Petro Canada has NO respect for customers!

•November 7, 2011 • 2 Comments
Petro Canada clerk at 55 Spadina Avenue

You want POOR customer service? Go to Petro Canada

So I heard from Petro Canada and believe me – I am highly disappointed with their response. Clearly customer service isn’t one of their strong suits. This is the poorest response I’ve seen an organization give an unsatisfied customer:

Dear Ms. xxxx:

We appreciated receiving your feedback regarding your experience at the Petro-Canada service station at 55 Spadina Ave. in Toronto and the opportunity to explain our fraud prevention measures. We regret that in some cases, these measures may result in inconvenience to legitimate guests.

Fraud prevention is a priority at Petro-Canada and our retailers follow a standardized approach without exception at our sites to mitigate risk.

Our retailers need to be cautious when it comes to accepting credit card payments and follow strict guidelines to protect both themselves and their customers from fraud. We believe that if customers can see that we take the extra step to minimize the risk of fraud, they will be more confident in doing business with us.

Closely verifying payments, asking for valid proof of identification and sometimes calling the credit card company for authorization when large purchases are made may be necessary to reduce the risk of payment fraud. Still, we are focused on continuing to provide superior customer service, and we regret any inconveniences our processes when purchasing gift cards may have caused you. The process normally takes just a few minutes and we were sorry to hear that you experienced an unusual delay. Our retailer, after carefully investigating your concerns, was under the impression that the transaction in question was authorized in less than a minute.

Although our investigation revealed that the attendant followed the proper procedures, we apologize if he did not explain the reasons why the
process is necessary. We also want to confirm that no personal information was recorded.

Your input is welcome and your support is sincerely appreciated. We sincerely hope that we may continue to serve you.

Pat Vallejo

Customer Relations Specialist
Suncor Energy Products Partnership
Tel 905 804 4313
877 777 7252 Ext 4313
Fax 800 837 1228 
Suncor Energy is the proud owner of Petro-Canada

After the poor response from Pat – I emailed him back and at the end of my email – I told him, I don’t expect o hear back from him and boy was I EVER right! And he expects me to shop at Petro Canada again? Yeah right! WHAT incentive did he give me? Was the employee ever disciplined – NO! Was I offered any coupons or a give card – OH HELL NO! So seriously – there’s NO reason for me to EVER go to a Petro Canada again! Seriously, I wouldn’t be this annoyed if I was told to wait one minute – the fact, I was told to wait 20 minutes! So yes stand behind your poorly trained employee Petro Canada! So this is where I say so long – you’ve just lost one customer and with all of my combined networks – you just pissed off more than 1000 people (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blog) – way to go! GOLD STAR FOR STELLAR CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Looking for a gas card anyone? Go to Esso!


Petro Canada has NO respect for customers

•October 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a long time however I’m back….

Let me tell you about a real story that happened to me involving Petro Canada. After my experience I will NEVER go to another Petro Canada gas station again. And this is really unfortunate as there’s a Petro Canada literally 2 minutes from my house and a 15 minute walk from my work place. I would rather have my car stall on the road so I can call CAA than go to Petro Canada for gas. Or better yet drive five to 10 minutes to Esso to fill up my car because Esso respects and appreciates their customers.

So last Friday I went to Petro Canada to buy $250 worth of gas cards for a contest my employer was running. The Petro Canada gas station is located at 55 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario which is a 15 minute walk from my work place. It’s not far when you are in optimal health however my circumstances of my health has changed (one I will not disclose here), but if you come to my place to work – you will know what I’m talking about

Petro Canada has no respect for customers!

Petro Canada sucks!

Anyways, I went to the gas station and picked up two $100 gift cards and one $50 gift card. I went to the attendant and gave him the gas cards to purchase – the attendant probably was a complete idiot. He asked me for my driver’s licence and said he had to see it because my purchase is more than $100 on my Capital One Platnium chip credit card. So in my mind – I was thinking – this is really stupid, but I provided my licence. Then the idiot attendant told me he had to call my bank to verify the purchase. Are you serious? After seeing my government issued licence – that should be the end of it. But no it wasn’t. So I then asked the illiterate attendant – “how long would this take?” And he said, 20 minutes. At this time – I took my driver’s licence and credit card away from him. I told the attendant – I have to get back to work and I don’t have time to wait 20 minutes on company time for a routine transaction.

So I left I was disgusted at the level of customer service and immediately filed a complaint with head office at Petro Canada. I didn’t hear from Petro Canada until Monday October 24 at 1:52 p.m. This is odd as their social media advisor – Julie Siabanis had the time to look me up on LinkedIn on Friday October 21, but it took them until Monday afternoon to provide a half ass response to my complaint. Their response is as follows:

Good afternoon xxxx,

Thank you for contacting Petro-Canada Customer Service online.

We sincerely apologize for the poor experience you have had at the Petro-Canada site located at 55 Spadina Avenue in Toronto, ON.

At Petro-Canada we take great pride in providing high quality products and services to our customers.

The way that our retail business is structured, independent associate retailers operate most of our service stations. As such, our associates have full responsibility and accountability for the operation of the sites which they manage.

This matter has been brought to the attention of the retailer for his review.

Please note that Superior customer service and customer security are among our top priorities. We work hard to ensure that our independent retailers and their staff know how to make customers feel welcome, important and respected.

For security reasons we are unable to share our security/fraud prevention measures. However, we can advise you that it is appropriate to ask for proof of identity in certain circumstances. Having said that, under no circumstances is private information to be written down or recorded.

In order to investigate this matter further please provide the date and time of your visit to the site.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and we thank you for your business.

Best regards,

Suncor Energy Products Partnership
Customer Relations
Phone ~ 1-800-668-0220
Fax ~ 1-800-837-1228
Email ~

I was really disappointed with their response, and my anger was not because the attendant asked for my licence – it’s the fact, he’s like – I have to call your bank to verify my purchase. I mean, why ask for my licence, if you weren’t going to process my transaction in the first place?

And I responded to Petro Canada’s half-hearted customer service response and I haven’t heard from them ever since. Way to go Petro Canada. Clearly you don’t know how to put customer service above everything else! So guess what? I’ve told everyone I know about Petro Canada and I’m telling others – until the message is out there.

Esso - a gas station you can trust!

Esso - has AMAZING customer service!

By the way, not all gas stations are like this. I went to Esso to purchase $250 worth of gas cards and the attendant was so pleasant and easy to deal with. She took my credit card, processed the transaction and never asked me for my driver’s licence. Way to go Esso! Thanks for putting the customer first.

Branding yourself in a recession

•March 14, 2010 • 1 Comment

Despite what the media or government says – we are still in a tough economic recession. People are still losing their homes and jobs; many are forced to downsize while others simply can’t find the now illusive full-time job. It is almost impossible to find a permanent full-time job and all that’s being offered now are short-term contracts and that’s if you’re lucky.

With so many qualified people looking for work, it is a necessity to reinvent yourself so you don’t look like everyone else. So everyone who’s been out of work and you’re at the point of giving up – don’t. Sit down and seriously consider how you are going to rebrand yourself.

Everyone has talents – find out what your talents are and exploit them to the fullest. Once you know what you’re good at – create a website/blog and promote it. You can do this in several ways. There are numerous FREE tools out there. For instance, you can use such social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter or you can just use e-mail to announce to your friends and colleagues what you’re doing and how you are able to help them. This may sound stupid, but it will pay off in the long term.

Now once you learn what your strong points are – it will strengthen your job hunting pursuits. Again – I cannot stress how important it is to create a brand identity for you. Remember, many individuals have exactly the same qualifications so you don’t want to look like everyone else. Learn to stand out and sell yourself. Obviously, this is easier said than done and I’m learning how to brand myself and I’m not completely there yet. But I am confident I will get there and when I do watch out world!

In today's economy you have to learn how to stand out!

If you have gone through the branding process – I would LOVE to hear from you. I am always willing to learn and I realize now is the time for me to market myself as something completely different.

Nile Valley Books: the power of knowledge

•February 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

Nohsakhre Ibrahim holds one of his favourite books in his store.

Nile Valley Books: the power of knowledge

It is February and officially Black History Month. Here’s a profile I did on an entrepreneur within the black community. This article also appears in the current issue of Sway magazine.


A local entrepreneur with big dreams and aspirations since 1986 decided to take his love of books and learning and opened a bookstore to service the African and Caribbean community in Toronto.

 Nohsakhre Ibrahim opened Nile Valley Books in February 1999 firmly believing in the African adage – the more you know yourself, the more you know other people.  Ibrahim felt there was a need to create a bookstore carrying a broader range of books instrumental to edifying the black community.   He recognized the historical importance of the Nile Valley to world history and culture and decided to name his store after it.

“I wanted my bookstore to be that foundation of knowledge… let’s pick ourselves up; look at the mistakes we’ve made; correct them and go fourth.  It is important to read and understand who you are and where you’ve come from,” he said.

In 1986, Ibrahim started selling books as a mobile carrier and at that time the only bookstore providing literature for the black community was the Third World Bookstore.  He considered the book philosophy of the Third World Bookstore as a supplier of mostly political books.  He decided to change this landscape and create a store with a diverse selection of books fostering positive images of the African and Caribbean community and also accessible to those who live in the east end of Toronto.

Ibrahim has created a faithful customer base in Toronto by appearing at a variety of conferences and events such as Afrofest and the Toronto African Dance Festival.  He has taken his love of learning and educating others about their African heritage seriously.

“I want people to have a positive attitude about Africa.  I want to improve the mentality; the pride level and the accomplishments of African people where ever we live.  Nile Valley Books is trying to show African people we are a family no matter where we come from,” he said.

Nile Valley Books is located at 1921 Gerrard Street East.  For information on store hours and recommended book titles, call: 416-686-7411.

Top picks for Black History Month

1) The Philosophy and Opinion of Marcus Garvey: compiled by Amy Jacques Garvey

2) MAAT: the 11 Laws of God by Ra Un Nefer Amen

3) We are the Washitaw: The Indigenous Black Inhabitants of North America: compiled under the direction of the Empress of Washitaw: Verdiacee Tiari Washitaw-Turner Goston El-Bey; By Dr. R.A. Umar Shabazz Bey

4) The Blacker the Berry Poems.  By Joyce Carol Thomas

Grassroots fundraiser for children

•November 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 A grassroots fundraiser organized by a woman with an enormous heart for the most vulnerable in Toronto raised more than $635 yesterday and many more donations continue to come in.

The fundraiser entitled, music+kids=joy! dedicated to the programs the Children’s Breakfast Club provides for children who are less fortunate.  The event was a tremendous success with a variety of donations from individuals who believe a child in Toronto – should not go hungry for breakfast.

I had the privilege of working along with Staffeen Thompson (the organizer) and other people who believed in what Thompson was trying to achieve. 

I look forward to helping Thompson on her next children fundraising initiative!

Donated cake

After all of the hard work - time for some cake!

Stop with the Photoshop!

•October 12, 2009 • 1 Comment

No wonder the fitness industry makes billions of dollars annually when unrealistic images of beauty are thrown in the faces of women everywhere.  Many women believe these images are attainable however sadly – this is far from the truth.  Nothing about these images is real.  These photos are nothing more than twisted interpretations of what beauty is.

The highly distorted image of model Filippa Hamilton

Yes Kim Kardashian has cellulite too!

Yes Kim Kardashian has cellulite too!

in a recent Ralph Lauren advertisement – not only depicts an unrealistic image of a woman but also puts “real” women at an awkward position.  Some women unaware that the photo was Photoshopped would experience feelings of “feeling fat” or inadequate about their bodies.  And why not?  If you watch television shows or commercials – you see women with flawless bodies.  In reality – no one is perfect – everyone has some kind of flaw and seeing a perfectly thin women in a Ralph Lauren ad – doesn’t help these distorted images of beauty.

And like every woman – I have a love hate relationship with my body.  There are days I love it and days I really hate it.  Nevertheless, I have come to terms with my flaws as I decided to look at the overall picture.  Overall I am average height and weight and I am healthy.  That’s all that matters to me.  And for me to reach this moment in my life – wasn’t easy.  I decided to pursue a healthy lifestyle rather than trying to appear like an unhealthy stick figure.  Don’t get me wrong, there are women who are naturally thin and that’s okay.  My problem is when society tries to encourage ALL women to appear a certain way.  And when a woman falls outside of this projected norm she is categorized as ugly or less than desirable.  That’s not fair or realistic.  Women come in a variety of shapes.  If we all looked and smelled that same – that would be boring!  The most important thing is – a woman is healthy, she is eating right and she is at peace with her body. 

If you are living an unhealthy lifestyle and you want to change – join a gym and work out a minimum of four times a week.  If you are unable to join a gym – do want you can from home.  Whether that means doing push ups and/or crunches for 15 minutes or walking outside everyday – it is a start.  A good tool for guidance is  Here you are able to get exercises you can do in the privacy of your home and get tips on eating.  A healthy lifestyle is easier to maintain than you think.  Small chances will make a lifetime of a difference.

The Breakfast Project – come and support a great cause!

•September 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t blogged in a while as I wanted to contribute something meaningful….

I must say I am inspired once again when a colleague of mine approached me about an exciting initiative and how could I say no?

I am currently helping to promote The Breakfast Project .  This event was created by a dedicated individual to help raise funds for The Children’s Breakfast Club.  The individual, Staffeen Thompson, felt compelled to give back to her community as many kids do not have the opportunity to have the most important meal of the day – breakfast.  In order to combat this problem – Staffeen decided to create this fun-filled charity event.

The goal is to raise a minimum of $2000 for The Children’s Breakfast Club.   The festivities will be from 2 – 5 p.m. on Saturday November 14, 2009 at Milestones on4 (Toronto Life Building – Yonge/Dundas ).

We look forward to seeing you.  Come and support a great cause and have the opportunity to win amazing prizes from generous donors.