petrol station descriminates against bikes

'ello first post and its a rant.Attempted to fill up the other night around 11-30pm at the esso petrol station corner of A41 and finchley rd. I stop here occasionally , its not my regular petrol stop but I have used it before.

They have had their pumps upgraded recently and there is now the ability to pay with plastic at the pump , although the signage for the instructions is not that clear at first glance , or pay as normal at the shop window ( the one cashier on duty at that time being locked in his shop for security , fair enough you cant blame 'em for that.)

I pulled up as normal unlocked my tank , picked up pump nozzle , pump counter reset and I stood there waiting for the attendant in the shop to activate the pump , as I assumed he would have to do so before it started pumping petrol.

Nothing happened , I waved nozzle in direction of attendant , indicating he should turn pump on. he in turn made some unfathomable gesture at me. This charade continued for a few minutes , I then noticed the instructions for card purchase options at the pump , and saw I was entitled to make a choice of paying at pump by card or paying at window.

I wanted to pay cash , so I replaced nozzle in pump , went over to window and asked him what the problem was. He said I have to pay first.

I told him that was stupid i did not know how much I was going to spend , ( I knew it would be around a tenner to fill up , but it could be 9-50 or 10-50 )

I told him to turn the pump on. I went back to the pump and tried again. No luck. Then I read the instructions on the pump for paying with card. Stuck my card in , and followed on screen instructions , it asked for my pin , put that in , then it checked for authorization , that was ok , then it charged me nothing and spat my card back at me.

Went back to window told bloke his pump was crap and shouted at him to turn pump on. He mumbled something about not being able authorize filling up before paying ’ for the bicycles because they always ride away’

Went back to pump tried card thing again , spat card back at me.

Tried a third time with card and shouted very loudly at the pump ,

’ no I just want to put some ****** petrol in’

so that all the other customers on the forecourt looked round, and miraculously the pump started going and I was able to fill up and have my card debited.

In the meantime while all this was going on , at least two cars pulled up , filled up , and paid in cash by the window afterwards ,as normal with no hold ups.

There was no signage on the forecourt saying motorcycles have to pay before fueling.

I may have messed up the sequence , attempting to fill up with the card , you might be suppose to stick your card in then lift the nozzle out the cradle , but it says follow the onscreen instructions , and it doesn’t tell you when you can start to fill.

I know some filling stations on the motorway make you flash your cash or card before filling , but I thought that was for lorry drivers who take loads of petrol.

What happens if you pay your tenner first , then get trigger happy and stick in £10-01 , you have to go back to the window.

I assume the petrol station is a franchise , and this is not a new UK wide esso way of doing business , just these unhelpful people.

Are they allowed to discriminate against bikes in this way , I know one of the cars put at least 20 quid worth of petrol in while I was there , would have been just as easy for him to drive off as it would have been for me.

Okay , you can all have a laugh at me now for getting so grumpy.

Have any of you ever shouted at a petrol pump ?

I dont use BP stations as the ones round my way want you to take your lid off first and i can`t be arsed with that.

I had a similar problem a couple of Fridays ago at approx. 11am (take note in the morning and during a busy period) at a Tesco Esso garage in Northwood, they wouldn’t let me fill up until I had either walked in and paid first or taken off my lid and gotten off the bike as well. So I got off the bike shouted at them from the forecourt and they started the pump, when I walked into to pay a female manager came out especially to open a till to serve me and said “I’m so sorry, but we like bikers to come in and pay first or remove their helmets” to which I replied, if I was going to ride off I’d have done so by now and plus I generally come here now and then and have never had any problems before. I reckon the mangeress was just throwing some authoirty around and in doing so held me up for work. AAgghhhhhh…

Welcome to LB! As for shouting an inanimate objects… you’re in good company.

As for petrol stations, they’re there to make money (whoever thinks they’re there to provide petrol is wrong - that’s just an attractive side line to their main business of annoying people that have to wear helmets to be allowed to ride their vehicles).

Bikes are only required to have number plates on one end (that is, ignoring the ones which have illegible number plates or don’t have plates at all). This automatically reduces the chance of “automatic vehicle number recognition” systems being able to catch the plate number to 50% before we even get started.

Bikes can also accelerate away very quickly, and don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic once they have done a disappearing-at-high-speed-act.

So put all this together and you get a business that’s concerned with minimising loss via drive/ride-offs.

It sucks, and I’m invariably one of the first people to whinge about having to pay before filling up, but I can see why petrol stations do it. I just wish they’d put a big sign up outside so you don’t have to pull onto the forecourt before you find out… :pinch:

wear a veil when you go in next time and see if they ask you to remove that…there are a number of people that go into these places on bikes and dont pay…because of the number of bikes with false or illegal plates they cant be traced…its why the DVLA are victimising people like me who forget to send in the sron on their GT380 that did less than 100 miles last year due to a faulty gearbox…but they still had the tax which is not refundable on a small bike, and they fined me £80 which I am refusing to pay and tried to charge me two months road tax for not sending in the papers…

Blanket disgust for the system in this country…they keep introducing laws that affect the law abidding not the crooks…

Oh, don’t shout at the poor bloke behind the till - they’re just trying to do what they’ve been told to.I wouldn’t expect any signs - if they put a billboard saying you have to pay before noone would stop.

IMO only thieving scums who ride out with full tanks can be blamed of situations like these.Hello and welcome to LB Andy :slight_smile:

I was told on Sat in a Esso station that they normally ask bikers to get off the bike before filling up in case it catches fire. She said if it goes up (meaning on fire) so will you ! I said if I’m standing 4 inches away from it with my arms over the tank then if it goes I am anyway, regardless of if I’m sat on it or not.

She then went into a long spiel about how dangerous bikers are, friend of herst got “taken out” by a Mercedes last year (apparantly the car did it, not the driver ;)) and killed . . . yawn, heard it all before, please just take my money and I’ll be on my way.

I had it the other year at Sainsburys,after a E-MAIL to head office stating that as a customer i resent being treated as a criminal and as i am a administrator of a motorcycle forum with 17000 members (whoops lol) i will be recommending that all members boycott their stations ,i got a nice email back saying they had contacted the manager at their site and they will remind there staff that helmet removal is not their policy and this worked,Also at non regular places i have to use if they dont turn the pump on i take £20 out go to the booth wave it in their face and go somehwere else,i know its no help if your desperate for juice but it makes me feel better .


Demand to know if they would make a woman remove her face-covering veil before filling up… the answer will be NO…

Then tell them to stuff thier petrol and go somewhere else…

After the attendant in a south east london filling station motioned oblique gestures to me & me back to him like some strange sign language for more time than i really had to spare, i proffered the universal gesture to him that i think is historicaly descended from the battle of Agincourt, were the opposing sides armies show they hadn’t had their 2 bow pulling fingers chopped off… yes i gave him the rods & curtley moved onto the next filling station. I think he wanted me to take my helmet off.

Hi and welcome to the site Mate. we’ve all been there and had that done to us at some stage!

ok…ive stated this many times on this site and i’ll go threw it again as it makes me feel great when i do it…

next time the attendant asks you to take off your lid…tell him its against your religon for ppl to see your hair…works a treat…:wink:

failing that…wear a balaclava underneath your lid so it still hides your face…

and last but not least …if they still dont play ball and refuse to turn on the pumps…go around to each one and remove the gun from the holsters…just let the phuckers drop to the floor…then the scrwney little twat will have to come out of his ivory tower and put them back again…

ahhh …the balance is now set again…:D.


Smiled, give me ur brain :smiley:

love your thinking :slight_smile:

i would have gave hm/her the middle finger and went to another station, dont like to ride with low fuel

so i always have enough to pick between fuel stations.

In fairness if I worked in a place where someone had come in wearing a crash helmet, shoved a shotgun in my face and demanded all the cash out of the till I would rather all people removed their lids in future. I understand the veil argument but seriously, how many thieves use crash helmets? Quite a lot. How many use a ladies veil? I maybe wrong but I bet not to many! :ermm:

As for paying before you fill though, I agree that does suck!

I’ll tell you what sucks - petrol stations with supermarkets built in, how long does it take to get to a pump? As long as it takes someone to do their shopping and then pay - once you’ve dealt with that you have to queue up for ages while all the people who have done their shopping are having it scanned etc! Rrrrrubish!!!

Not had any petrol stations asking me to take my helmet off but if they did I would just go elsewhere if I could, too much hassle!

Can someone explain why we are required to take our helmet off while paying for our petrol?? What is this new rule about?

There is no new rule.

like all shops, petrol stations are free to chose who they want to sell petrol to & what rules they wish to apply to those they want to serve.

Likewise we’re free to accept those conditions or decline & take our money elsewhere.

Actually in my original post , I did not mention not removing my helmet ,( although I didn’t ) and the attentdant did not ask me to , or tell me this is why he refused to turn the pump on.

they ask you to remove it so that the surveillance cameras get a look at who you are incase u do something

othewise they wouldnt be able to identify you

I’ll always remove ny helmet if I go indoors, regardless of the situation. It’s what gentlemen do. Those of you who refuse to, maybe not gentle-folk…

But as regards the OP with the pay-first scenario - that sucks.

I can understand it if a hoodied chav on a 50cc turned up, but a bigger bike, and more suitably attired?

I’ve had my pump refused to start because I’ve been astride my bike. As it happens I could brim my bike and not be astride it, but here are many bikes that can’t, they’d miss a litre or two, that may be a significant fraction of their range.

Best bet is to to act reasonably, and if they don’t; <shrug>, save your blood-pressure and move on a mile or two.

However, if this sort of thing becomes more prevalent, let me know and we’ll get MAG talking to the Forecourt Trader Association. gives some further link.