Fuelling Up Embarrasment
Most people with disabilities who drive will have had a bad experience at a petrol station. Waving your hands, beeping your horn and flashing your lights at a pump is more embarrassing than handy whenever fuelling up. All that is needed is a quick and easy way to ask for help while being discreet.
What is FuelService?
Fuel Service is a service which aims to improve disabled drivers experiences when going to a station to fuel up. The service provides a discrete and simplistic way to ask for help, eliminating the need for you to embarrass yourself asking for help. It also ensures that staions are prepared in advanced for when you arrived and makes it easier for them to give you the best ever possible service.
My first use of this was positive. I had just finished my half-day on placement when I realised my tank was low so gave this app a try in hopes to become more independent when it came to fuelling up.
FuelService App Usability
The app itself followed an easy to use interface with an option to select the station you were going to. You then have 30 minutes to arrive at the station, which I felt was short assuming I had to travel for almost an hour before arriving to where I wanted to go. I ended up stopping mid journey just to reselect the option. Although, you can use this app when you arrive but it’s nice to let them know in advanced just in case it’s busy.
Quick and Easy
On arriving I was able to quickly input the pump number and was informed help would be on the way. What made it even better was the time scale I was given, which was assuring. There wasn’t even the need to draw attention to myself just to get them out and help, it was all discreet.
After the time had passed they arrived and I was given an excellent service with both a full happy tank and clean car from purchasing a car wash ticket.
Giving your Feedback
Finally when leaving, you’re asked to give feedback. This option is a great way to let them know how to improve yours and other disabled driver experiences at the station in the future. It also helps others pick which stations to go to or avoid in terms of the accessible service they provided. While this does help contribute to the star rating, your feedback is only seen by the station.
Alternative Ways to Use FuelSercuce
There isn’t need for the FuelService app either. The user can use a dedicated mobile number to text your station and pump number. There is even an interactive phone number you can dial, which is great for those who don’t necessarily have a smartphone to run the FuelService app.
Out of all the options to ask for help, the most preferred way to use Fuel Service is via the app. The app has a very easy to use interface and is the fastest way to find stations that use the service. It also makes the overall experience of asking for help a lot easier. You can download the app on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
How to use the FuelService App
Before moving onto the downsides of the app, I feel it would be a great idea to show you briefly how the app works, with some instructions on how to use it.
Downloading the App
- First of all, open the app on your Apple or Android device. If you haven’t installed it, please click on the store icons below to download the FuelService app.
FuelService Main Menu
- After downloading and opening tha app you will be introduced to the following menu.
Selecting Fuel Type / Location
- Next, select the fuel type you need by using the dropdown under the title “Fuel Type”. Due to using a diesel vehicle, I’ve got that selected. Below is an example of all the many Fuel Types you can pick from.
Selecting Fuel Location
- Once you have selected your Fuel Type, in the “Where?” box, search the station location. In the example below, I am searching for a station in Nottingham, UK.
- Once you are happy, click on “Find Stations” to get searching.
Selecting Your Station
- You will now be presented with a series of stations. As you can see, there is a name (top left), distance to travel (top right), when it is open (bottom left) and whether it supports the fuel type you have selected (bottom right). However, there are usually no results returned if the fuel type you have selected is supported by the station.
Asking For Assistance
- Then you should be shown the menu where you can “Ask For Assistance” to call for help. Although, in this case, I will not be selecting “Ask For Assistance” just to avoid messing a poor station around. All the services at the station are also shown via icons just below the stations name and details.
- Finally, when you arrive just select the pump you are at and bingo! you can now get the support you need at the station.
Downsides to FuelService…
While timelimits stop people from accidentially forgetting to cancel on the station if they change their mind, the limit it sets for you is quite short. During my first use, I had just left somewhere to go back home and planned to go to the local station just before reaching my own house. As the app only gave me a certain amount of time, I felt a bit pressured into getting there on time. At some point, I even chose to pull over just to re-select the station I was going to. I understand that it’s to stop false requests spamming stations but it isn’t long enough for hour journeys.
Obviously with any app, there are always room for changes. FuelService has a great fit for purpose app, which does what it is supposed to do. Below, I’ve suggested some improvements which would help FuelService become a even greater application.
Link to a Maps Service
By linking the FuelService app with services, such as Google Maps and Waze, then an estimated time can be sent to the station. This way the user would not have to worry about arriving within a set limit. It would also give stations a heads up to when you arrive, meaning a more efficent service.
Make Use of Smart Assistants!
Additionally, if the company worked with Google and Apple, they could then integrate this functionality into their voice command software. This will then allow disabled to use the smart assistant to use FuelService.
App Smart Assistant
Similarly, FuelService could create their very own fuel smart assistant. The assistant would then allow users who use the app via their voice while drive. This may help drivers who need to use both hands while driving too (please don’t use your phone while driving). Although, with this comes potential costs to the company.
Time to Drive
Now it’s time to depart back onto the road! Hopefully you now know more about FuelService and what the app has to offer. In the end, I feel that this app is an handy tool for disabled drivers who just want that independance at the station. We don’t want to feel embarrassed drawing attention to ourselves, which is why this app is the perfect solution. If you want to check out FuelService, click here.
Have you ever used FuelService? Why not talk about your experiences down in the comments or via our social media pages! All comments can be submitted at the bottom of your page. As always, thanks for checking out this post and hope to see you again on Dynamic Double for more experiences in the future.