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View Poll Results: What would you rather have?

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  • A convience store that sells gas and has a clerk with no auto knowledge?

    6 30.00%
  • A Service station that can service your car and sell you gas with 120% customer service?

    14 70.00%
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  1. #1
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    Default Conoco Phillips show their true Colors!

    I was reading in my newspaper on august 3rd about a local gas station geting their franchise cut off.

    That gas station is one that I, My father, my grandfather, and the entire family has been using for all the car repairs that didnt require special "Dealer" tools.

    After 49.some years of service second to none, the phillips 66 corporation cut the franchise off. Because the station doesnt meet the image of the company anymore.

    Their image as far as i can see it, Cashiers that only know how to push buttons and fix soda machines.

    Not the on duty mechanic that can fix about anything on your car and everything in the store.

    Since I started driving 5 years ago, I have taken my car their for about everything, except for the 1 recall repair. I got better service than at the "big" repair places, and they charged a whole lot less. I actualy compared it to other places and it was considerably cheaper than going to a "big" repair place or to the dealer.

    The other thing that I loved about the station was that you got to know your mechanic, which you usualy cant do at the larger places.

    Well this mesage is pathetic. The big oil companies only care about making convience stores that sell gas. Not Service stations that do all the above and more. These stations are what made the companies what they are today. It sure shows that they care alot for those that helped build the company!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Also their is a poll
    Last edited by CaptainMikey; 08-23-2005 at 11:29 PM.
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    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

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    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Default

    I had to go with the non full service station, but only because I do ALL repairs to our vehicles, except paint and body work. It is a shame though, we used to have a couple of these stations in town and now there are none!
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
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    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
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    1946-2005
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I my self have started to switching over to doing most of it my self. But it sucks because at the new places you cant realy get to know your mechanic.

    The same guy has worked on my car for the past 5 years! It is really great when they know your car history so well. Kind of like a car doctor.

    The other cool thing is that with that relationship, they never tried to sell me anything extra, just what needed to be fixed. And they took the time to explain In extreme detail what was broken, why it broke, and what it is going to take to fix it.


    The good thing is that they are going to still stay open as long as they can on their own but at shorter hours (rummor), and maybe prices will go up.
    FF I
    FF II
    Hazmat Operations
    EMT-B
    ---------------------------------------------------

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I bet that the next thing to go are hardware stores.

    I my self work part time in a small hardware store with 300% customer service as we call it.

    The funny thing is that in all the lowes and homedepot commercials they show all these people ready to help you. But when you go their, No one is their to help. The sad thing is that if you know what you are looking for, People can spot it and they start asking you where things are. Kind of scary.

    But I love the fact that we dont have any commercials or advertisments about sales and we still have about the same customer base as all the other hardware stores that spend a whole lot of money on advertising.


    It just goes to show that customer service goes along way and makes a store either fail or succeed.
    FF I
    FF II
    Hazmat Operations
    EMT-B
    ---------------------------------------------------

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm in the small engine repair business, so I know what you mean. A good many of my customers come in and tell me so and so is broke, go ahead and fix anything else you see. It's like you said, you know them and they know you. I hope he can maintain his busness and move along. I'm trying to downsize right now, I try to fix everything for everybody (read... can't say no) so I'm moving my business to my shop at home, getting rid almost all of the retail "walk in business" and sticking with my good accounts that treat me fairly and with respect just like I do them!
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    PLease, not the hardware stores!!!!! Now that's and different matter! We've got a small hardware store in Aberdeen, MS....Been there for years, and they know everything about everything. Several generations work there now. It's in the fifth generation now!
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  7. #7
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    It is happening very very slowly in a few rural areas that I know of in maryland, cause=walmart. My grandparents good friends that owned on in berlin MD, said "a good source" said that it is happening all over the country. But where I live, most people still love the little stores.
    FF I
    FF II
    Hazmat Operations
    EMT-B
    ---------------------------------------------------

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    The complexity of today's vehicles require the knowledge, the tools and most of all... training.

    I bring my vehicles to a repair shop that does just that... no pumping gas, just ASE certified mechanics that do the job right.

    As far as the little guy competing with the big box stores. It can be done. My brother in law owns a TV sales and repair shop in an area where Circuit City, Best Buy and other big box stores sell many of the same brands he does.
    While he cannot compete with the big box stores on the price due to their tremendous volume discounts from the manufacturers, he does have them beat 1000% when it comes to service after the sale...which is why he keeps getting repeat business as well as moving enough product to open a second store!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  9. #9
    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
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    Default

    I was miffed when the service station I use for vehicle repairs quit selling gas, not the other way around
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Spectre08's Avatar
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    I don't get it. Surely they didn't shut him down because he had a repair shop. That just doesn't make ANY kind of sense from even the most diabolical capitalist mindset.

    There must be other reasons, lack of maintenance, safety issues with the shop, all around dirty and slovenly appearance of the facilities, customer complaints, etc.

    Where's the REST of the story?
    When I get to hell
    The devil he will say
    "How'd you put my fires out?
    In just one day?"
    I lift my hose up higher and higher
    that's how I do it, I'm a firefighter!

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    I bring my vehicles to a repair shop that does just that... no pumping gas, just ASE certified mechanics that do the job right.
    And that is the way I usually do it with my car as well, but when I pull into town on a road trip needing a $15 rad hose replaced ASAP, I don't want to have to deal with this Monday to Friday, 9-4, three day appointment needed crap.

    Older vehicles and situations like this are exactly why these little service stations are still valuable to us. I can remember several times over the years where I pulled into a strange station to get a quick fix like that, and even if the mechanic wasn't around, the gas station attendant was usually knowledgable enough to get you patched up to continue.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  12. #12
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default

    Its not about "us", the customer anymore. Its all about the $$$$$$$.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
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    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMikey
    I bet that the next thing to go are hardware stores.
    You mean some still exist? They pretty much left my area when the big box stores came in...
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  14. #14
    Forum Member Spectre08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeC
    You mean some still exist? They pretty much left my area when the big box stores came in...
    I'll the a Home Depot over a mom and pop hardware store ANY day. I know they'll have what I want, and it'll cost half what the little places charge.
    When I get to hell
    The devil he will say
    "How'd you put my fires out?
    In just one day?"
    I lift my hose up higher and higher
    that's how I do it, I'm a firefighter!

  15. #15
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    1) You've got to be an awful small repair shop that gas pumping is a core part of your business today.

    Certainly you don't want your mechanics leaving jobs you're billing $60/hour or so on so they can pump gas you're making a dime or two a gallon on.

    It might be nice to have that steady gas sales, but I can't think that it's make/break for the business.

    2) I'll the a Home Depot over a mom and pop hardware store ANY day. I know they'll have what I want, and it'll cost half what the little places charge.

    You have low standards.

    Yes, the local guys often are more expensive -- sometimes you can't justify it on a standard piece of hardware, other times they're much more than worth it.

    I forget the exact percentages, but I needed some copper napthate earlier this year for fence posts. Home Depot Behr was like $15/gallon for 5% and water based...Local building supplier charged $18/gallon for Cuprinol #10 Green...which is like 15% and oil based. Hmmm...I wonder what's going to last much, much longer underground.

    Lumber is the same -- I curse myself when I don't plan (yes, it's a pain getting to the local stores with my work hours) -- I'll waste tons of time digging through piles of lumber at Home Depot to find a handful of decent 2x4s. Go to the local guy, I pay a quarter or two more but the worse ones I get equal the best I can find at HD.

    Yes, I use Lowes & HD a lot. I also use my local companies. Each for what they're best at. HD for pretty standard items like spray paint or a hammer at a low cost; local guys for better quality building materials.

    (Do the same on my cars -- buy most of my car parts at the local NAPA dealer, but I'll run up to Sears for hand tools since I'd prefer to spend the money on Craftsmen-made-in-USA over a NAPA branded made-in-Taiwan tool)

  16. #16
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Another issue to consider is that many gas station owners, at least in urban areas, have a hard time finding qualified mechanics to work in their stations. Why? Because most of the good mechanics go to work for the car dealerships where they can make more money than they can at a corner gas station. My sister used to work as the office manager at a 76 station (which is, incidentally, owned by ConocoPhillips), and they were seriously considering closing their shop because they couldn't find anyone to work in it.

    Also, the auto manufacturers have gotten so stringent about showing proof of routine maintenance before they'll allow warranty work that many drivers are hesitant to take their vehicles anywhere else. Yes, I know the law says you can have it done elsewhere (or even do it yourself), but for many, its not worth the hassle. And, as has been mentioned before, many vehicles require specialized equipment for service. I had a devil of a time finding someplace that could do a simple brake fluid service on my old Chevy Tahoe...because of the proportioning valves in the system, you have to have a special device just to drain and replace the fluid.

    And, as a former ConocoPhillips employee myself (worked in the pipeline/terminal division), I have to say that the C-store concept is more profitable. More people pop in to buy a soda and a bag of chips than they do to have work done on their cars, so its a good business decision for the station owner to convert his service bays to a C-store.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  17. #17
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    One of the dumber things I've done as a gas station jockey was to go out and show a young lady how to use a Fix-a-Flat can to refill a flat tire.
    While screwing the tube to the valvestem and thinking about the girl,I noticed someone sitting in the shotgun seat and asked why he wasn't doing this.
    Her reply was'Oh,this is my boyfriend's car and he doesn't know how to fix tires."
    I really got to thinking of nifty ways to edge him out of the picture then.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Mikey,We DON'T sell gas. But we do auto/lt truck repair and it's in this arena I'd like to address one of your comments.We have customers who stop by and ask what our hourly rate is.When told,they say thank you but I'm going to Bubba's down the street he only charges $35.00 per hr(we get $65). Now let's say this is for a 4 ball joint job.Well a little later you might see this "customer" on the street and inquire how their job went.Oh,it was a bit more than we figured,Bubba didn't have a tool so it cost us $800,what would it cost to have had you do it?"About half that". "how can that be,you charge $65 per hr?" "Yep,and we've got the tool". Simply put,I have over a half a million dollars of high tech equipment(never mind the hand tools) in my little country shop along with two computer driven databases and the experienced technicians to make it all work. Big box shop? No,but a VERY WELL equipped small shop. And guess who pays for that technology? Indirectly,you the consumer. But a low dollar per hour shop MAY NOT be your best choice in this day and age of electronically driven vehicles.And it VERY well may not be the best "bang for your buck" particularly if you want it fixed RIGHT,the first time.This is one of the reasons the two have kinda gone seperate ways:There is such a low margin on gas it doesn't pay me to pump it and it costs so much for diagnostic equipment today that most corner gas stations don't want to go that way.Oh for the days of the 55 Chev,T.C.

  19. #19
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile There's A Difference...............

    In 1955, my car could be repaired with a wrench. In 2005, my car gets fixed by a laptop. End of story.
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  20. #20
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    And in '55 with considerably less than a quarter of a million(minimum)dollar investment INCLUDING the building.My point exactly Harve.I ENJOY the rare occasion I get to work on vintage equipment.And in pre '82 you could ACTUALLY repair your car beside the road or in a driveway if required. That's why we diversified:Towing and repair. Either way,we win. T.C.

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