Gold Coast trip was a real eye-opener
By PATRIZIA REIMER firstname.lastname@example.org FOR two years Warren Scanlon filled up his immaculately-kept Mercedes Benz exclusively at the BP petrol station in North Ballina.
He was happy to pay the extra for 98 octane fuel but couldn't work out why he was getting fewer miles per dollar.
Then one day he found himself on the Gold Coast in need of a top-up. He used six litres less getting home than he did on his way up.
"I keep a diary of what it costs, the rate per litre, the number of litres and my mileage," said the Ballina pensioner.
"I noticed an excessively high consumption. I've been using 20 litres per 100 kilometres, but it should be only 11. "Recently I went to the Gold Coast. When I came back I used 14 litres per 100 kilometres.
"I've always filled up at (BP North Ballina) because I live at the caravan park next to it. How much damage that's done to the car I don't know."
Mr Scanlon has signed up for a class action suit against Ballina Petroleum.
BP Australia announced on July 6 that an investigation into 11 service stations operated by Ballina Petroleum revealed they had sold premium fuel with lower-than-advertised octane levels.
The company severed its relationship with Ballina Petroleum, which is currently under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
On July 11 BP assigned an independent operations supervisor, Reliance Petroleum, to oversee fuel delivery and management at all of Ballina Petroleum's service stations for about a month. Ballina Petroleum admitted to cheating customers out of approximately $150,000, and recently donated $200,000 to Southern Cross Lads Inc in a bid to regain customers' trust.
A Ballina Petroleum spokesperson told The Northern Star that Ballina Petroleum owner Santo Pennisi would not comment until the ACCC investigation had concluded.