Shell PR Disaster

Some silly Seattle customers expected that the pumps at local Shell stations would dispense actual gas. Imagine their surprise when, instead, they got tankfuls of watery sludge and their cars broke down. Oh, what a hoot!

Thankfully, a senior executive from Royal Dutch Shell immediately arranged for each customer’s vehicle to be towed to a service center where rental cars were waiting. All repairs were paid for entirely by Shell and each customer was given a $100 gas card for their trouble.

Right, and then Santa Claus flew out of my ass.

Of course, what really happened was that each customer was forced to handle all this crap entirely on their own. They are actually being made to get multiple estimates and submit them to Shell for reimbursement. Yes, that’s right, they have to foot the up-front cost themselves, which in at least one case was $2000. Some of them have been without any means of transport since the incident.

Apparently something like 10 customers were affected before the stations realized the error, and it seems like they’ve all been on TV. Our local news stations are all over this thing. I’m vicariously incensed for those poor schmucks.

You might think that a company which made a profit of $23.7 billion dollars last year could spent a few thousand to avoid a PR disaster in one of america’s largest cities. Guess not.

I’ll be avoiding Shell stations from now on, both out of solidarity and fear.

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1 Response to “Shell PR Disaster”


  1. 1 John Knox June 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t understand why you think this was Shell’s fault. A large company like Royal Dutch Shell has no more time to waste on these details than Paris Hilton has to think rationally.

    These customers should count themselves lucky that they pumped water and not fuming hydrochloric acid. A busted engine is a lot easier to fix than melted legs. Ungrateful peasants!


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