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    • not sure if that attached, sorry n244 edited.pdf
    • i know but they scare me and letters like this scare me even though i know I've been paying what i was told so they can't do much at moment can they? thats all i am asking ... a little bit of reassurance , i do suffer with horrendous anxiety   i want rid of it and to pay it off , but i don't understand that i won't be left with a balance still as I've had it since 2007 and apparently ill be paying £143,000 back on a £30,000 loan. Well i won't have paid that much back so they can turn round and say i still owe a lot can't they? even with fees taken off? I've been paying since 2007   where do i find this CISHEET
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Unable to pay at petrol station


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Hello everyone.

 

Wasn't sure whether this was a motoring or retail issue,

 

so here it is...

 

On my way to work this morning i went to my usual petrol station to put some diesel in my car.

 

When I got to the till my debit card declined.

 

I put back my daughter's sandwich (the poor girl will go hungry!) and asked the chap to try again.

Same thing.

 

I was sure there was some money there (the fuel was only £8.44) but a direct debit had caught me unawares.

 

Not such a big deal, I thought, as I get paid later today and can go back to the station on my way home from work and pay for the fuel.

 

I'm sure it happens to lots of people all the time;

I've done it myself before, filled in a form and been on my way, then returned later to pay.

 

Now I know that petrol stations don't generally extend credit, but it was a genuine mistake.

 

The attendant would not let me leave my details and return, so I was a bit stuck.

 

A very kind gentleman in the queue behind me offered to pay for my fuel on the understanding that I would return later to repay him

- he's a regular customer in the station too.

 

Now my point is what would have happened if there had been no kind gentleman?

 

The attendant couldn't have kept me there against my will. Surely he wouldn't have chased me,

and if I expressed my intention to pay, wrote my details on a piece of paper and drove off, what could be do?

 

If he phoned the police I'm sure it would go nowhere.

 

The more I think about this the madder it's getting me.

 

It wasn't a local independant station either - it was a Shell garage, probably franchised.

 

I've written a complaint to Shell's customer services, just to vent really.

 

I use Shell garages regularly, but am seriously considering buying my fuel elsewhere in future.

 

Anyway, no advice required I guess - I just wondered if anyone else had experienced the same.

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The only offense that you possibly could be charged with would be deliberate refusal to pay or drive off

 

Having no money to pay for petrol is a civil offense

 

You just need to have valid ID such as a driving licence. A reasonable approach would be to give you 24 hours to return and pay

 

They cannot stop you from leaving or impound your vehicle

 

The reason for this is that franchised garages have a policy where they will deduct shortages fro the cashiers wages. i do not know if this is still common practice though

 

Just leave your name and address, it might be wise when you leave the petrol station to call the police non emergency number and tell them what you have done, just in case the cashier reports it as bilking

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Thanks for your response Squaddie. I'm hoping there won't be a next time, as I'm usually very aware of my bank balance. I probably wouldn't have had the confidence to just walk out either. Everyone has the best ideas after the event, eh? Maybe Shell will send me some vouchers in response to my complaint - who knows? :)

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I e-mailed the complaint a couple of hours ago and have already received a response. Well done, Shell! The gist of it is that they are not responsible for the day-to-day running of the site (as expected) but that they do recommend that retailers offer a "intent to pay letter" as described above. They will forward my complaint to the site manager for his/her consideration. They also asked for my Shell Drivers' Club membership number, so maybe they're going to give me some points for the inconvenience. I suppose the intent behind the complaint was that perhaps Shell would encourage the franchisee to implement such a process. Whether or not it happens, we shall see. I'll report back with anything new.

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I think you would have been ok.

 

My initial thought was making off without payment as per the Theft Act 1978 but in the case of R v Allen the House of Lords said that in order for the offence to be committed there must be "an intention to permanently deprive" by making off and that a mere "intention to defer" payment is not sufficient.

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Ok, different scenario, you collect £100 of shopping at supermarket and can't pay. Would they let you take goods and come back later?

 

Now, shell maybe a billion pound company but the franchisee's and staff aren't. That £8.44 is over an hours wage for the cashier, who, like yourself probably has a tight budget. If he allows you to fill a form and you walk away then don't return, shell would not pay it.

They can refuse to let you leave and call police if you try.

This is the silly bit: the police would stop you and, as long as you went back and paid when you said, no further action. If you didn't your arrested. If cashier accepts your promise to pay and you didn't, not a police matter.

The problem is the amount of people who do this thinking for such small amounts they don't have to go back, and it isn't woth pursuing a civil claim.

As for your complaint:

Shell customer services will phone franchisee. he being the one out of pocket if you don't pay, will back his staff. Usually with the line, I'll let people take my fuel without payment, when shell start reimbursing me for the ones who don't come back. i have actually known people say that having their name/address/car details put in the book was accussing them of being dis-honest about coming back and on that basis they then wouldn't return. And once form is signed it's civil!

 

I know you feel mad, but spare a thought for the franchisee/attendant who, will often lose money as people feel it's ok to take from "shell" as they are a big company. Garage sites make less than 1p per litre so to reover the 5/6 litres you had would mean the next 844 litres would be no profit. Add that to 1-2 weekly drive offs in the region of 50quid, something similar on non-returning people and you've got a couple of thousand litres of no profit.

 

You're intentions may have been honest but unfortunately most aren't and again, it isn't shell who foot the bill

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I think you would have been ok.

 

My initial thought was making off without payment as per the Theft Act 1978 but in the case of R v Allen the House of Lords said that in order for the offence to be committed there must be "an intention to permanently deprive" by making off and that a mere "intention to defer" payment is not sufficient.

 

Mens rea and Actus reus

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It is not fair that greedy garage franchise operators put in the contracts of employment that they will be liable for any losses

 

Drive offs are a police issue and courts to make compensation orders for restitution

 

Not hit the poor cashier all the time on minimum wage

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Ganymede, that was my point about the silly bit. if the cashier gets the police and you promise them to pay, then donb't it's treatred as theft. But if you fill a form in it never becomes theft, even if you have no intention of paying.

And where would the line be drawn in your case law example? If I went and helped myself to a 60' plasma tv etc etc and a 60k car, and left my details, with a promise to pay, would that be ok? I think not, even if you could prove that over a set period the payment could be made. I know the OP only owed 8 quid but that is a lot to the cashier who would be hit with it.

I'm not saying the OP should be hung for a genuine mistake, simply that you can hardly be angry at someone else not wanting a loss.

 

as an aside i remember working on a shell site when a customer complained over rising fuel prices. He was referred to shell who told him they set the max price and it was up to individual sites if they wished to sell lower. What they didn't explain was max price was within a penny of the price the retailer had to pay shell. They left him with the impression that after the duty and vat the reatiler took the rest and was making the fortune.

Needless to say i was on duty when he returned and was screamed at for being a "thieving little liar" before he knocked a display stand over and walked out. At the time I earned around 5.50 an hour!

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you are missing the point in all of this

 

A person commits a crime only if they have the relevant criminal state of mind at the time of committing the criminal act

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Squaddie: The drive-offs are only taken when caused by a breach in procedure, such as not getting reg number, not watching forecourt even though your cleaning duties must be complet so you must spend time on shop floor. And I'd suggest most Franchisee's aren't particularily rich.

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Ok, different scenario, you collect £100 of shopping at supermarket and can't pay. Would they let you take goods and come back later?

 

Now, shell maybe a billion pound company but the franchisee's and staff aren't. That £8.44 is over an hours wage for the cashier, who, like yourself probably has a tight budget. If he allows you to fill a form and you walk away then don't return, shell would not pay it.

They can refuse to let you leave and call police if you try.

This is the silly bit: the police would stop you and, as long as you went back and paid when you said, no further action. If you didn't your arrested. If cashier accepts your promise to pay and you didn't, not a police matter.

The problem is the amount of people who do this thinking for such small amounts they don't have to go back, and it isn't woth pursuing a civil claim.

As for your complaint:

Shell customer services will phone franchisee. he being the one out of pocket if you don't pay, will back his staff. Usually with the line, I'll let people take my fuel without payment, when shell start reimbursing me for the ones who don't come back. i have actually known people say that having their name/address/car details put in the book was accussing them of being dis-honest about coming back and on that basis they then wouldn't return. And once form is signed it's civil!

 

I know you feel mad, but spare a thought for the franchisee/attendant who, will often lose money as people feel it's ok to take from "shell" as they are a big company. Garage sites make less than 1p per litre so to reover the 5/6 litres you had would mean the next 844 litres would be no profit. Add that to 1-2 weekly drive offs in the region of 50quid, something similar on non-returning people and you've got a couple of thousand litres of no profit.

 

You're intentions may have been honest but unfortunately most aren't and again, it isn't shell who foot the bill

 

The difference with grocery shopping is that you can leave it at the checkout. There is no such option with fuel once it's dispensed. And I prefer to think the dishonest people are the exception. I do see your point, edjema, but my frustration was more to do with a situation without resolution, other than me sitting there blocking a pump until my wage lands at around 2pm. And that would have meant a day without pay for me - I'm an IT contractor so if I don't work I don't get paid.

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I see the point, what I am saying is the law must be more complex. if i was refused credit, but took the 60k car and started making the payments that I would be expected to make had I been granted credit, then I have shown intention to pay and not permantly deprive the seller. Surely, that wouldn't make my actions legal. i know its an extreme when compared to OP, but at what point can you prove/disprove if the OP intended to return with the 8pound. Unfortunately, the worst ones are the regulars who put less than 20quid in. Then you get, you know me, I'm here veryday etc and never see them again....

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That is not your decision to make if the OP will return or not, you have his details, its a civil matter as he had no intention of depriving the garage, or he would not have left his contact details

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Maybe I've just been brought up to be too trusting. Everything you're saying makes sense, even though I know my intentions were good. Regarding the 60k car - again you have the option to leave it behind. Should I have syphoned the fuel? Or perhaps I should have taken out my laptop and began working from there, quick call to my manager to let her know I'd be working from "home"? I could have invited him out to the car to see whether there was anything in there he'd like to keep as security. The possibilities are endless - I was just frustrated because I was in a hurry, I was embarrassed that my card had declined. And I felt guilty that my poor daughter had no lunch to take to school - I'm sure she can get a sandwich with the £1.50 change I scraped together. It all sounds farcical now, but I almost had steam coming out of my ears by the time I got to work!! ;)

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Scarlettuk, the grocery point was more a debate over the point of law. The thing is from the cashiers point of view, you blocking a pump wont cost him. You not returning may.

I had one situation when a customer couldn't pay, had no mobile on him so that I could check the number he wanted to leave was valid. said he lived local and left money at home but couldn't return home for it as he'd be late to work and lose job. i refused to allow him to leave stating I would phone police if he tried. He sat on the pump for 4 hours until the manager arrived. the manager agreed with me he should return home for the money. He then produced the phone he claimed not to have had on him and phoned police himself., very loudly explainig situation in front of a, by now full, shop.

He passed the police onto me and i explained I would prefer him to return home for the money he had and return within a reasonable time. i said half hour for a less than 2 mile round trip. the police then informed him that unless I agreed for him to come back later that he would have to do this or leave his car at the site. He then, not so loudly now, started pleading with the police about losing his job he would be late for (four hours after filling up?). He then stormed in the shop, pulled out his wallet, paid cash and said he would never use shell again. Hence he had money all along??

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Ganymede, that was my point about the silly bit. if the cashier gets the police and you promise them to pay, then donb't it's treatred as theft. But if you fill a form in it never becomes theft, even if you have no intention of paying.

And where would the line be drawn in your case law example? If I went and helped myself to a 60' plasma tv etc etc and a 60k car, and left my details, with a promise to pay, would that be ok? I think not, even if you could prove that over a set period the payment could be made. I know the OP only owed 8 quid but that is a lot to the cashier who would be hit with it.

I'm not saying the OP should be hung for a genuine mistake, simply that you can hardly be angry at someone else not wanting a loss.

 

 

 

As long as the OP was genuine then there should be no problem.

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Thanks. Do you suffer from some form of Latin based tourettes? :D

 

I hated it at school, and i hate it now, but i have no choice

 

At least the internet lets you know an audible option of how to pronounce the words correctly

 

Its a dead language and should stay dead

Edited by squaddie
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The thing is squaddie, more people leave their details and never return, than actually drive off. as the person dealing with customer, it is your decision to decide if the intentions are likely to be pay or not. It's easy to think it isn't that common when you are an honest person, and I'm sure the OP is, and I'm sure her circle of friends are also honest, hence so rare would stories of these sorts of tricks be heard of. unfortunately, when your facing customers , and they believe you work for a huge, corporate brand (you dont, you work for retailer) then there are people who habitually aim to cost you money.

 

as for leaving an item as security, again stopped becase of the people who claim things were broke, not the same as they left etc, etc.

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If they leave their details with a promise to pay and don't

 

That is obtaining a pecuniary advantage and fraud, a police matter and reported to the police where the courts will deal with it

 

Be it the cashier thinks the person is honest or not is irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

 

The cashier cannot detain the individual or his property without statutory reason, assigning chattels against a debt went out of the statute book years ago

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There must be a better way. I don't know what the answer to it is. My anger was not with the cashier, nor was it directed that way. The man who paid for my fuel really took me by surprise, but I was in a hurry and was very grateful. I did offer him my details, but he declined. So now I have to go back to the petrol station later, probably to face a different cashier to whom I'll have to explain the whole episode, so that I can get the lovely man his money back. Then who's to say that the cashier will actually give it to him when he goes back...? Now I'm turning into a cynic! haha

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