of its revenue from tourism? Can you imagine some bedraggled, revenue-generating vacationer getting off the major freeway right there and being greeted with him? Arnold better get back on the set for a few more commercials.
My friend wound up in tears at the grocery store next door. Where they very kindly let her call for help, and didn't give her a hard time.
Maybe they should change their motto from "You can be sure of Shell" to:
"You can be sure as Shell we don't give a Shell about you, even 30 seconds after you Shell out your money to us."
Their website says "At Shell, we're committed to our customers." Technically, they misspelled the word as 'commited'. Is that the corporate equivalent of crossing your fingers behind your back when you tell a lie?
Since they don't operate on any moral mandate to assist travelers anymore, here are a few of the things gas stations are required by CALIFORNIA STATE LAW to provide to their customers:
* Free Water And Air
* Post the COMPLAINT PHONE NUMBER of the California Division of Measurements Standards (800) 356-7057 on their water and air pumps.
* Provide clean and functioning bathrooms
Violations can mean a fine of $250 per substantiated complaint if repairs aren't made within 10 working days.
If you don't want to call 1-800-356-7057 to file a complaint, you may also submit a complaint form online to the California Division of Measurement Standards: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/dms/aw/airwater.asp
Good luck and happy motoring.