[AMA] I Work for A Fuel Station in WA. Ask Me Anything!

I have been working for ……… WA for the past 4 years, ask me anything including Pay, penalty, discounts etc…

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Coles Express
Coles Express

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        • +1 vote

          Ouch!

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            @DisabledUser26950: Thanks for doing this AMA. What can you do on-site while waiting for RACQ to bail you out?

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            @DisabledUser26950: @keji: come inside and have a bottle of water or a coffee on us… you can leave ur car by the pump as long as you want, given you are inside the store. Obviously you have to pay for the fuel…

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          Ive even had the odd ambo do it as well :(

    • +1 vote

      As an Insider, what is your opinion on petrol price cycles? Are they a necessary way for the petrol companies to make money, or could they just keep prices constant and stop gouging consumers?

      Quote from the ACCC, "A petrol price cycle is a movement in retail price from a low point (or trough) to a high point (or peak) to a subsequent low point. In these cycles, prices steadily go down for a period followed by a sharp increase.

      Price cycles are the result of deliberate pricing policies of petrol retailers, and are not directly related to changes in wholesale costs."

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        5th amendment Q which trump will not answer

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        Unfortunately they don’t share any pricing related issues with us and as well as the managers at all. Sometime we get really angry customers because the fuel price but most of our customers understands our limitations. And we are not allowed to share any fuel pricing in advance with customers. (We know the next days price in a day advance).

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      do you have any stand out stories of weird stuff/customers happening whilst you were at work which you can share?

      •  

        I have sold 48 single packs of facial tissue paper boxes.

        Once one customer asked me if the fuel was fresh? I answered no, its about few million years old.

    • +2 votes

      PIES ! I purchased a pie and it was rock solid , what is the hold times 8,10 or 12 hours ?

      When is the best time to buy a pie ?

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        My guess would be shortly after its cooked, but I'm just a dumb Signwriter, not a pastry chef!

        • +1 vote

          There has never been a signwriter AMA. You should start one. I have some questions.

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          @TightBottom: such as?

        • +1 vote

          @Micko179: \
          How did you learn? Did you have a natural aptitude for art etc? How are modern printing things impacting your business?
          How much does the local fruit shop pay to get their windows done with the specials each week?
          What are some ballpark/indicative costs for different jobs?
          IS most of your business new or repeat?
          What are the most lucrative jobs?
          What is the weirdest thing you ever did?
          Would you recommend it as a job for somebody starting out?

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          @mskeggs: my Father basically forced me to do it(he had a Transport Company) & we were heavily involved in Motorsports(I will say that I did enjoy doing all of the race cars),

          I always wanted to be a Mechanic or similar & when I finished my Apprenticeship I bought a Panel Shop which I operated for over 15 years.

          I haven't touched a brush for a long time but do know several other 'writers' who do & yes they do fruit shops, pubs etc. Depends how many boards they have, somewhere around the $200 mark per shop, per week.

          Most of our work these days is 'Digital' for better or worse!

          Hmmm, weirdest… Maybe Signwriting the roof, of the Blue Heeler Hotel in the middle of Summer, or the roof of the Port Office Hotel in Brisbane (so the planes can read it) Back in huge Power's Bitter days! We even did the Ettamogah Pub!!!

          Edit: Actually, weirdest thing… Back in the 80's I did an Aeroplane (old DC9 War plane) for a Car Yard (Aeroplane Car Company) which was subsequently shut down by the council!

      •  

        No, the holding time is 6 hours at max. If you come back with the pie, I definitely would normally give you another one without a receipt, can refund you with a receipt. For a fresh pie, follow the smell and look behind the pie for a time stamp.

        • +1 vote

          I used to do work for other fuel companies, & regularly got freebies when they were doing dumps/drops, mostly they were crap but hey, they were free! Used to love it when there was Peppersteak left over!

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          @Micko179: we are not allowed to give any expired/timed out food to anyone, the y go straight to the bin.

        • +1 vote

          @fahim:

          Which bin? Asking for a friend.

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          @GregRust:
          This made me laugh my ass off XD

    •  

      Is there lots of customer come and buy 2 x 20 rolls of toilet paper for extra 10 cents?

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        Yap, since it’s the everyday low price and same price as the super market. With a shopping voucher, you get another 4 cents and if you have a flybuys offer of 10cents off, you can claim a total of $0.24 cents off a litre for up to 150 litres…

    •  

      Why did the fuel price jump 20 cents per litre last week because Trump bombed Syria when the fuel in the storage tanks was the same?

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        It was also in the news! I want to ask the same question if anyone want to answer.

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        Last week?! It's been the same price since before Easter! Luckily I had 3 fueled up Hybrid Camry's & 180 litres backup!

        Edit: predictive text

        • +1 vote

          180L back up?

          You store 9 jerrycans at home?

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          @LoveBargain15: 2 X 60l drums & quite a few Jerry cans (have Jetskis)

    • +1 vote

      I normally just fill up and wander into the store barefoot if I'm not wearing shoes or in thongs that day. Are there many customers like that or you don't really notice or care?

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        I personally don’t like people coming in barefoot after moping when the floor is wet, that means we need to mop the area again to get rid of the dark spots. No many people does that, but ur not alone!

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          Aren't those dark spots caused by shoe-wearing customers as well?

  • +2 votes

    Thanks guys! I will finish it off now. Thank you all.

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      sometimes when the 4 cents off per litre supermarket docket doesnt scan, the attendant presses the 4 cents discount trigger button on their screen. are you allowed to give anyone this discount?

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        No, only if you have voucher with the date showing clearly, incase it doesn’t scan the barcode.

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          Can you scan a fuel discount barcode from a phone?

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    I was in Cooma today and used the Fuel check app to find the lowest price. But when I got to the station it was 2c a litre more than on the app.

    What's up with that? Who sends the price to the app, and how often is it updated?

    •  

      I believe we have nothing to do with that app as it is not managed by us but 3rd parties. You might want let them know about this bug. Check that you have selected the right date, because we change our price at 6 am, it doesn’t work like traditional pricing according to the date. In any given date fuel price changes twice.

      •  

        Ok thanks for the quick reply mate!

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      Fuel Check is run by the NSW Government. OP is from WA; he wouldn't know anything about it.

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      FuelSpy app

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    Please note that all the information may or may not be 100% correct, hence should not be used as reference purpose.

  •  

    How many litres does your store hold of ULP, Diesel, Gas?

    How much petrol do you sell in an average shift?

    How many more people fill up on mondays compared to tuesdays?

    If someones clearly on their phone will you get on the tanoy and tell them to put it down?

    Do you believe mobile phones are a danger in a petrol station?

    Has anyone driven off with hose still in car?

    If a small fire erupted (say 1m wide, 1m long, flames 1m high 1m from bowser) would you fight it or run?

    •  

      Can’t answer all of your questions but I can answer the following….

      If I see someone on the phone I immediately stop the pump and request to get off the phone.

      I think they are a possible danger.

      Nobody driven off like that, yet!

      I will fight the fire if I think it’s doable after making sure everyone is safe around the area.

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      I believe the real danger with phones are that they are 1. A distraction and 2. Have the potential to ignite fuel if they were dropped on the concrete and caused a spark of some sort.. perhaps OP can confirm

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        Training mentions it could be a source of ignition but also a distraction. In my 5 years at CE the distraction part was more of a concern, folks just walking infront of cars not looking.

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    Are you punished by bosses/managers/owners in some way for drive offs ? And are you encouraged to chase after them or approach those you suspect will drive off ?
    I filled small ammount of fuel, went to turn around my car and move out of way for car behind to refuel the other day, service station attendant ran out, confronted me, almost jumping in front of my car. Very dangerous for him, if I was going to drive off without paying, he could easily be run over, and it would somewhat be his fault(but I suspect his boss tells him to do these dangerous tactics to stop drive offs) .
    I know one local fuel station takes it out of employees wages, if a drive off occurs. This is unfair and unlawful for the boss to do this kind of thing though.

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      No we are not punished in any way what so ever. At no point of time we are allowed to go outside to confront any possible drive off. Our drive offs are taken care of by police very well.

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        That's great to hear that you are not punished or encouraged to commit acts endangering yourself, just to save the boss a few dollars worth of fuel. What do the police do for drive offs ? I would have thought the police have to dedicate their time to much more serious matters. ie. If 1 changes numberplate before doing a drive off, they would never be caught, as the offense doesn't warrant a great deal of police efforts, compared to other crimes.

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        Work for the same company in VIC. Police are pretty shit when it comes to drive offs. We are currently having trouble with someone who is know to the police for doing drive offs around town yet dont do anything about it.

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          These issues are usually solved by the new recruit police officers and we always have plenty of them. I think police should have a dedicated tram for fuel theft since we pay a lot of GST and fuel tax.

        • +1 vote

          @fahim:

          Why do police get involved with fuel theft? If a customer doesn't pay a bill to a business, it's a civil matter.

          Why do police make exceptions for servos?

        • +2 votes

          @anzacpaul: Because theft is a criminal matter. Unpaid bills are a civil matter.

        • +2 votes

          @anzacpaul: same reason they get involved in shoplifting. Kinda the same thing

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          @JIMB0:

          I would've thought an unpaid bill is theft.

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          @anzacpaul: you wouldn't steal a car…

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          @meisfred: it's a grey area. We had little assistance with drive offs.

  • +1 vote

    How often have you seen people pay for their fuel with a Diner's Club card?

    • +1 vote

      I have never seen one…

  •  
    1. Why is Coles 4c-5c more expensive than other petrol stations?
    2. If petrol profit is 30% and in store purchases are 70% wouldn't make more sense to lure customers in with more competitive fuel prices?
    3. Why do fuel prices fluctuate so much?
    4. Over what period of time do the pumps get calibrated and how often do they get checked by independent inspectors?
    •  
      1. Can’t answer

      2. Depends on how expensive your time is? Do you really want to wait for 10 mins to save $2.50 after having a long day at work? I usually dont.. if you dribe carefully you can save that on your fuel usage of your car.

      3. Can’t answer

      4. Consumer protection has some strict rules regarding them and if you have any queries please phone them up.

  •  
    1. are you aware of the relationship they have with viva and they charge them and arm and a leg for petrol and that is why the charge more f

    2. what do you think about shell (yes shell) starting to open stores and charge less for the same fuel

    3. do you have a gold drop card

  • +1 vote

    Do you clean the diesel stains on the driveway by hosing it down with the petrol pump like this guy in Bairnsdale?

    https://www.9now.com.au/a-current-affair/2018/clip-cjczyrwtb...

    •  

      What a champ.

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    Does fuel station make big money for the owners?

    • +1 vote

      No, they all run at a loss.

      •  

        Hope you're being sarcastic…why so?

  •  

    Enjoy the smell?

  •  

    Thanks for doing this AMA.

    How do you deal with if the petrol you sold is contaminated with water and damages the petrol cars fuel system (even worse in diesel cars as it damages the entire engine)?

    Have you had any cases like this?

    PS for the mods. While the petrol station title is removed from the post title, it still appears while posting a comment "I am associated with XXXXXXXXX".

    •  

      Thanks for the tip, now I know the company (guessed it anyway based on some comments on page 1), 'more expensive than wollies' and '4c vouchers'

  •  

    How do they deal with staff health and safety, after armed holdups ?
    Do they offer paid time off for casual staff ? Counselling ? Compensation payments ?
    The local coles express in Wollongong was held up several times, over fairly short time period. I think it was such a major issue that they no longer open between midnight and 5am, just because of the potential violent troublemakers.

  •  

    Do you get many cases of customers returning with contamination in their fuel tanks or scratches on their car from the car wash?

    If so, has their been any reimbursements that you know of?

  •  

    What is a good value item if you want a warm snack at 2 am in the morning? Haha lol can be bought from your fuel store.

    •  

      A sausage rol!!!