Occasionally, coincidences become concerns and this is certainly the case with a few wrong fuel situations that we have dealt with recently. It’s all to do with auto-suggestion. If you put something into somebody’s mind there is a chance that they will either consciously or even subconsciously carry out that action. We have now had at least three similar cases where our wrong fuel engineers have been on a forecourt assisting a customer who has accidentally put diesel in a petrol vehicle, and have then had someone else using the filling station walk across and say the following or something similar, “You’ll never guess what I’ve just done, I’ve filled up with the wrong fuel. Can you help when you’re finished here?”
After the second case we thought it might be purely coincidence as putting in the wrong fuel is a commonly occurring scenario affecting many thousands of motorists every year. But, after the third time it happened, the customer said, “I was just reading the sign on your van and for some bizarre reason I just did what it said!” So, we took a look at the van in question which has the slogan, “Have you put the wrong fuel in your car? Call 0345 302 2980 now”. It is indeed very eye-catching but then that’s the whole idea of having the livery on the van, to spread the word about our services. We couldn’t really use unmarked mobile fuel evacuation units as it wouldn’t help motorists who may be in need of our services or, indeed, help our business very much!
These strange situations do, however, give credence to the theory that most wrong fuel situations occur in the first place because the motorist’s attention is momentarily diverted to somewhere or something else just at the moment that they are choosing a fuel nozzle.
It’s a strange business to be involved with sometimes, where we seem to spend a significant amount of time offering suggestions to motorists to help them avoid doing the very thing that keeps us working! Even so, the number of wrong fuel cases is rising every year and we understand that it can be a real headache when you’re on a tight schedule. So if you see our van driving onto a forecourt whilst you’re filling up your vehicle, just look away while you choose the correct fuel nozzle!