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Dubai, United Arab Emirates - May 01 2013 - Customers have their cars pumped with fuel at the ENOC gas station on Hessa Steet. Between the hours of 12am-6am starting July, ENOC will only have self-service pumps. (Razan Alzayani / The National)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - May 01 2013 - Customers have their cars pumped with fuel at the ENOC gas station on Hessa Steet. Between the hours of 12am-6am starting July, ENOC will only have self-service pumps. (Razan Alzayani / The National)

Drivers' fears over self-service fuel in Dubai

Motorists seek advice on filling up cars and how to pay for petrol once ENOC introduces self service at selected stations from July.

DUBAI // Safe handling of petrol pumps and worries over how to pay for fuel are the key concerns of motorists ahead of plans to launch self-service at filling stations.

Drivers will have to fill up their own cars from July as Enoc launches its midnight to 6am self-service system at 10 stations.

Most customers at the Enoc on Hessa Street wanted more information about what the company was doing to make sure safety was a priority.

"They would need to make sure staff were on duty and show some people how to use the pumps properly," said Vikram Rana, an Indian.

"I personally don't have a problem with self-service but I think if you have grown up where people fill up your car for you, then it might take a little getting used to."

Another concern was the potential misuse of the system, he said.

"What will Enoc do to make sure no one just fills up their car and drives off without paying?" Mr Rana asked. "I'm assuming they will have CCTV but I don't think that will be enough. They might have to have police on duty at the station as well."

He said many people had become so used to having someone else fill up their vehicle they did not know whether their vehicles ran on petrol or diesel.

Another issue was how the new payment method would work.

"The main thing for me is will I have to pay with cash, credit card or will I have to get a special Enoc card and put credit on that," said Laurent de Braquilanges, from France.

"We have self-service in France like most European countries so it's not a big deal for me, although as a customer having someone else fill up is more convenient.

"In France you just use your credit card directly at the pump and pay for it there and then. That would be the best system to have here."

For Virginie, from Belgium, the main issue was potential job losses among staff.

"We have self-service in Belgium so I'm not too concerned about having to do it myself," she said. "But if they end up introducing it in all of their stations, will that mean they need less staff to work there?"

Many said the self-service timings meant they would not be affected.

"I always fill up my car during the day," said Juliane Pogoba, from Germany. "I've been here about a year and a half so I've got used to having a petrol pump attendant fill up my car, and I also saw a similar system in Spain.

"I don't mind having to fill up the car myself but I don't fill up at night so it won't affect me."

Staff at the Hessa Street station said they did not expect it to be among the 10 stations to introduce self-service in July.

They have not received any information from the company regarding the effect it would have on jobs.

But Enoc, a company run by the Dubai government, said jobs were safe and staff would be relocated to other stations.

Announcing the switch to self-service last Monday, the company said the selected stations were quieter and staff would be on hand to help customers.

The company said it had been in the process of modernising and updating facilities at pumps to allow for self-service.

Enoc conducted a similar trial in 2008 in 10 filling stations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates but had to scrap it after two-thirds of its customers said they disliked the system.

nhanif@thenational.ae

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