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Thread: Shell convenience stores

  1. #1
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    anywhere along southern NB
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    I might have said this before, but people should be wary when using the Air-Miles (or other) promos/coupons/etc perks in-store at Shell locations.

    To be clear, these are convenience stores that are Shell fuel merchants, and not necessarily Shell-owned stores. (but some are)

    Also, this is nothing new. It's been an on-going nuisance for over 10 years.

    By way of explanation: [I actually had a store manager (not owner) explain it to me]
    Many of these "Shell" convenience stores are independently run, and thus have TWO credit/debit card machines at the counter... one for the THEIR store, and one for Shell. They seemingly ONLY use the Shell one if you are paying with a Shell card (ie: Shell credit or Shell gift card) OR are redeeming AirMiles Cash toward fuel. They HAVE to have the Shell system in place to take those unique transactions. -- Otherwise, they use their own store's credit/debit machine as the store owner pays less per transaction. What's worse, many of these stores are Needs/Sobey's branded and they DO take AirMiles on their system as well, and you wont notice the difference until it's too late.

    What they will do is process a "general purchase" transaction in their system and transact it generically (typically, anyway). Then they account for it (perhaps unbeknownst to you) as a "cash" transaction on the Shell system so that Shell gets their money from the store for the fuel/Shell products. * I know this because it WAS explained to me... and also if I insist on a "gas" receipt (as I need it for work) -- the one I get from the Shell fuel will say "cash". (I had this debate as well with a clerk when I requested a receipt because I cant file a "general purchase" from a convenience store for work. My employer wont accept it and it forced them to print the Shell receipt. They werent being deceptive, just not understanding.)

    This also applies to when I am simply buying fuel (no promo perse) and using my credit card which pays me 4% cash-back on fuel. It HAS to be from a fuel-vendor (Shell, Esso, Irving, etc) so if I use it in-store, it doesnt count as a fuel purchase. The clerk always rings it up as a "convenience store" purchase on their convenience store system, and my card never sees it as fuel. (However, if I use pay-at-the-pump, it always goes through Shell's system, so I usually just avoid going into the store altogether.)

    I've lost many an offer or promo from Shell & AirMiles for this exact reason. -- AND It's happened at close to a dozen stores that I've dealt with across multiple provinces, so it's not just one store. It seems to be a common practice.

    I've asked the clerk(s) to transact any/all of the above scenarios through the Shell system, because of the promo/perk/etc. Some get it and are willing to oblige, but some object or outright refuse... The added problem is you can't tell the clerk what to do because they either a.) dont understand what the difference is, AND/OR b.) they're doing what their store-owner/boss has told them to do and dont want to break that. -- I actually stopped going to one station because they do not have pay at the pump, and I couldnt get them to use my card on the Shell system in-store. (ironically, this is the same location where they guy was nice enough to explain to me the reason and difference for both credit/debit machines)

    The above might not apply to some stores that are Shell-branded through-and-through (as they SHOULD only have the one debit system) but I've seen one or two that are and still do it "incorrectly" as well. (Actually, there's ONE store on Mapleton Road in Moncton, NB that is an independent convenience store, BUT does use the Shell system properly, always... kudos to them!)

    Just an FYI: This isn't a hate-rant for Shell... quite the opposite, I love Shell gas and have been putting nothing but Shell in my tank for the past 15 years. I get great performance from it. The onus here is on the store owners.

    So, just be careful if you have a special promo for Shell that requires you to go in-store. Insist that it goes through the Shell system so that you get the promo applied properly.

    This thread is currently associated with: Air Miles, Esso - Imperial Oil, Independent, Shell
    Last edited by bhlombardy; Wed, Aug 7th, 2019 at 07:21 AM.
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