Marketing Mix: We'll call you - BP

It's grim up north, or at least it might be if our trip there is scuppered by fuel shortages. Should we stay home instead?

BP Good morning, BP customer care, how may I help?

Mktg I'm planning to drive up north to Yorkshire this bank holiday weekend and I'm concerned about the fuel shortages.

BP Yes, it's quite a hard one. Some sites have got stocks, but there are a couple that have run out of diesel. It has had to be bought elsewhere, so deliveries are coming through, but it's taken a little longer. If you give us a call toward the end of the week, we'll have a better idea of the situation. It's the last day of the strike today, and it will take a few days for the refinery to get up and running.

Mktg The problem I've got is that I need to book a rental car. Is it better to get a diesel or unleaded?

BP Well, at the moment it's only diesel that has been affected; unleaded hasn't really had too many 'stock outs'. So I'd probably say unleaded to be on the safe side.

Mktg What are the main affected areas? I'm driving from London so I'll need to fill up on the way.

BP It's mainly Scotland but Cumbria was also affected. I haven't heard of problems in Yorkshire if that's the route you're taking, but that's not to say there won't be any.

Mktg Have people started panic buying?

BP They did last week, but it's settled down now.

Mktg Has it affected the price?

BP There are different issues affecting the price, it's not really down to the Grangemouth strike.

Mktg I just don't want to drive to Yorkshire and be stuck.

BP Yes, it's come at an awkward time, but we won't have a clear picture until the refineries are up and running.

Mktg What about gas? I am sure I can rent a car that runs on it.

BP Is that LPG?

Mktg I think so. Does BP stock it?

BP Yes, but not all sites sell it. If you check www.lpga.co.uk you can do a route finder and it will show you sites that do stock it. Obviously, there will be competitors, but at least you can check availability.

Mktg That's great, thanks.

BP Thank you, bye.

VERDICT

The call-handler was well-informed and showed no hesitation when answering my queries. Advice was given on the precautions I should take if I was looking to go away for the bank holiday, such as calling back for more up-to-date information nearer my date of travel. She even gave me details of a website where I could find which petrol stations sell LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), even though some of those listed on the site are competitors of BP.

SCORE 9/10.

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