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NP customer calls for compensation

SUV sprayed with diesel

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

A National Petroleum (NP) Limited customer is calling on the State enterprise to make haste in compensating her, two weeks after the nozzle of a hose at one of NP's service stations broke, spewing fuel on her and the interior of her SUV.

Stacey Alexander told the Express she was at Moonan Service Station on St Lucien Road, Diego Martin on October 23 to purchase diesel when the hose attached to the fuel pump "became loose from the nozzle, causing the diesel to spray me down as well as the interior of my vehicle. After a couple of seconds, I recollected myself, closed the front passenger door of the vehicle to avoid further damage to the inside."

Alexander said she notified the pump attendant, took photos of the broken hose and the damage done to her personal effects. She also drove to NP's complex at Sea Lots that same day, covered in diesel, just so that when she wrote her letter of complaint they would know that her experience was real.

She met and spoke with NP's customer service manager Ronald Clarke and was assured that the company would look after her claim.

She is claiming for damage to two pairs of shoes valued at $250 each, one men's ¾ black short pants, three cell phones (BlackBerry, Coral, Blu), one book, car upholstery fabric (floor and seats) and clothing (jeans, jersey, undergarments) at a total of $5,000.

"It's not like I'm asking for $100,000 and I am not being unreasonable. I just find the whole situation unsettling because it is not like I went there with the intention of having this thing exploding on me. My car has been cleaned but it still smells of gas. Nothing is wrong with me health-wise but I am thinking that something so simple and something so trivial could be more than dealt with for a big establishment as NP and it should not have this long drawn-out delay. I just find it rather frustrating my things were damaged, they have to be replaced and I have to sit and wait at their convenience."

Alexander said she is not claiming beyond what she lost and believes the company could have compensated her and sorted out the insurance issue without her having to wait to be paid just $5,000.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Clarke said: "I think you would appreciate how the insurance aspect of these things work. We would have passed it on to the insurance and they are the ones who will be looking at it. Though it may be considered a small matter sometimes it may be out of our control in terms of how long it takes. The most that we could do is ask them to expedite matters and we are trying to do that.

"As a matter of fact I was in touch with the insurance department up to Monday to find out if they had received any word from the insurance company on how we were going to treat with the matter."

He added that not because somebody submits a claim that the company is going to pay everything on that claim but an adjuster would have to decide.

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