Self-service petrol perplexes some customers

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014
debbie wilson, richard wells
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
TEETHING TROUBLE: A fed-up Debbie Wilson moves on, while Richard Wells checks out the new self-service petrol pumps at Pak ’n Save.

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Confusion at its self-service pumps is driving some customers away from Timaru's new Pak 'n Save petrol station.

Yesterday at the pump, Debbie Wilson said she found the self-service pumps confusing and complicated. "We shop at Pak 'n Save regularly but this is the first time we have had to use the self-service petrol station . . . I cannot figure out how to use it."

Another user, Richard Wells, had trouble working out how to use a fuel voucher at the machine.

"I just wanted to use my fuel voucher and I cannot find a place where my fuel voucher can be inserted into, and I also wanted to pay by cash and that does not seem possible - making this simple proposition a hard one."

The Timaru Herald asked users about their experiences after receiving a complaint from a customer who said her debit card was rejected, despite having sufficient funds in her account.

On Facebook, while some commenters said the system was easy to use and there was clear notification about a $150 funds hold for credit card users, others said they had had problems.

Melissa Breen said the self-service station worked for her partner but took the money out of their account.

"A few hours later it was back but wasn't [sic] happy."

The funds are released almost immediately after the transaction but some banks may take longer to release the hold.

ANZ spokesman Stefan Herrick said this was a known issue when using a credit card to pay for transactions.

"The transaction will not take place unless there is $150 credit available to cover the cost of a tank of fuel."

Most people have more credit, so it is not a problem. However, if the problem persisted, the bank recommended customers used debit cards if the $150 was not available in their credit account.

Foodstuffs group communications director Antoinette Shallue said that there were clear instructions on the self-service station and if anybody did require help they could press the call button and an attendant would come and help.

"Generally customers really enjoy the convenience of using the unmanned site because it is quite quick. But we are more than happy to help and train more staff if the problem persists," she said.

The Timaru self-service station launched four weeks ago and for the first three weeks an attendant was on site to help customers get to grips with it.

Instructions for using vouchers are printed on the backs of the vouchers.

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- The Timaru Herald

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