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ENOC to reintroduce self-service
In 2008, a three-month self-service trial was a flop. Will it work this time around?
April 30, 2013 3:05 by Muhammad Aldalou
The day has finally come; when history would repeat itself and ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company) would once again launch its experimental self-service system for customers at 10 of its petrol stations in Dubai. Only this time, after having evidently learnt from its past, the company plans to roll it out in phases, and with caution.
Come July (yes, one of the hottest months of the year), between midnight and 6am at selected stations, customers will experience first-hand what it’s like to fill up their own petrol in Dubai. Obviously, Enoc says that customer support staff will be on standby to ‘familiarise’ people with fuel dispensing; at least during the initial phase.
Last year, when ADNOC announced it would be having a go at modernising its own stations in Abu Dhabi, Kipp did describe the notion of it being popular or successful as ‘laughable'; if for no other reason than our heavy dependence on customer service. Oh, and the hot weather.
Today, we can honestly say we would love to be proven wrong.
This isn’t Enoc’s first attempt at automating its facilities. In December 2008, after a rather unpopular three-month pilot scheme, the company said it was apparent that its system was not widely accepted by customers and would not be successful.
At the time, The National echoed the disbelief and criticism of several unsatisfied customers and critics who – among other things – described the service as being too complicated. ‘Motorists were required to pay a cashier for what they expected to pump before filling their tanks. If they did not pump the correct amount they had to return to the cashier for change, or to pay the extra’, stated the report.
Kipp reckons – or at least hopes – the company is much more prepared this time around. After all, it has been nearly five years. “Over the past months, we have been modernising and updating our systems to facilitate self-service at 10 service stations. These have been selected on the basis of the footfall and location to minimise inconvenience to motorists, and enable them to become more accustomed with the new system,” Enoc’s managing director Burhan Al Hashemi said.
On a side note, the company assures that no staff will be made redundant as a result of this scheme.