BP letter urges support for local stations - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

BP letter urges support for local stations

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  BP pumped cement down the blown out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico hoping to seal it for good.

The government's point man says it's "not the end," but will "virtually assure" that no more oil leaks into the Gulf. BP is also trying to convince customers right her in south Georgia to continue to support local stations.

Local BP station owners say the effect of the oil spill hasn't been as bad here as it has in places like Atlanta. Owners here have talked with other stations who seen a real decline in sales. They appreciate BP's newest effort with this letter to drive customers back to their pumps.

The sign on the front of the BP station on North Slappey claims, "Come in a customer, leave as a friend." It went up about a month into the gulf oil crisis, now a letter from BP to customers hopes to convey the same message. The company knows some customers aren't happy because of the oil spill.

"Some customers told me hey, you need to take down the BP sign because they are not helping or fixing the problem," said Nainesh Patel, BP Station Owner.

With the well capped three weeks ago today, those feelings have softened.

"It's been probably a couple of weeks, we've seen our business picked up," said Patel.

James Corker received the letter from BP detailing their gulf response efforts and encouraging him to support the local BP stations, but it may have been wasted because he hasn't stopped filling up at BP stations.

"They didn't have anything to do with the oil spill so why should I stop supporting these people that own these stations," said James Corker, a BP customer.

It's was the same for loyal BP customer Jeremy Myles.

"I'm not holding an animosity against them, you know I believe it was a mistake, everyone learns from their mistakes," said Jeremy Myles, a BP customer.

Some worry the letter that's just arrived in mailboxes should have been sent months ago.

"It's kind of late, a little late but something is better than nothing," said Ella Woods, a BP customer. Local stations appreciate the support.

"Yes it helps because sometimes people have a misunderstanding like we are owned or BP owns all the gas stations," said Patel.

They hope it will mean more customers at their pumps. BP says the independently owned stations employ more than 50,000 people across the United States.

In the letter they claim when you buy BP gasoline you're supporting them. BP has pledged 20 billion dollars to a claims fund to satisfy all legitimate claims. More than 5,000 vessels including local fishermen and 110 aircraft and engaged in the response effort.

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