Watch Out
The New "Shell" Game
Can Cost You
Big Time
 

The New "Shell" Game
Photo Gallery
Contacts In and Around Ashland, OR
Response - 9/3/04
As of 10/2/04 However
As of January 31, 2012 - Still Cheating Their Customers

(Editor's note: We reported on this Shell station near Ashland, Oregon back in October, 2004. Read the eMail from Flo that we received January 28, 2010 and as of February 1, 2013, nothing has changed. They still charge 40 to 60 cents a gallon more at their two "Full" service pumps than their two "Mini" service pumps, but no signage shows this and its really hard to see the "Full" service markings (Click on "2."). Our suggestion, don't buy gas from ANY Shell station until Corporate actually does something about this. We'll let you know.

The New "Shell" Game


Dads. While vacationing this year, watch out for the new "Shell" Game, if you stop in any Shell Gas Station along the way. We first ran into this at the Rogue Valley Shell station on I-5, just north of Ashland, Oregon. (461 Valley View Road). The sign said $1.999 for regular (1), so I drove up to a pump. In Oregon, it is illegal to pump your own gas, so most people don't get out of their car while it's being filled. I did. I gave the attendant my credit card and ask him to fill it up with regular. He asked if I wanted my windows cleaned or oil checked. I thought, finally, a gas station that is getting back to a "service" stations. I declined since I didn't need either. He started the pump and went to serve someone else.

I looked at the meter and it seemed to be adding up very quickly. Then I glanced down at the price on that pump. It was $2.599 per gallon. (2) I shut it down and called for the attendant to find out that the difference was. He said I had pulled into a full-service pump line. (Of their two rows of pumps, two are "mini" service and two are "full" service.)

Now, no where on the premises were their any prices showing the cost of FULL service. And their main sign only gave one set of prices for MINI service (1). That is, if you even noticed the sign about 8 feet from the ground at the end of the aisle that said FULL. Now, straight on, it's easy to read (6). However, coming in from the road only shows FU and part of the L which could be FUEL which might give you the idea that they had FULL service if you didn't have anything else on your mind like kids wanting a potty break, other travelers jockeying for a pump from both directions, people talking from their pump to the snack shop, or even considering someone gives FULL service any more, since so few do though when they do, I've always seen a price comparison on the main sign facing the street. In this case, you still were not shown what you were actually paying for their "FULL" service unless you got out of your car and went to the pump to see what the actual price was on the pump. (4).

When I questioned the "Asst Manager", he surly replied, it's clearly marked. And then said sharply, "Don't push your card at me." Well, it was far from clearly marked though it did simply say "FULL" at the end of the aisle, but noting else.

While their main trade is the unaware tourist looking for a little RnR, I wonder how many of their local customers are "clearly aware" that they're paying 60 cents a gallon for this FULL service. Rather than getting $20 worth of gas (10 gallons of gas at $1.999), you get 7.7 gallons of gas at $2.599 and pay $4.62 to have your windows cleaned. That's where, playing the "Shell" Game, you lose, big time.

Consider the following:

1. If you use Shell, insure that the station(s) you use either don't play the "Shell" game or prominently displays comparative pricing and clearly marks each FULL service pump, better than these pumps were "clearly" marked.

2. If you have been buying gas unknowingly at one of these stations, discontinue shopping at that station, let the owner know of your decision, then copy your receipts and contact Shell Oil Company (contact information below) and the Consumer and Business Services Department in the state where the station is located. If you're local, you might let the nearest television station, newspaper and radio stations known and by all means contact your local Better Business Bureau.

3. If you find one of these situations, drive up to the pump and ask for $1.00 worth of gas. Then, be sure they perform all of the "FULL" Services you deserve.

4. Don't drive into ANY Shell station, since it was most likely the Corporate organization that made this promotion and its materials available to the local operator By doing this, you'll be sure that you won't have to risk whether or not they are playing the "Shell" Game with you.

5. Send us the name and address of any Shell station (or other gas station employing similar tactics), and we will post them on our web site. Vacation travel is expensive enough without some local station trying to gouge more money out of us. Email us here.

Photo Gallery

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
6.
7. 8. 9.

1. The only listing of prices on the premises except on the individual pumps. The line before the Diesel 229/9 price and before the Food Mart line is barely visible. It reads "MINI SERVICE." 2. Direct show of row end with "Full Service" cut off at the end of "se" and the word FULL below. 3, 4, 5. Pumps 1, 2, and 3 show no "FULL" price mention accept the actual price on the pump. 6. Shows pump 4 which has the "FULL"  on the end above the pump. As you can see, you can barely read two "LL"s much less the "FU". 7. The second aisle - basically identical to the FULL aisle except that the prices are as posted on the signage (#1). 8. The surly "Asst. Manager" who threaten me. If said that if I didn't stop taking pictures and leave the property, he'd take the camera away. I wonder what he is hiding? 9. The receipt of my gas purchase before I could stop it. $18.99 for 7.3 gallons of gas. If I'd filled my 16 gallon tank, it would have cost $41.58 or which $9.60 would have been paid for the windows not being washed. Contacts in and Around Ashland, Response As of 10/1/04 However

Contacts In and Around Ashland, OR

Better Business Bureau of Oregon and Western Washington, 333 SW Fifth Ave., Ste. 406, Portland, OR 97204 or 503.226.3981 or Fax: 503.226.8200 or htwww.thebbb.org or info@thebbb.org,

American Automobile Association (AAA) Oregon / Medford, 1777 E Barnett Road, Medford, OR 97504 or 541.779.7170 or 800.325.3089 or Fax: 541.779.5617 Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Shell Oil Co. Steve Miller, Chm, Pres, CEO; Susan M. Borches (VP-Corp Affairs), Eydie Pengelly, Mktg Mgr. Shell Oil Co., 1 Shell Plz, 910 Louisiana, Houston, TX 77002, Mailing address POBox 2463, Houston, TX 77252-2463, 713.241.6161 or www.shellus.com then click "Contact" in right top corner. It takes you to "Tell Shell" with options for phone numbers, mailing address or e-mail submissions. Click on the latter and get a list. Click on "Shell Service Stations" and get a form to fill out.

Consumer & Business Services - for the state of Oregon: 350 Winter St NE, Salem, OR 97301-3878, 503.398.4100, 503.378.6444, dcbs.director@state.or.us

Newspaper: John Enders, Editor, The Tidings, PO Box 7, Ashland, OR 97520 503.482.3456, fax 503.482.3688, or tidings@mind.net

Radio Stations:

KAGI-AM, talk, news, owned by the State of Oregon Board of Higher Education. jpr@jeffnet.org

KCMX-AM, News, Talk, ABC, rosemary@cybernetisp.net. Dick Bailey, News Director, 541.734.2778

KSKF-FM, KSMF-FM and KSOR-FM, Public Radio, NPR, owned by the State of Oregon Board of Higher Education. Lucy Edwards, News Director, jpr@jeffnet.org

Television Stations (Medford):

KDRV-TV: ABC, Renard Maiuri, General Manager, maiuri@cmc.net

KFTS-TV and KSYS-TV: Public TV, William R. Campbell, President/CEO. No email. 800.888.1847

KOBI-TV: NBC, Elliott Eki, News Director, kobi@kkobi5.com

KTVL-TV: CBS, Gary Leaming, News Director, ktvl@ktvl.com

Response

September 3, 2004

Dear Mr. Gordon,

Please accept our apology for any inconvenience you experienced at one of our locations. Delivering world-class customer service is a high priority for Shell. We are disappointed when we fail to meet your expectations and we believe the experience you had is an exception to the way Shell branded retailers typically operate.

Our review indicates your experience occurred at one of our independently owned and operated locations. Please be assured that we have formally recorded your feedback and the appropriate party will be notified. Customer feedback helps us to identify opportunities for improvement.

Please provide our office with your receipt of purchase.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns. We value your patronage and hope you will continue to choose Shell's quality products. If you have additional questions, please contact Shell Customer Care toll-free at 1-888-GO-SHELL (1.888.467.4355) or send an e-mail to shellcustomercare@shellopus.com.

Sincerely,

Shell Solutions Center
Customer Care

As of 10/2/04 However (Make at 4/17/06)


Well, we stopped in our Ashland Shell station to see if anything had changed. The prices did change. Unfortunately, they've gone up since we were originally there and the higher prices at the Full Pump are still there with no indication on any signage that they are charging more for going to those pumps.

The interesting thing is that Shell Corporate was the only company we heard from, though the letter was written to us annonoymously. We have not heard anything from any of the other contacts we made: Automobile Club of America - Medford, the Better Business Bureau - Portland, Consumer & Business Services - for the state of Oregon in Salem, The Tidings newspaper - Ashland, Ashland radio stations: KAGI-AM, KCMX-AM, KSKF-FM, KSMF-FM or KSOR-FM. or the closest television stations 20 miles away in Medford: KDRV, KFTS, KSYS, KOBI or KTVL.

Oh well, so much for the little people.

As of January 28, 2010 - Shell is still Cheating Their Customers


(Editor's note: We received this email today showing that this Shell and Corporate have been letting this go on for over four years.)

Letter_Text: "me and my husband is traveling from eugene or. to redding california and stop by to that shell station in 461 valley view road and experience the same, the sign says 2.99 we gas up about 16.85 gallons to fill up the tank, my husband went to the rest room and me their mini store w/ my 3 yr old son i notice that they clean up the winshield (not really good clean...but on my mind free service would be very much appreciated then back to the road while husband driving i look on the receipt shock with the price they chage us for 3.599 per galons. thats $10.00 dola more ...thats a lot of money for cleaning windshiels......we did not notice any sign for full service if we do we wont get it

Submitter_Name: flor schoening"

Our suggestion. Next time you're in the ara, stop in at this Sheel, go to the pump closest to the store, get $1.00 worth of gas. Be sure they do your windows and check you oil because that's suposedly what you get for the addition 60 cents a gallon. Tourists are probably the ones usually getting hit because locals should know better. And, the Full Service pump, very poorly market, is closest to the convenience store and bathrooms, which tourist use more than locals. Because of this continued action on the owners part, and Shell Corporates lack of concern, whenever possible, in a speech, a presentation, or just talking with friends, I suggest they don't stop at any Shell. Condoning these kinds of activities by the independent owners is irehensible The gas station across the street will end up being much cheaper, in reality. Actually, ANY gas station in a 20 mile area will probably be cheaper. Be for warned.

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