Osoyoos gas station owner puts customers first after fuelling foul-up | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Osoyoos gas station owner puts customers first after fuelling foul-up

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February 04, 2021 - 12:03 PM

A South Okanagan gas station owner is receiving high praise, and lots of it, by his customers for taking proactive action following a refuelling mixup.

Gagandeep Singh Atwal notified customers as soon as he could with a social media post following an incident that took place while his fuel tanks were being replenished at Osoyoos Shell in Osoyoos this past weekend.

According to Gagandeep's post, the fuel delivery driver dumped one compartment of regular gas into the diesel storage tank and one compartment of diesel in the regular gas storage tank.

The gas station immediately stopped selling regular gas and diesel after being informed of the error and placed signs informing his customers the station wouldn’t be able to sell certain grades of fuel.

Gagandeep put out a request for customers who purchased fuel between 3 and 7 p.m. on Jan. 30 to bring invoices of costs incurred to make vehicle repairs due to the fouled fuel, along with their fuel invoice.

Osoyoos Shell is being praised by customers and non-customers alike after owner Gagandeep Singh Atwal went to great lengths to look after his customers following a refuelling mix-up this past weekend.
Osoyoos Shell is being praised by customers and non-customers alike after owner Gagandeep Singh Atwal went to great lengths to look after his customers following a refuelling mix-up this past weekend.
Image Credit: GOOGLE STREET VIEW

“We are committed to stand by our customers and take care of their repair costs incurred due to this error,” he said in the post, apologizing for the error.

The mixed fuel tanks were emptied and cleaned the following day, fuel filters were replaced on the pumps and hoses and connecting pipes were flushed.

“Insurance will cover it at one point in the future, but right now we’re paying customers out of pocket,” Atwal says in a telephone interview today Feb. 4. “I would rather deal with the insurance company on my own rather than have my customers deal with them and face delays in getting payment."

Gagandeep says he's not sure how extensive damage can be from mixing regular gas and diesel fuel, but believes it can foul fuel pumps and cause a vehicle to stall.

He would have posted his notice on social media even sooner than he did, but he had to contact Shell for approval of the message first.

He says the gas station has video recordings of pump traffic last Saturday afternoon, and if customers don’t have a receipt from their purchase, he can use video to identify the vehicle.

“I’m collecting all the evidence, creating a case for each customer for insurance purposes,” he says.

Gagandeep says he recently covered all the bills a customer from Alberta presented, including towing charges.

“We’re trying to do as much as we can. I was amazed at the post on Facebook. There wasn’t a single negative comment,” he says.

Gagandeep's post received numerous comments of praise for his fast action and customer service.

“Unbelievable customer service. Thank you for your honesty,” read one comment.

"What a wonderful response to this unfortunate event," said another.

Even non-customers responded.

“Turning a bad thing into good makes me a customer. Which station is it?"

“We live in a small community. People know us for our good name. We care for each other. Even though this incident wasn’t my fault, it’s still my fault," Gagandeep says. "From the corporate side, I am the last link in the chain before the customer. 

“Rather than have, say 30 different people suffer, it make more sense for me to compensate them and leave it to me to fight with the insurance company.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to tips@infonews.ca and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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