By Andy Sambidge
ENOC says day one of petrol stations trial was a success but many motorists say they are unhappy.
The Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) claims that public reaction has been positive to day one of a trial of self service petrol stations in the UAE.
The company started a two-month trial at 10 petrol stations in Dubai and the northern emirates on Tuesday.
Day one, ENOC claimed, saw a positive response and the company plans to roll out the self service system to all its 165 stations if the trial proves successful.
But UAE daily The National reported on Wednesday that motorists filling up at Al Manara Enoc station on Jumeirah Beach Road had taken an instant dislike to the self-service system.
Enoc claims it launched the project in the intense heat of the summer months because it was a better test of customers’ willingness to fill their own tanks.
But although the August weather was a common theme of the complaints to the paper, the main bone of contention was the payment scheme, which requires customers to pay for the fuel before filling their tanks.
In a recent Arabian Business online poll, 35 percent of respondents thought it was a good idea and would be encouraged to fill up their petrol tanks without the assistance of a pump assistant, while 38 percent were appalled by the prospect.
Another 15 percent of people who took part in our poll said they would be staying away from the self service stations in favour of ones where you remain seated in your car while an assistant does all the work.
A further 12 percent of respondents said they were willing to give the new system a go and would see how it all worked out.
The locations of the 10 service stations are Al Bada’a, opposite Jumeirah Jail, Al Manara on Jumeirah Beach Road, Al Hashimi, behind Sahara Centre, Al Falah, Emirates Road, Sharjah, Al Arouba, Ajman-Sharjah Road, Al Ittihad, Greenbelt Road in Sharjah, Al Rafia on the Dhaid-Sharjah Road, Al Gharafa on Ajman Main Street, Marine, Fujairah Marine Club and Thouban on Sharjah-Fujairah highway.
Filling in my own gas is not an issue. What tickles my nerve is the fact that we still pay the same price. In countries such as America and Canada, self-serve stations usually have a lower price.