Driving loyalty?

February 14, 2012

I was tempted to join one of these petrol station loyalty cards, on the basis that “why not”. We’re filling up at least once a week, there is no supermarket petrol station in town and if I stick to one brand then maybe I can get some form of reward.

So we signed up and in due course received a nice plastic card and even some discounts.

The trouble is not 12 months after joining, the petrol station in question has changed ownership, and of course the new operator no longer accepts the loyalty card.

Now the company in question here were quite clever. They sent out some money-off vouchers to encourage me to use their next nearest service station which is about 15 miles away. So although I wasn’t going to go there very often there would be occasions that I might be passing and therefore fill up there.

On the first occasion on presenting the money-off voucher the person at the desk explained that they had never seen the voucher before, but were willing to accept them since it was clear to her that they were indeed genuine. A clear case of “didn’t get the memo” or “didn’t read the memo”.

On the second time of visiting, early last week, I was unable to make any purchase because I couldn’t, they didn’t have any, a clear case of “didn’t get the fuel”. Now to be fair there was at least an inch of snow on the ground, maybe even two, but having said that the next petrol station I came to, some 500 yards further into town seemed to have no problems at all getting either petrol or diesel.
Now funnily enough I did try to contact the company in question but their web site kicked me out as soon as I submitted my comment, and I do not believe it actually got through to them.

The result of all of this? Well at the moment I am a little unsure as to how I feel about them. Part of me still feels they have demonstrated consistent incompetence but part of me now just feels a bit sorry for them and want to give them another chance.
I suppose this is another case of needing to focusing on the basics like getting fuel to the forecourt and ensuring you are able to communicate within the organisation, otherwise are you just wasting your time with those fancy cards, web sites and points statements?