Abu Dhabi: The capital city’s Adnoc gas stations experienced hassle-free operations as many motorists opted for the self-service option, braving the scorching heat on Sunday.
Crowd and waiting time at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) petrol stations appeared usual and people were refilling their tanks.
From June 30, Adnoc launched the self-service option, besides a paid premium service — motorists pay Dh10 extra if they want an attendant to refuel their vehicles under premium services — while self-service is free.
At gas stations in Muroor, Fatima Bint Mubarak and Salam streets visited by Gulf News on Sunday, premium lanes appeared less busy while self-service lanes were packed.
Cliff Almagro, 49, from Philippines, said, “It doesn’t take much time and saves money too, and I don’t have any problem filling by myself.
“It’s been more than two months I have been filling by myself and now I am used to it and it’s truly hassle-free and doesn’t take much time,” he said.
“In my country, an attendant fills the gasoline. It’s a new thing here but it’s fine,” Almagro said.
Elderly drivers and persons with disabilities are not be required to pay the fee.
Indian expatriate Shamsuddin, 44, said: “Self-service is good as there is not much crowd as well, and in last two months we have learnt how to refuel our cars and make payments, so the service looks smooth to me.
“My vehicle is fitted with smart chip and so I don’t have to worry about payments by cards or cash. Now I fill the tank and automatically the amount is deducted from my account. I have to do nothing. Easiest way to fill the gasoline — it’s quick and saves money,” he said.
The pilot project was launched on a test basis at some fuel pumps in April.
‘Smart Tag’ is a new payment option that enables customers to quickly refuel and pay without using cash or bank cards.
Qamar Nawaz, 29, from Pakistan who paid by Adnoc fuel payment card, said, “I like the service and don’t have to wait for credit cards approval as I use Adnoc fuel card and it automatically deducts the amount as we finish refueling.
“Adnoc attendants trained us how to use the nozzle and now we know it. It saves time as you don’t have to wait for the attendant to fill when he is busy with other vehicles,” Nawaz said.
Motorists love to fill by themselves and clean their cars in self-service lanes.
Mohammad Farooq, 38, from Pakistan, filled gasoline and then went on to clean the windscreens of his car and expressed satisfaction with the new option. “In fact, we are enjoying using the self-service system at Adnoc as it gives us knowledge about the new technologies and, within one minute, we get our cars refuelled.”
While he was cleaning the windscreen, Farooq said, “It’s my car and I don’t feel shame to clean it; I love doing this.”
He said he would get the smart tag soon.
However, not everyone was happy with the new services. An Emirati, Jaber, who gave only his first name, said: “I don’t understand why we have to pay Dh10 for refuelling our cars.
“All services should be equal for all. It’s very hot and we are forced to come out from the car to fill by ourselves. It’s not good,” he said.
About the rewards of the Premium services, Jaber said, “I don’t want coffee and snacks from Adnoc stores.
Card payment hitch
The new Adnoc Flex service and mobile payment machines do not accept debit or credit cards of any banks, which doesn’t come with metal chips in-built. Customers who had such cards ended up paying by cash. A motorist who requested anonymity said, “My debit card was declined as it doesn’t have metal chip in-built, so I had to rush for cash.”
An Adnoc attendant explained that, “New Adnoc Flex services don’t accept bank cards without metal chips. All new bank cards come with in-built metal chips.”
Before the implementation of the new system, Adnoc stations accepted metal-free cards, too.