[Tagging] Self serve and full serve gas stations

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Tue Jun 9 12:25:30 UTC 2015

On Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 6:53 AM, johnw <johnw at mac.com> wrote:

> On Jun 9, 2015, at 8:07 PM, Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:
> Everything else being the same (taxes, base fuel price, etc), minimum
> service is always about 10-15 cents *cheaper*
> The idea that a human costs less than a credit card reader built in the
> pump is an intriguing proposition - are people doing an employee’s worth of
> damage or theft to the facility every day? I’m not saying you are wrong,
> but this seems counter-intuitive.

I imagine the environmental fines and regular cleanups have to add up.
I'm pretty well travelled in the US, and the only stations I haven't seen
puddles of spilled fuel somewhere are either closed, cardlock-only, or
don't have self service.  That's not good for air quality, fire safety or
groundwater contamination (and also the three reasons why both the Oregon
Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon State Fire Marshall
independently ban the practice in that state).

> than self service because they're not having to foot the bill for
> untrained and unknown people handling hazardous materials in a light
> industrial/retail facility.  Please do not confuse this with full service,
> as there's typically a 20-30 cent difference between the two.
> I’ve been pumping my gas since I was 8 - I mastered the gas pump early, so
> Dad didn’t have to go inside.
> I had no idea I was a light industrial facilities technician with 25 years
> experience! ^_^

It's not that it's hard work, it's what to do in case of an accidental

I’ve been so happy to see the full-service stations in Japan being
> converted to self-serve to dispense with an unnecessary visit to the
> cashier.

BP brands (Arco, Amoco, BP, Aral, am/pm, Wild Bean) usually make you go
inside anyway and don't let you pay at the pump.  They want you to go
inside and buy a rancid burrito out from under a hot lamp for five times
what you'd buy it for from a grocery store's freezer case.
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