Tuesday 29 July 2008

Pump up the...

Filling fuel is painful now-a-days. I tend to gravitate towards the 'sada' fuel (88 Octane) every time a pump attendant asks. Now, why would I need higher Octane on my 11 year old carburettor car? Yes, a few would argue for it, but I suspect, there would be only a marginal increase in performance.

My regular, company-owned BPCL pump at Bandra-Kurla Complex has some strange rules. For the last few months they have stopped selling regular petrol and stock up only on Speed (88 Octane with additives) and Speed 97. There is no explanation for this strange behaviour. But inexplicably, they have a fuel additive on sale right there. So when I bought the additive and was about to add it to the tank before getting my weekly tank full, I discovered that only Speed was available. So now I'm stuck with a bottle of additive for the past few months and have to find a way to use it up somewhere.

Secondly, for the last few months, I have been arguing with the pump attendant and subsequently the manager, because when they swipe my credit card, they don't give me a bill, just a copy of my credit card receipt, which I am entitled to anyway. Thankfully last week, they gave me a printout which resembled a bill. Hope this moment of sagacity lasts.

Another thing that has quietly disappeared is what used to be a regular feature at better run fuel pumps. A bevy of attendants armed with squeegees and mops and suggestions to buy a dashboard cleaner and top up the oil and coolant, etc used to hover around expectantly. Where are those guys? Or will they appear only when a new customer care exercise is launched?

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