Self service; oh the horror!
Don't jump out of your seat when you read this but petrol stations are giving the self-service pump idea another go.
July 16, 2012 11:09 by Muhammad Aldalou
We all remember a time when we heard an idea that probably sounded good in theory or if applied to another dimension but it fell hard on our ears. Kipp’s ears are feeling heavy and that’s because there is a strong possibility that self-service petrol pumps may come to the UAE; are you kidding me?
While filling your own fuel is common in western countries; we think the idea of it being a success in the UAE is laughable. You can’t force such a process on the culture that exists here. The country is made up of a huge expatriate population; expats that are here to work, work, work and not fill their own petrol.
Let’s face it; customer service is sacred in the UAE; and expected! The ideology behind the perception of a way of life has created a thick cloud of expectation that no amount of initiative could break.
Under this initiative, half the pumps in ADNOC petrol stations will enable motorists to operate and pay fuel for themselves. And this is just the first step.
As an incentive, a point’s scheme will be introduced for customers filling their own tanks, which will be redeemable against food and water.
The funny part is that customers will also have the option to be served by an attendant if they don’t want to do it themselves. That’s like having a fruit section at a Wendy’s. ADNOC has already tried this scheme three years ago and guess what; it was flung of the table due to lack of interest.
It is heartbreaking to see good and positive initiatives getting scrapped because of the cultural expectations and perspective that haunt many of the residents of the UAE.
It is uncertain as to why ADNOC believes that this scheme will work now. What has changed in the last three years that could possibly alter the perception of residents? We all have that friend that parks at the petrol station mart and says “I wish they would come out to me like they do at Grocery Shops.”
Good luck with the self service.
Since self we are on the topic of petrol; the UAE has been revealed as having the most expensive fuel in the Gulf and the third most in the Arab World.
The UAE had relatively low petrol prices before a series of price hikes over the past three years. Officials argue that prices are not too high compared with those in the west as they are still heavily subsidised.