In the past three weeks I have been extremely upset over the promotion of Candy bars and Soft Drinks from my local Shell Gas Station stores. I asked two of these aggressive counter clerks why they push so hard and why they constantly ask for the 'UpSell' even after they are told it's not wanted or needed. I was shocked to find out that they can loose their jobs if they don't.

Two separate employees informed me of this at two separate locations. Shell calls it a 'Silent Shopper' or 'Mystery Shopper Program' - I call it "Shameful" "Sad" "Outrageous". I emailed Shell after trying for 20 minutes to speak to anyone in Canada about the subject. Turns out that Shell does not even employee people in North America to help out in customer service - these jobs outsourced to a call center in South Africa.

At 6:30 AM today they call! I was told by customer service rep that these employees are 'Mistaken' and that Shell has no policy in place like the one I mention above. Who believes that? Not me. I have always (well almost) shopped at Shell for gas and am not sure if other gas stations have followed suit in this practice. I think it's shameful for a gas company to employee these practices. Perhaps it's the individual owners of these franchises and their own local rules but this past three weeks it's happened to me in Vernon, Vancouver and North Vancouver.

The worst incident was at the Shell gas station in Vernon near Okanogon Lake. I brought a diet coke to the counter and said specifically this is all I want. I have been making this a habit trying to combat the constant upselling. The counter man told me two diet cokes are on special. Lucky for me I can read and noticed the huge sign on the glass door and the little sign inside the fridge. Having a keen eye for detail I also noticed the sign on the counter. I told him I only want one. The guy leans back and places both hands behind his head and says "I insist - go get another one!" Are you ____ing kidding me?

Is this practice going on in the States as well?

With Obesity a problem in both the USA and Canada it would be a better strategy to push fruit or milk on clients instead. What a joke Shell.

JW