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Preventing Drive Offs

The problem of customers driving off without paying from a service station has always been a problem but has increased in recent years with the general decline in the global economy. Several car registration recognition systems are now available but their effectiveness is only as good as the database of “bad” registrations. Australia has introduced a “National Drive-Off Register” to build up a database of known problem registrations and take action against them. Nic Moulis, ACAPMAS General Manager, gave a presentation about the new initiative at the “Convenience and Fuel Industry Conference in 2012” in Melbourne which is summarised in the article below.

Service station owners unite to stop drive-off crime

The operators of service stations across Australia are telling criminals that ‘enough is enough’ and that if you drive-off without paying you will be caught. During the Convenience and Fuel Industry Conference 2012 in Melbourne last week, the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) and MotorMouth announced the launch of a National Drive-off Register, which will be used by the petrol convenience industry and police to catch criminals.

Hundreds of delegates from the petroleum distribution and petrol convenience industry were told that together ACAPMA and MotorMouth have built a database and reporting mechanism that will help record and follow up on incidents that occur at service stations.

“The National Drive-off Register provides the framework that aims to reduce criminal activity on service station forecourts around Australia,” said Mr Nic Moulis, ACAPMA CEO, at the launch.

“Over two years ago, the ACAPMA Board decided that there was a need for such a scheme after information from members indicated an increase in the number of incidents involving drive-offs and failure-to-pay.

“These crimes have an overwhelming effect on communities in terms of safety and cost; and impact greatly on resources of the petrol convenience industry and the police.”

Delegates were told that pre-payment, while a solution during certain times of trading, would have a great effect on Australia’s productivity.

“Our industry serves millions of customers each day, pre-paid will slow transaction times and this will impact Australia’s productivity. We believe truck drivers, tradespeople, taxis, couriers and many others will be delayed, causing an increase in the cost of them doing business,” said Mr Moulis.

The National Drive-off Register was described as a positive example of the industry helping itself, as well as the government and police.

“The problem between the police and petrol retailers is caused by a lack of consistency in response by all parties. By taking control though the National Drive-off Register we are attempting to eliminate these issues,” said Mr Moulis.

“We are going to manage the expectations both of the police and our industry in an efficient and realistic manner.

“Our aim, in telling criminals that drive-off crime will not be tolerated, is to safeguard and protect the well-being of service station customers and staff, while reducing crime and the fear associated with it.

“Through the activity we propose to drive across our forecourts, we will start to tell criminals that drive-offs are something they will get caught doing; that they are being watched and reported.’

The scheme is open to the whole industry and all service station owners are encouraged to be involved. To subscribe to the National Drive-off Register, operators need only to download the registration form from or call 1300 160 270 for more information.

“I urge operators to subscribe to the register and police to engage. Regardless of who you are or where you are located, the industry, the police and the community needs to come together to solve this.”


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Shell UK Retail to use Voice of the Customer solution to help customer satisfaction and loyalty

The system will be used across 800 service stations nationwide to gain and analyse customer feedback and act in real time to ‘improve operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience’.

The retail division of Shell UK Oil Products (Shell), Royal Dutch Shell plc’s largest global group of energy and petrochemical companies, is using the NICE Fizzback Voice of the Customer (VoC) solution to help the company take a more customer-centric approach across its retail fuel business.

The solution gathers feedback in real time from various channels, with a focus on mobile, from across the entire UK Shell-owned retail operation. This allows the company to gain valuable insights from the voice of the customer – driving operations teams to immediately take action to address the customer experience.

“By adopting NICE Fizzback, we can listen to what customers are saying in real time and react accordingly to their needs to help provide a better level of customer service. We want to put the customer at the center of the business for ourselves and our retailers. The NICE Fizzback Voice of the Customer solution is helping us do that,” said Melanie Lane, General Manager at Shell UK Retail.

Customers who are part of Shell’s Driver Club loyalty program are prompted to provide feedback via SMS or email immediately after filling up at the petol station, while those not in the programme are encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences via other feedback channels such as Web surveys. NICE Fizzback enables Shell to assess the performance of every Shell-owned service station in the UK to ensure they are meeting Shell’s high consumer standards. All service stations have constant access to customer feedback, enabling Shell Retail to address any customer issues in real time and to improve the customer experience.