A Leighton Buzzard mother who forgot to take a payment card to the petrol station claims she was horrified to be told that if she left the compound to fetch it then staff would dial 999!
Denise Morgan, 35, of Sandhills, was on her way to a job interview on the morning of December 13, when she visited Shell Grovebury, Billington Road, and put £20 worth of diesel in her vehicle.
However, when she arrived at the counter and realised she had forgotten her card, Denise claims she was shocked to be told that if she went home to fetch it, the petrol station would call the police.
She claims: “I told a staff member behind the counter that I was just going to pop home and get my card, as I didn’t realise that I had not brought it.
“Their response - in front of all the other customers - was: ‘I must inform you that if you leave this compound I am going to call the police and report you for theft’.
“I started laughing, thinking they were joking, and said, ‘Well, you can keep my driving licence and keys as ransom until I come back in two minutes!’ But they repeated that if I left they would call the police.
“I then got pretty cross, and explained that I was on my way to an interview – I was wearing a suit, not dressed like some gangster! – how was I suppose to pay if they wouldn’t let me leave the compound?
“The response was ‘You should have thought of that before you put petrol in, I am just following the rules’.
“I have honestly never been so humiliated and was shook up and upset in the interview.”
Thankfully, another member of staff stepped in, and said that it was OK so long as Denise returned with her card before the end of their shift.
However, when Denise complained to the store manager, she alleges she was shrugged off, as the Shell manager asked: “Are you going to be long because there are people waiting?”
A Shell spokeswoman, said: “At Shell, customer service is at the heart of everything we do. We are very sorry to hear the customer had a bad experience and we are seriously investigating with the service station.”