Tough task. Customers found it difficult to operate the Adnoc Smart Self-Service pumps in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/XPRESS

ABU DHABI: Adnoc’s self-service refuelling pilot project seems to have run out of gas within days of its launch on March 1.

Following confusion and frayed tempers, full service pumping one’s own gas is proving to be a greasy affair for many Abu Dhabi motorists.

Confusion, fraying tempers and delays marked the first three days of self-service at four Adnoc stations that introduced the new system as a pilot project.

“Adnoc Distribution wishes to confirm that the pilot phase of its Adnoc Smart Self-Service will continue to provide the full service option across the four service stations included in the pilot phase in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Customers are able to choose the method of service they prefer, either full service or self–service,” read a statement issued by the company on March 5.

Chaotic scenes

Adnoc staff said the scenes were chaotic during the first three days.

“People just didn’t know what to do. It was a mess,” said an attendant. “There were endless queues. Many motorists lost patience and started yelling at us,” he added.

Another Adnoc staff said the problem was compounded as most drivers had not registered with Adnoc Wallet. “They wanted to pay in cash and that caused further delays. Some people did not even know about self-service and refused to get out of their cars,” he said.

To use the self-service, customers have to register with Adnoc Wallet. The service enables one to pay through Adnoc smart cards, smart chip or via Emirates ID that is linked to the e-wallet.

“It is a mind block. I know it is not a big deal to pump your own fuel. But if I have a choice, I will not opt for self-service,” said Arab expat Zainab Al Khoury.

Indian Ashish Kumar said it could take some time for people to get accustomed to using the smart self-service. “There are instructions on the screen. It is pretty simple once you get used to it,” said Kumar.

Lebanese Hani Mustafa said self-service is the way forward. “I am happy to fill my own fuel. We cannot be that spoilt that we cannot even fill our own petrol,” he said.