Did self-serve gas law pass? (or is Valley Shell going rogue?)

I'll admit I haven't gassed up in NJ recently, as I mostly drive our electric car, but I was surprised today when I went to Shell on Valley to fill up the minivan after a family trip, and found a fully self-serve station.  Once I realized that no attendant was coming, I pumped my own, but I had no idea that the law had been passed.

Also, I will note that there was no full-service option offered.  Only a sign (with a wheelchair picture) saying that they would pump gas for the disabled, but that they might not be able to do so if there is only one employee at the station.  Begging the question of why they would ever have more than one employee at the station if it offers no automotive services and no full-serve option.


I don't believe so.  In addition, saying that we won't pump your gas if your disabled if we don't bother staffing the place is illegal.  


Even better, I just looked at my receipt and it says that I purchased my gas full-serve (and paid full serve prices for it).  Tried to call the station, but the number I found online has been disconnected.  So now I'm on hold with Shell Corporate Customer Service....


I think it’s the owner who will pump your gas. No employees. They were always more expensive than any others. 


Jaytee said:

I think it’s the owner who will pump your gas. No employees. They were always more expensive than any others. 

I sat there and waited a few minutes before I realized that no employee was pumping gas, and that all of the pumps were labelled as if the station were self serve (including the sign about the circumstances under which they will pump gas for the disabled).  So I did my self serve and then came home to try to find any evidence that the law had changed while I wasn't paying any attention. I can find no evidence that the law has been changed, so I can only assume they are operating illegally.

So bleeping glad that most of my driving is electric.  I would have used a different station, but had a $25 gift card that I wanted to use up during a rare gasoline fill-up.


susan1014 said:

Even better, I just looked at my receipt and it says that I purchased my gas full-serve (and paid full serve prices for it).  Tried to call the station, but the number I found online has been disconnected.  So now I'm on hold with Shell Corporate Customer Service....

FYI - IF we ever get self-serve, I think you will find that the prices will be pretty similar to what we have now and at the full-serve pump (if they have one) the price will be significantly higher.  That was my observation as a teen just starting to drive and gas up the family car in Texas where I grew up and, if anything, NJ "full serve" prices are lower than many surrounding states' self-serve.  Furthernmore, "full serve" here is a joke because all they do is pump the gas.  REAL full service would include cleaning the windows and, upon request, checking fluid levels and tire pressure.  I don't know if you get that anymore, but when we paid 50 cents or more per gallon extra for full-serve "back in the day" in other states, it was the case.


sac said:

FYI - IF we ever get self-serve, I think you will find that the prices will be pretty similar to what we have now and at the full-serve pump (if they have one) the price will be significantly higher.  That was my observation as a teen just starting to drive and gas up the family car in Texas where I grew up and, if anything, NJ "full serve" prices are lower than many surrounding states' self-serve.  Furthernmore, "full serve" here is a joke because all they do is pump the gas.  REAL full service would include cleaning the windows and, upon request, checking fluid levels and tire pressure.  I don't know if you get that anymore, but when we paid 50 cents or more per gallon extra for full-serve "back in the day" in other states, it was the case.

I used to get full service at the BP on Springfield avenue. Some 20 years ago.


by law (in areas where it is actually only self serve legally) , they can refuse to pump for a person with a disability if there is only 1 employee working (under ADA).  it is not considered reasonable to require that employer to leave the cash register/secure it.

the price difference between states also has to do with the gas tax which varies between states, it may have been that the NJ gas tax is lower than the other state so even at full service, the gas is cheaper.


jmitw said:

by law, they can refuse to pump for a person with a disability if there is only 1 employee working.  it is not considered reasonable to require that employer to leave the cash register/secure it.

the price difference between states also has to do with the gas tax which varies between states, it may have been that the NJ gas tax is lower than the other state so even at full service, the gas is cheaper.

I seriously doubt that prices would go down in NJ by as much as the typical full/self serve differential that you see in places where there is a choice.  But I can't prove it.  It's just what I observed IRL in the past. 


jmitw said:

by law, they can refuse to pump for a person with a disability if there is only 1 employee working.  it is not considered reasonable to require that employer to leave the cash register/secure it.

the price difference between states also has to do with the gas tax which varies between states, it may have been that the NJ gas tax is lower than the other state so even at full service, the gas is cheaper.

not sure about that if they always only have a single person.  


Steve said:

jmitw said:

by law, they can refuse to pump for a person with a disability if there is only 1 employee working.  it is not considered reasonable to require that employer to leave the cash register/secure it.

the price difference between states also has to do with the gas tax which varies between states, it may have been that the NJ gas tax is lower than the other state so even at full service, the gas is cheaper.

not sure about that if they always only have a single person.  

I guess the question is whether the person working the register in 7/11 counts as a second person for ADA purposes.  I'd be surprised to find two employees working outside very often in a self-serve world.


Appears that there is a limited exception to providing service at the self-serve price at gas stations.  It has to be a single employee operating on a remote control basis.  (Guessing that this is when the cashier is behind bullet proof glass and controls when and how much gas may be pumped.)

eta:  That's under the ADA.  Who knows how NJ would interpret the NJLAD if we end up permitting self serve.


it wouldn't have to be bullet proof glass..... https://www.ada.gov/gasserve.htm


Shell (on Valley) is known for ripping off customers.  Buyer beware.


jmitw said:

it wouldn't have to be bullet proof glass..... https://www.ada.gov/gasserve.htm

What exactly is "operating on a remote control basis with a single employee."  And repeating the link that I posted isn't terribly helpful.


In the age of electric vehicles, how and will "full service" still be justified?   Not for safety from gasoline accidents.  Maybe for the disabled.  

And how many service stations will still be economically viable.  I'm going to sell my service station right now.


Steve said:

What exactly is "operating on a remote control basis with a single employee."  And repeating the link that I posted isn't terribly helpful.

i didn't see a link...the link it self is not actually listed.  being that I don't get out of NJ, i don't know how self serve pumps work.  i would think they are mostly automated, you run the credit card through and it turns on.  there is no remote operating unless there is a problem and the attendant can shut it down.

i'm surprised they don't have an automatic bill feeder for people to pay cash up front. i'm going to check youtube to see if there are any good videos on the process.


jmitw said:

Steve said:

What exactly is "operating on a remote control basis with a single employee."  And repeating the link that I posted isn't terribly helpful.

i didn't see a link...the link it self is not actually listed.  being that I don't get out of NJ, i don't know how self serve pumps work.  i would think they are mostly automated, you run the credit card through and it turns on.  there is no remote operating unless there is a problem and the attendant can shut it down.

i'm surprised they don't have an automatic bill feeder for people to pay cash up front. i'm going to check youtube to see if there are any good videos on the process.

I don't think some gas station owners want cash to be accounted for electronically.....  


jmitw said:

Steve said:

What exactly is "operating on a remote control basis with a single employee."  And repeating the link that I posted isn't terribly helpful.

i didn't see a link...the link it self is not actually listed.  being that I don't get out of NJ, i don't know how self serve pumps work.  i would think they are mostly automated, you run the credit card through and it turns on.  there is no remote operating unless there is a problem and the attendant can shut it down.

i'm surprised they don't have an automatic bill feeder for people to pay cash up front. i'm going to check youtube to see if there are any good videos on the process.

I believe that automated and remote control are two different terms.  


susan1014 said:

I'll admit I haven't gassed up in NJ recently, as I mostly drive our electric car, but I was surprised today when I went to Shell on Valley to fill up the minivan after a family trip, and found a fully self-serve station.  Once I realized that no attendant was coming, I pumped my own, but I had no idea that the law had been passed.

Also, I will note that there was no full-service option offered.  Only a sign (with a wheelchair picture) saying that they would pump gas for the disabled, but that they might not be able to do so if there is only one employee at the station.  Begging the question of why they would ever have more than one employee at the station if it offers no automotive services and no full-serve option.

Sorry princess if the place was understaffed, how inconvenient for you.


algebra2 said:

Sorry princess if the place was understaffed, how inconvenient for you.

Susan 1014 is one of the most helpful and rational people on these boards.  Your insult is uncalled for and makes you look like an ****.


DanDietrich said:

Susan 1014 is one of the most helpful and rational people on these boards.  Your insult is uncalled for and makes you look like an ****.

Yeah, she’s been channeling Straw when she posts lately.


DanDietrich said:

Susan 1014 is one of the most helpful and rational people on these boards.  Your insult is uncalled for and makes you look like an ****.

is he really the “shortcake”?


I hate waiting for someone to pump my gas. Which reminds me I'll need to gas and tune my leaf blower soon  oh oh


the18thletter said:

I hate waiting for someone to pump my gas. Which reminds me I'll need to gas and tune my leaf blower soon 
oh oh

I hate waiting.

What I really hated was the filling of my gasoline lawn equipment containers. The wait for and sometimes to help the guy fill it, while possibly breathing his COVID on me. Having upgraded to battery powered equipment its no longer an issue.

Two weeks ago I was in PA and found most stations with prices about 10 cents a gallon lower than in NJ (but not on their Turnpike). I self filled.

Gasoline safety is not an issue with self fill. I don't see fuel accidents in other states. Its just a convenience which will be gone if we go electric. I don't them passing a law requiring an attendant to hook up and disconnect your electric charger. You will need to get out of your car and do it yourself. May as well start now by allowing self serve gasoline.


Did NJ pass a self-service gas law when I was not paying attention?   If they have not, then Shell should have an attendant.  Perhaps the attendant was taking a bathroom break or was sick.  I have not been there recently. 

I am old enough to remember that gas station attendants filled your gas, (at about 25 cents per gallon), cleaned your windshield, checked your oil, and put air in your tires if needed.   Cars are built much better now, and this sort of service is less needed.  The old cars leaked and burnt oil, there were no windshield wiper washers as standard equipment and tires seemed to get flats pretty regularly.  In recent years, I did not always want to wait and started pumping gas myself. The attendant had to come over and tell me that he had to do this and that I was breaking the law.  My nephew worked pumping gas at a station on Rt. 22 and one time he had to literally run away from armed robbers.  When my kids were learning to drive, I made them change a tire as a learning thing.  

It will be interesting to see how gas and now electric stations adapt to electric vehicles.  



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