Friday, November 04, 2011

Simple Mishaps: Big Risk

My month hasn't been the greatest. For the past three consecutive weekends, I had to worry about my car or bring it to the mechanic. Week 1 was for its timing belt, week 2 was for its radiator. Last week though, was not even my fault. Unbelievable. I have written a complaint letter regarding the incident, so allow me to copy and paste it as it has complete details.


Mr. & Mrs. Desi Tomacruz
Owners, Donica Corporation
Shell at the Fort
32nd Street, Bonifacio Stop Over
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Dear Sir/Ma’am:

I am writing to file a formal complaint against an oversight by one of your crew in re-placing my engine oil cover. Please allow me to relay my side in chronological order:

On Monday, October 24, 2011 at around 7:00 in the evening, I brought my vehicle, a Suzuki Vitara `97 model, to your The Fort station for gasoline fill up. Once the tank was full, I handed over my Citibank Shell card for swiping. While waiting for the charge slip, a lady attendant—Liezel Nullan—offered to check for oil and water levels. Popping the hood, she does, and eventually notifies me that the engine oil level is low. I proceeded and purchased her recommendation, a Shell Helix H5 (according to the receipt), which retails at PHP 234.00.

Trusting all is well, I proceeded to do my daily routine. I live near C5, a stone’s throw away from your Pasig-Valle Verde station.  On Friday, October 28, 2011 around 6:00pm after arrival at home, I went to check my vehicle and prepare it for my next-day early morning trip to my hometown, as it is the long weekend for the All Saints Day. To my surprise, oil is scattered all over my engine and the engine oil is uncapped.

Unable to contact your station through the number given by Shell Customer Care, I asked my staff to go to your station and look for a supervisor. I was able to talk with Jimmy Espeleta, and was given feedback through SMS later that night. Unfortunately, they were unable to find it, and was assured of reimbursement instead.

The following day, Saturday, October 29, 2011, I went and bought one instead, from Suzuki Pasig (along C5). Brought my vehicle to the mechanic to check and clean up my engine. I had to delay my plans on going back to my hometown for a day.

Today, Thursday, November 03, 2011, I was reimbursed for the amount of PHP 306.89 for the replacement.

Though reimbursed, it does not take away the fact that the simple mishap of not re-placing the engine oil cover (or, screwing it back on loose enough to fall off) had put myself, my vehicle and even nearby vehicles and establishments at risk. It could have:
·         Resulted in an explosion or be engulfed in flames had the oil been in contact with an exposed electrical part of the engine;
·         Resulted in fire if anybody was smoking by the vehicle, as the oil had spilled and possibly dripped to the ground;
·         Caused malfunction of the engine due to lack of engine oil—it had already been driven nine times, to and from my home and office by the time I had discovered it;
·         Put me at risk of being stranded somewhere if I had not been able to check on it and proceeded with my planned long drive.

I certify that the above-mentioned information and events are true and correct. Please find attached copies of any supporting document I have with me.

As a frequent customer on both your the Fort and and C5 Pasig stations—and Donica Corporation being a Shell Global Multi-Site Retailer awardee—I believe that you value customer satisfaction. I am hopeful that this event does not happen again to me, or to any other customer for that matter. May this incident be a wake-up call for the crew members in knowing the responsibilities they take whenever they do anything with anybody’s vehicle.

Thank you for your time and more power to your company.

My Complete Name


In all fairness to me, I really wasn't looking for any compensation. I should reimburse the oil but decided not to, since it still has enough oil in it. This could have been a lawsuit in the making, if you ask me. But I would pity the lady attendant, who for all I know, is not even earning enough and that PHP 300 is already a big chunk off her payslip. 

Today, I got a call from Mr. Tomacruz and he offered to reimburse my payment for the engine oil as well. I appreciate the call, sincerely. 

So to all the drivers out there, make sure you watch and check if they replace those thingies: gas cap, engine oil cap, and radiator caps. Simple mistakes like these can put you at risk big time.

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