Contract Manager

Providing insights into the forecourt world

Fine System

Fine System

Some operators are increasingly promoting a harsh fine system. Fines are imposed for a wide range of “offences”, non compliance, failures etc. Call them whatever you like.

In your interview fines are most likely mentioned, but in my experience made light of, even laughed and joked about. They are written into your contract in a way that they are referred to in your interview, very much played down.

Fines or debits as they are often referred to are no joke.

However the contract expression allows the Company to fine you for almost anything they want, at any time they want.

There is little or no recourse to object or appeal against the fine and the direct debit commitment to the company that you agree to when you sign the contract. Failure to return or honour a direct debit is against your contract and to do so is a breach.

This method of punishment is totally unfair and against all our understanding of natural justice in the developed world.

The fining/debiting system is clear evidence of the company doing what they want when they want and making money out of you. They may tell you your non compliance with their desires costs them the value of the fine/debit. What nonsense!

Fines or debits for as much as £150/200 have been charged for opening 1 minute late. Believe you me they have sophisticated methods of monitoring this; ranging from ringing from the shop land line phone, to the alarm company monitoring the times of switching off the burglar alarm at your site.

Here is a list of examples of fines:

  • Opening late £200
  • Submitting Daily reports £100
  • Reporting incorrect or failing to report competitor prices on time £100
  • Banking late £100
  • Exceeding authorised maximum prices £50
  • Failing to have stock of planogram items £10/item
  • Failure to report valeting breakdown £50
  • Staff not in uniform £100
  • Staff in incorrect footwear £100
  • Staff not wearing badges £100
  • Promotion bays not to planogram £100
  • Promotions running out of stock £50
  • Site not to a Company manager’s standard or at his/her whim £100
  • A “bad” report from any approved supplier’s manager eg. Tobacco company £100
  • + others

In effect the companies associates; product suppliers, service suppliers, everyone seems to be watching you on behalf of the company. It’s like everyone is spying on you. It’s very oppressive.

In my opinion the practice of fining, debiting or however the company refers to it should at least be fully discussed with the Contract Manager/Commission Operator at the company’s open day and the interview so you are fully aware of the extent of this practice.

However, I would call on all existing managers/operators to challenge the company they “work for” and get this vile practice eliminated.

There should be no need for such practices in a harmonious environment where both parties to the contract are working together for the enhancement of their mutual profitability.

I invite existing and past managers/operators to share their experiences on our forum and ultimately embarrass those abusive companies that employ these tactics into ditching them.

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