Over the last few weeks, and especially since the nicer weather has arrived, I’ve seen and heard a number of conversations about the fact that Petro-Canada retail sites are now “charging” for air. It is true that we have a nominal charge of $1 to use the equipment at most of our retail sites, but it has been this way since the Spring of 2008, and we were one of the last to come to this decision. I thought it might be helpful if I clarified some of the reasons that influenced this decision to go outside of our company to engage a third party service provider for our air pumps.
In recent years, it was becoming an all too common experience to arrive at a Petro-Canada station hoping to get some air in your tires, only to discover an “Out of Order” sign hanging where the hose should be. In fact, when I asked our service team they told me there were times when up to a third of the air pumps in our network weren’t working. Obviously, that is not acceptable either. The challenge of keeping up with routine maintenance and equipment upgrades was frustrating for everyone, especially when many sites were repeated victims of vandalism; as soon as the pump was repaired it was damaged again.
So, about two years ago, we engaged another company to take over the air service at virtually all of our retail sites. Since then, we have seen a marked increase in reliability and quick response to various maintenance needs. Along with improvements to this service, we do now ask for $1 to support the use and maintenance of equipment and a portion of the proceeds also goes to support our Canadian Paralympic athletes!
Photo Credit: D Sharon Pruitt