I want you to watch the video linked here
with an open mind and really listen to the conversations that take place.

I found a way to download the video!

The gentleman who posted this video is Bill Crawford and I came across it on the Boycott Esso Open Group on Facebook.

I'd love your opinion but only if you truly watch the video before you wade in please.

Here is what I observed - you may see it differently:

1) The older gentleman apparently raised his hand to a female rider

2) The older man's son intervenes

3) The son attempts to explain that so many bikers in his parking lot make other customers not want to stop

4) The station offers a restaurant among other services

5) The riders from this group frequent this station while on runs to fill up their tanks and from the coffee cups I see being held, purchase other products and take a rest break

6) The riders are not obstructing any of the pumps, they are not obstructing the propane lane as far as I can see and they do not appear to be blocking any of the entrances.

7) The main rider, John of Motorcycle Enhancements seems to be very calm, very well spoken and tries very hard to make this young man understand that although people ride motorcycles they are business people, family people and they drive other vehicles too - he tries very hard to explain that they are customers - period.

8) It appears to me that this is the first time the riders hear they are not wanted there.

9) Even though some of the riders were vocal and upset, there were two riders who shook hands with the young man and did their best to make this young man and his father see reason.
I am not sure they were very successful, but they did try.

I contacted Esso about this situation and offered to send them the link to this video and asked them for a response on this situation not just as a customer but as a reporter.

Their standard protocol for customer complaints is to open a file and take your complaint, but you as a customer, are not entitled to know if there has been a resolution to your concern or not.

The lady I spoke with expressed that this is their normal method of handling customer complaints, but when I told her for the 3rd time that I was not just a customer, but a reporter and that I wanted a follow up call with the resolution to the issues at hand she said she'd give me a number to their media relations.

I told her thank you very much but I have that number and I also let her know that as a customer I would be boycotting Esso wherever and whenever humanly possible, because as a customer, I should have a right to know if my complaints or concerns are truly being dealt with and that since this is their policy for the handling of customer concerns, I did not wish to do business with their company.

If as a customer who purchases their product, I can't at least know that they really did deal with the issue and what the outcome was, then they show me no value as a customer and I would rather give my hard earned money to a company that places more value on their customers needs and concerns.

I am going to cut up my Esso Extra Card and shop elsewhere - not just because of what I see in this video, but because of Esso's customer complaint and concern resolution strategy, I simply don't feel valued as a customer.

I will shop at those Esso stations that I know for a FACT support the riding community, but if I am in an area and have a choice, but don't know if the Esso supports riders for sure, I will choose the other station every time.

I want to be valued as a customer - period. 

NO MATTER WHERE I BUY MY GAS or the products I use in my day to day life.

If you want to test what I say for yourself you can call:
1-800-567-ESSO (3776) ... my complaint file number is # 02337590
The station in question in this video is located in Campbellville Ontario

What say you?

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Here is the information from the rider who filmed this:
Hi Betty. I originally posted this on John Cosentini's event page. My reason for posting was to highlight the issue at this particular station but also to profile the positive process of resolution between the gas station owner's son and John, our ride leader, talking out what could have been a much worse situation.

To clarify a few things: the gas station owner did not raise his hand to a woman. He grabbed the hand and phone of a male biker in the group as he was recording the store owner taking down plate numbers and recording the bikes with his phone. The biker then grabbed him by the neck. That was broken up and that is when I started recording, the owner's son had his dad move off and John started talking it out with the owner's son. 

The other misrepresentation is that there is a lot of space on the property - there isn't. It is a small corner lot in a very popular group riding area and while there are a few parking spaces on each side of the property the place where the bikes were parked was off to the side but not in designated parking. The owner and son are clearly frustrated by the groups of riders that stop for gas and don't leave right away. 

I don't think this was an isolated incident. When the owner first came out to complain, many off us moved our bikes into designated parking spots or off his property altogether. Some were away from their bikes for the moment to either get a drink or go to the washroom. While the owner was perfectly in his right to ask the bikers to move off his property, the angry and aggressive manner of his approach got the backs up of a few in our group and things escalated emotionally fairly quickly when he came back right away to take down plate numbers and pictures of the bikes. 

The riders who were away from their bikes had no time in between to get back to their bikes and move them. I guess the lessoned learned is that if you are in a larger group riding together it would be better to find another gas station with a greater amount of space that can better accommodate a larger group of bikes. I should also point out that this is also where the Ice House Restaurant is located and they are very biker-friendly and supportive of the biker community. Whether or not you decide to boycott this gas station or not, please continue to take your business to the Ice House Restaurant as you pass through Campbellville. The owners and staff at the Ice House appreciate their biker business. 

It has been a popular stop for bikers of all kinds for years. They have parking along the front and side of their building. I, for one, will continue to fill up at that gas station on my own or in a small group, but will find a bigger gas station if I am part of a large group in the future. Hope that helps to clarify a little bit!  Bill Crawford

Post a Comment

  1. Many of our local stations have started to use no parking signs. i feel for both sides in this story. some comunities get nervous when groups of bikes are around. we are normal people that ride bikes and as people we need to change the stereotype that has effected bikes for years.