Unbelievably heartwarming customer care at a petrol pump!

Guest Post by Tushar Sakhalkar, my batchmate in college

On 23rd October 2014, I was driving from Pune to Mumbai, and as I do on most Pune-Mumbai drives, I decided to fill up Petrol at Shri Siddhivinayak E Way, a Bharat Petroleum (BP) petrol pump at Punawale (near Pune, just before the Pune-Mumbai Expressway starts).

After the attendant filled up the tank with Rs. 1,900 worth of petrol, I gave him my credit card. The card was swiped and I entered the PIN. I signed the charge slip without paying any attention and drove off. I got an SMS while I was on the Expressway. I did not read it since I was driving.

When I checked the SMS on reaching Mumbai, I was shocked to see the amount stated as Rs. 1,90,000. I checked the slip and it was matching.

I called up Standard Chartered Bank and tried stopping the payment. However, I was advised to contact the Petrol Pump as soon as possible.

I tried all resources – JustDial, Google, BP Customer Service etc. to find the telephone number of the petrol pump or its owner. However, I just could not get any information. Finally, I decided go the petrol pump while driving to Pune on Monday, 27th
October.

On 27th October, when I talked to attendant at the petrol pump, he immediately directed me to the Manager.

The Manager, Mr. Subhash Choudhari immediately gave me a cheque of Rs. 1,88,100 in my favour, and told me that the cheque had been prepared on 23rd October itself! They had wanted to contact me, but did not have my phone number. They had no option but to wait since all banks were closed for Diwali. They had planned that, on Monday afternoon, they would:

* Meet HDFC Bank (their banker) to try and get my contact details in case I have a bank account. They would have requested the bank to give their phone number to me if bank was not prepared to share my number.

* In case I do not have a relationship with HDFC Bank, they were planning to find the name of my Credit Card issuing bank (from the Credit Card number) and then contact that bank to get my contact details or to have their phone number given to me.

He assured me that I could deposit the cheque that day itself since sufficient balance had been maintained.

He requested me to call the Proprietor, Mr. Navnath Dhavale and inform him that I
have collected the cheque. This was because Proprietor was worried about “my” amount and he may initiate the steps given above with HDFC Bank or the Credit Card issuing bank.

I telephoned Mr. Navnath Dhavale and thanked him, and deposited the cheque later that day. On his part, he expressed regret for the inconvenience and anguish caused to me by the wrong entry of the amount on the charge slip.

Imagine the possible scenarios (based on the experience of others who have been in similar situations):

* Mr. Dhavale could have squabbled with me about extra processing fees charged to him because of excess amount.

* He could have asked me to come and meet him at his petrol pump according to his convenience. (For me, this would have meant at least 90 minutes for the drive of about 30 km.)

* He could have made me make few rounds till he gives the cheque.

* He could have forced me to come though Credit Card issuing bank, making me run around while he could use the funds for some time.

Instead, he tried his best to ensure I got back my money as soon as possible.

I am really happy with this experience at Shi Siddhivinayak E Way. Its attendants, Manager Mr. Subhash Choudhari and Proprietor Navnath Dhavale, are all role models to us!

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7 thoughts on “Unbelievably heartwarming customer care at a petrol pump!

  1. What a wonderfully heartwarming experience that is. Glad you shared it. Makes one feel that the world is not as bad a place as it sometimes looks like.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. Such honest action is taken for granted in the US. But in India of course it is a noteworthy and welcome thing since it is a rarity. In the US the credit card companies have fraud monitoring services watching for unusual transactions and try to give the card holder a call to alert or confirm. Once my credit card got misused in Vegas for $8000 even though I was in Iowa but luckily they did not allow that charge and quickly issued me a new card. Wonder if they addressed how the original erroneous amount in the charge slip happened – whether it was human or computer.

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