Friday, May 11, 2012

Not All Gas Stations are Created Equal

This past week has been... interesting.  Two notable things have happened that are in such odd juxtaposition that I had to point it out. 

The first was the story I blogged about a few weeks ago (Stealing Gas) when I told the story about a local Conoco OnCue station that had accidentally programmed the pumps a dollar lower than intended.  I took the time to step into the store to notify the employees of the mistake.  I blogged about it because I wanted to talk about the importance of doing the right thing but I was also a little jilted for not being thanked for correcting the problem.  I forwarded my information to the Conoco corporate website along with a link to my blog post and shockingly heard back from them.  Not only did they read my message but they read my blog too!  Then they forwarded the message to the Regional Supervisor, Tommy Shreffler, who turns out to be a pretty wonderful guy.  He also read my blog and contacted me.  How amazing is that?  Not only did he thank me, but he told me that because I notified them of the error that morning, the pumps were only incorrect for about 15 minutes.  How cool is it that I likely saved them a bundle by catching the mistake right away!?!?  I feel really good about that and I am extremely impressed that there was feedback and communication with me.  When I sent the original message I really didn't think it would ever get any attention, just sent out into the black hole of some generic corporate email.  No one was happier than me to get a response, a thank you, and Tommy told me today he is sending me a gift card!  Me = jaw on the floor and a committed customer to the OnCue stations. 

The irony is last week as I headed out of town with my Mom I stopped at a Loves gas station in Guthrie to fill up.  I purchased gas and got on the highway to head to OKC for a visit to the consignment sale, lunch and then dropping mom off at the airport.  Everything seemed fine until I got to the city.  Suddenly the car started bucking and jumping and acting like it was about to stall.  My check engine light came on and I quickly found a place to pull off the busy street downtown.  It was a warm afternoon and since I had the baby with me, it became clear pretty quick that this was not good.  No AC, 60 miles from home, and stuck with Mom's flight scheduled to leave in less than 2 hours.  I called Chet and while he made arrangements with our Repair shop to use a trailer and got a friend's suburban to tow me home Mom, Reagan and I walked 3 blocks to the only restaurant near by to get out of the heat.  Mom then grabbed a cab so she didn't miss her flight and Reagan and I waited in a (somewhat shady) motel lobby till Chet made his way to us.  Thank goodness I had diapers and formula with me.  5 hours after the car died I was finally home, exhausted, hot and worried about the jeep. 

After a week of investigating the origin of the problem and trying to fix the damage our mechanic determined the fuel was diesel which had done all sorts of bad things to my engine.  I called the gas station but they told me they didn't have any problems with the gas, and didn't think my problems were from bad fuel.  So started my headache.  We paid the $380 repair bill and I called the Loves Headquarters to file an official claim for reimbursement.   So far I have talked with three people and it seems like they are willing to investigate the issue.  But for now, I am still out a bundle of cash and still driving Chet's truck because even though we have the jeep back, it is running very rough.  And it can't idle because of the sludge in the engine.  We have been told to run a few tanks of regular gas through it to finish flushing out the bad stuff and hopefully things will get better. Right now all I know is it sounds terrible, and Chet has been driving it.  You can't let it idle at a light so you have to put it into neutral and put your foot on the brake and the gas to keep it revved up.  Apparently Chet says I can't handle that, and honestly I really don't want to mess with it.  So, I've got good old red, Chet's Chevy truck. 

Let's take a minute to discuss Chet's lovely truck shall we?  I know all boys love their trucks, and surely that has to be true because love can be the only explanation for why he has had that beast for so long.  Don't get me wrong, I love that truck too, because it's paid off and runs.  Those are it's only redeeming qualities.  First there is no power locks or windows.  This has been annoying when you are lugging the baby, car seats, bags, diapers and bottles everywhere.  There is also the obvious safety issues to having a car seat in a single cab truck, with no air bags or safety features.  I am always worried about getting into a crash and not being able to protect Reagan, but this is the only vehicle we have so I pray and hope for the best.  In addition, the stereo face plate constantly pops off, and when the radio does work the speakers often go in and out.  Both doors are so old and rusty that you have to slam them closed to latch and fling your body against them to open.  I made the mistake of rolling down the window the other day, and then it was stuck.  Chet managed to muscle it back up and informed me the window was to remain up for now on.  It was an interesting day when I forgot about this and went to the bank drive thru only to have to get out of truck and stand next to the truck to drop off my check.  But best of all is the lingering smell in that truck.  It's a mix of gym socks and dirty butt, from years of a stinky boy farting into cloth seats on hot summer days.  Whats not to love about this truck?  201,000 miles and that truck is still going strong though. 

So on one hand I have been super impressed with Conoco, and on the other hand Loves has destroyed my Jeep.  Conoco = great customer service, Loves = 10 day (and counting) nightmare.  I find it kind of ironic that both of these incidents happened just a few weeks apart, what are the chances?  Lets hope that Loves takes care of the bill and steps up to admit a mistake, if so all will be forgiven.  As for Conoco, Reagan and I plan to stop in today for a cold drink and a tank of gas at the station on the corner of 51 and S Country Club.  Guess you know where I will be filling up for the rest of my life.  

So after a stressful, expensive week there is only one thing to help keep me sane.  It's my baby girls laughs.  I found her ticklish spot on her thighs and I abuse this information all the time.  I love those giggles!  Enjoy my own personal therapy!

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean in regards to the truck love thing. Zeb's truck is the makes some loud knocking noise everytime you drive it with the air on, I have to slam doors shut, and it definitely smells like boy. Gotta love those country boys and their trucks! :)

    Hope Love's pulls through!