Looks like our guess about the payment gateway was correct. BP has confirmed to Which-50 that the problem in its payment app called BPme that resulted in ADMA managing director Ben Sharp getting a please explain letter from the police was caused by a delay in transaction processing.

Sharp received a letter from the police, effectively accusing him of petrol theft after the BPme app he used to fill up his car took 48 hours to process a payment.

He shared this experience on LinkedIn, with his post attracting more than a quarter of a million views.

The spokesperson said that the escalation of the issue to the police was outside the usual BPme process, which sounds a lot like a staff training issue.According to a BP spokesperson, “Unfortunately, on 8 April the site experienced an extended delay in processing our customer’s transaction via our fuel payment app, BPme. This process typically takes minutes, however in this unusual instance, unfortunately, it took two days.

“We’re sorry this happened and have apologised to our customer. It’s important to note that our customer was in no way at fault and we have taken action to rectify this with the police.”

“We take our customer experience very seriously. Following an initial investigation we’ve identified things we can do to improve, and we’re committed to doing that; we are re-communicating our processes with retail staff and closely monitoring our systems to ensure that any transactions where there are delays in processing are quickly identified and resolved,” the BP spokesperson said.

For his part, Sharp, posted a follow-up message on LinkedIn saying he was happy with the way BP dealt with the issue.

“I have to credit BP on their response to this, and how the crisis management was handled.  Despite this being published at a ‘slow’ time for LinkedIn (4 pm on a Friday), it was apparent of the reach it was received by Saturday.  By Sunday, someone from BP reached out to me and asked for my direct contact details stating that there was a team investigating this particular issue and I would receive a response within 24 hours,” he wrote.

At every point in the communications process, he said, the point person from BP (senior manager in corporate communications) followed up and kept him updated on the work going on behind the scenes.  

“We had a call, where the situation was explained and I was given plenty of opportunities to ask questions.  It was also confirmed to me that there would be no negative consequences of my details being reported to the Police (BP had been in contact with NSW Police to confirm that).”

According to Sharp, “The way BP responded was customer-centric, professional and sensible.  It’s sometimes the way businesses operate in a crisis that shows their cultural values and desire to learn from mistakes. As a customer, I’ve come away from this episode satisfied and pleasantly surprised by the way it was handled.”

Extracted from Which 50.