Horrible Customer Service at Shell Gas Station in Montreal‏

By momof3b

I have been a smart canucks reader for a long time now but this is the first time I decided to join.

This morning ( Jan 2011) I pumped gas and paid for it with my credit card at Shell Canada on 1010 Jarry Ouest, corner L’acadie. The receipt did not come out of the pump so I went inside, said hi to the male cahier and told him in English I need a receipt for my pump purchase. He said in French, straight out I do not understand. He said do you speak French. I am perfectly bilingual but since he attitude was so crappy I said no. He said I do not understand. I said I need the paper receipt for the pump, he was angry now and said I do not understand and did not even try. What you think I am doing in the store after I pumped gas right in front of the window, I wondered. I felt as if I was on candid camera. I could not believe it, he was so rude. I saw someone in the back room and said it again loudly. The person in the back room came out and tried to smooth things over but in the meantime the cashier who refused to speak English was screaming and I mean screaming at me. I could not believe it! I said what is your name (In English) then he said I will not tell you my name (in French) and there it was, he understood everything I said!

He just refused to speak English. I can not believe Shell Canada would hire someone unilingual in an area which is known to have many immigrants who don’t know the language. Or any Shell station for that matter. Also, I get better service in English in the little French towns in Quebec.

I was shaking when I walked out because I could not believe it. I am appalled and will NEVER ever go back to that gas station, even if they sell gas at 5 cents a litre!


17 Responses to “Horrible Customer Service at Shell Gas Station in Montreal‏”

  1. 0

    Iwannadeal says...

    That’s a disgusting way to treat a paying customer, especially over something so trivial. But I remember my husband and I visitng Old Montreal as tourists, and sitting in a restaurant where our waiter would not respond to anything spoken in english such as ‘could we see a menu”where is the washroom’, or take our order in english. Luckily I speak some french, but other english speaking tourists were just left sitting, so this guy could prove his francophone point.

  2. 0

    EEE says...

    He definitely won’t last long in that area!

  3. 0

    Laura says...

    Or maybe he just understood some common phrases? I know when someone’s asking my name in Spanish, German and a few others but if someone started talking about anything more complicated, I’d be lost.

    It seems like you just wanted to start something, honestly. His attitude was so crappy?. He just said he didn’t understand. If you speak French why didn’t you clarify? YOU made it more complicated. Was he supposed to read your mind? HE didn’t even try? YOU didn’t bother trying either. If you’re so “perfectly bilingual” why not just SAY IT IN FRENCH. If you claim he had some kind of agenda, it’s pretty obvious you did to. You had no interest in helping him understand or using your French language skills. You wanted him to speak English so you could prove a point and get your way.

    Lots of people in Canada don’t speak French at all. AT ALL. But do they get bitched out because they don’t know French? No. So why does a person who only speaks French get talked down to? It’s so silly. Lots of people are educated, work, have families, live in French only communities. There’s not a lot of opportunity to practise English there, so the vocabulary is limited.

    Get over yourself.

  4. 0

    Big Bob says...

    “He said do you speak French. I am perfectly bilingual but since he attitude was so crappy I said no. He said I do not understand.”

    HEY congrats for acting like a 4 year old!!!

    Agree with Laura, get over yourself, you should be ashamed of how you acted.

  5. 0

    Fransisco says...

    God why do they keep posting these ridiculous “complaints’

  6. 0

    Ron Simmons says...

    I agree with Laura and Big Bob!

  7. 0

    dawn says...

    with some thing like this write shell and tell them all that you have told us no one should have to go through what you did .

  8. 0

    RCSS Customer says...

    don’t listen to laura or big bob. you are a customer in that establishment if you speak in english you should be served in english - given the other person could speak it which you had proof of. i would certainly complain to the manager.

  9. 0

    Cheryl888 says...

    You sound like you were acting like a huge baby.
    Why wouldnt you just resolve the issue, without causing a whole bunch of issues, by just SPEAKING FRENCH! You surely think you are much better than this cashier, who might not have the privilage of being bi-lingual.

    I live in the West, where few people are truly bilingual. If you came out here, and spoke french to a cashier who wouldnt understand you, you wouldnt get very far either. Maybe next time be a little more considerate for the people around you.

  10. 0

    Iwannadeal says...

    For the original poster momof3b–I think your being bullied here, and if you look in the Forum area you can find a post from the moderator stating that rudeness and bullying won’t be tolerated. You can just report those involved. You should be able to post about being treated badly as a customer without further being mistreated.

  11. 0

    momof3b says...

    Thank you for your concern Iwannadeal

    I did not want to make this an issue about French & English.
    Bottom line, the cashier screamed at me. This is not customer service, and therefore it should not be tolerated.

    Regardless, you all have an opinion as do I. This is a site that I could give my review, express my opinion and just have. I should not be penalized for it.

  12. 0

    Kris says...

    I had crappy service at a Shell once, and was so upset I went online and looked up Shell, found a 1-800 #, called and explained what happened, making sure I stated that I realize everyone has a bad day etc, name of the person behind the counter and the fact that I was still upset enough to come home and look up Shell, because I couldn’t shake the bad feelings I got from the attendant…they apologized and sent out a $20 gas voucher. I was mollified, because someone at Shell actually agreed with me, and that they gave me a little ‘bonus’ for my bad experience there.

  13. 0

    Joe says...

    I lived in Montreal 15 years ago, and it doesn’t sound like much has changed.

    I have heard rumblings of francophones and anglophones calling a truce, mainly due to their joint resentment against South and Central Asian immigrants - but it seems like the old prejudices die hard.

  14. 0

    Stefano says...

    Joe says “I lived in Montreal 15 years ago, and it doesn’t sound like much has changed.

    I have heard rumblings of francophones and anglophones calling a truce, mainly due to their joint resentment against South and Central Asian immigrants - but it seems like the old prejudices die hard.”

    - I have lived in beautiful Montreal all my life (over 45 years) and yes the Montreal language wars have changed in the past 10 years or so….for the better.

    …due to their joint resentment against South and Central Asian immigrants??? Where the #%^&@!! did that come from?!!! What planet are you from??? What do Asian immigrants have to do with speaking engish or french in Montreal???!!!

  15. 0

    Kevin says...

    Try Toronto. Be happy.

  16. 0

    mtlmom says...

    Let it be a lesson, when it comes to the language issue in Quebec emotions run high! I am an anglophone who attended French school all my life (had no choice there is a law that forbids me to attend english school) and I am perfectly bilingual (or would like to think so). I work in an english hospital and my children attend French school (no choice the law forbids them to attend english schools also.) I married a guy from the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area and boy have we had interesting discussions! I’ve learned through the years that they have their opinions and we have ours and that’s ok, but there is just one thing that is unfortunate, those who are francophone are losing out. If I compare my childs’ education to my friends kids education (english), my son gets 1 hour english a week compared to my friends kids who get half and half. Their kids are growing up perfectly bilingual, but my sons’ friends (whose parents are only French) are definitely growing up unilingual (because it’s not with an hour of English a week that you learn anything! Lucky for me, my son is learning English thanks to me. When he gets into the job market it will be an asset. I did have a similar situation to the OPC last week at my son’s school (which is an alternative school with a different teaching approach). I was volunteering in an arts & crafts activity (not pedagogical) there is a boy who is anglophone who is a bit tumultuous and through my attending the classes have learned that I get a better response when I speak to him in English. So during the activity I was talking to him in English (as well as my son). Well, one of the technicians (TES) came up to me and said, ‘Here we speak to him in French!) I was shocked and explained to her why I was doing this (though I don’t know why I had to justify what I was doing!) Anyways, the principal discussed several issues with her. But this is the type of behavior that I (we) have to deal with! It does apply to both sides though! And my mom who is from a french speaking community in New Brunswick never had to deal with this type of issue.

  17. 0

    mary says...

    this happens to almost everybody who goes to montreal to visit. If you don’t speak French with them, they don’t want to help you out even if they know English.

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