How to Avoid the Industry Cowboys?

When the nozzle automatically clicks into the off position he knows his vehicle is full to the top with fuel and he pays at the forecourt shop. He returns to his vehicle and turns on the ignition, the engine starts but sounds rough. Nick puts it down to the cold damp morning and drives away from the forecourt. As he is driving the vehicle engine is starting to sound worse until he comes to a juddering halt at a busy junction and the engine cuts out altogether. There is just enough room to one side of his vehicle to allow other drivers to pass as Nick tries to get his vehicle started again, but without any luck. He then has a moment of recall and realises what may have happened, with a feeling of impending gloom he checks his fuel station receipt and confirms his suspicion that he has filled up with vehicle with the wrong fuel type. He has put unleaded petrol into his vehicle instead of diesel.

At this point, Nick is about 500 metres away from the forecourt and he can’t risk leaving the vehicle where it is because it’s in a dangerous position. As he is thinking about what to do, a bus arrives behind him and there is not enough room for it to pass safely so, he has to push the vehicle to the right to make enough room leaving his vehicle in the middle of the junction with traffic manoeuvring around him. He checks his smart phone which has some charge in it so he calls his roadside assistance company who tell him that they can be with him within an hour as they are very busy so, Nick says he will call them back if he needs to. He then quickly searches the internet for help. He enters the search phrase “wrong fuel in car Gloucester” and chooses a website at random from the page as he is conscious that he could run out of charge at any moment. The site is for a company who claim that they will come out to the vehicle and remove the wrong fuel. They will then replace the fuel with the correct type and send you on your way for a small charge. This looks ideal to Nick and he calls the number and speaks to someone who says a van will be with him in 30 minutes.

Monday 13th April 2015 7.45 a.m. – The Long Wait for the Wrong Guy

An hour later there is still no sign of the wrong fuel removal company and Nick is causing a major headache for the other motorists at the junction. Eventually, at 8 a.m. a scruffy, beaten up old van pulls up behind him and the driver sits in the van apparently in the middle of a heated phone call. After 10 minutes or so, when Nick is beginning the think that the van driver is not his assistance but just a random driver who has stopped behind him, the occupant of the van gets out. He’s wearing a dirty, torn tracksuit and a baseball cap and speaks to Nick in a thick Eastern European accent that he can barely understand.