By now you may have noticed some changes to the PetrolPrices service. Over the last year we have been busy working on this new version of PetrolPrices while keeping the existing service going. The nature of the changes and thinking behind it has not been explained to members before so please allow me do it here briefly.

Old PetrolPrices Service

The old PetrolPrices service was based on one licensed data source provided by our partner Experian Catalist since 2005. They supply fuel price, and station information for the petrol retail industry and consumer-facing services such as ourselves; Confused.com; TheAA; Appy Parking; O2 Drive and I am sure this list will grow. Other companies provide fuel information as a means to add value to motorists and encourage regular returning use to their website or app.

The main benefit of the data from Experian Catalist is it’s accuracy because it’s based on fuel card transaction data by forecourt and fuel grade. But it does have faults, such as the time delay as most transactions are recorded 24-48 hours ago. Another problem is it won’t show prices from a station if no one has used a fuel card there and some stations don’t accept fuel cards. Members often feedback that the prices we show are wrong and this is the cause.

The cost of licensing the data is expensive, and this is why we tried to offer a paid subscription for an improved version called Plus. While some members accepted this, the vast majority considered the idea of paying for fuel information was wrong. This made us deeply reflect on what service we should provide for the future using market research conducted with members

Crowdsource Fuel App

The feedback was clear: users want the service to be free and to see EVERY station listed or on a map; if a price is incorrect they want the ability to update it; if they submit information they want to be rewarded for it, and finally users want even more ways to save on fuel costs.

PetrolPrices was inspired by apps across the world that have built a community of price spotters who submit fuel price information or reviews and in return earn points that can be spent on rewards. Gasbuddy, PriceSpy, Clever Tanken and Fuelio are examples of crowdsource driven fuel apps that do this to great effect.

The role of forecourts are changing, and as they evolve, drivers need to know about the availability of facilities at each station and customer reviews for stations will become ever more critical. The best way to collect this information from members, whether it be prices, reviews or facilities on a crowdsource fuel app, and this is what we have built for members.

How does it work?

Before we go into detail on the exciting new app, to reassure all members, the emails and website will remain in use as a viable tool for free fuel information. The crucial ONLY difference is that users cannot crowdsource information to earn points or obtain rewards on the website; it’s on the app only.

What you will see change is that many of the links from emails or the website when browsing on mobile will direct users into the app. This is because most of the best information is on the app, plus its more secure, faster and enables the use of the app’s main functions on the forecourt. Some of you may already have received messages encouraging you to report fuel prices on the app when you are at a station, for instance.

To become a PetrolPrices Price spotter on the app, you must actively take part in reviewing or updating the prices of any stations you pass or visit, as well as updating the station’s page with details of the facilities and rating the overall experience.

In return, you will receive points. For example, for updating a price can earn you ten points, confirming a price gets you five points and if you confirm/update all four fuel grades for one station, you get an extra ten points. For reviews, you’ll get 10 points for each written review, but only one per station.

By continually reviewing stations, reporting prices and completing tasks within the app, you’ll climb our leaderboard and could soon be at the top. Extra points will also be given for giving us trustworthy, accurate information, using the app regularly, or putting your vehicle in the garage.

The more points you earn, the higher up the leaderboard you will climb. In the next major release, we will show you ways that you will be able to spend your points on various kinds of rewards, prizes and competitions.

How do we make money?

PetrolPrices has been earning income from advertising for several years, and this will continue but perhaps become more relevant to each user.

A new source of income will come from the information collected from usage of the app itself that we will charge petrol retailers to access a platform so that they can gain customer as well as operational insights into what is happening on their forecourts or competitor forecourts each day. Just to reassure you, this is completely anonymous and does not provide ANY personal information whatsoever, and we are not selling the data itself, ONLY access to a platform.

The final way we will make money is by charging brands a fee to provide our users with discounted and personalised rewards that will appear in email, website and app.

The three ways we make money mean that we can provide our service for free to members, where there is a clear value exchange that provides money saving benefits to members in exchange for anonymous usage information. This is all laid out in the terms and conditions here.

Of course, any member has the right not to agree to provide information, which is why we have created an unregistered version of the app so that the app works without personal information. Users can also download as well as delete their account with all the information in it at any point from the system.

What’s coming in the future?

PetrolPrices is exceptionally excited about the future to deliver on our vision of helping drivers save money on fuel as well as products and services in the shops. The technical and commercial challenges are quite simply massive. We are sorry that we’ve had technical problems with the app, the website and emails, but we are confident that systems are operating well now and are back to normal.

To confirm, you don’t need to give us any information for the fuel service to work. It will still deliver fuel price information. But the more who take part and provide us with information to earn points and rewards, the better the service will be for the benefit of everyone else.

Those who do take part have a chance to convert their points earned into prizes or discounts on fuel, products and services in the forecourts.

If anyone has any feedback in relation to the new PetrolPrices then please feel free to comment below or send an email to support@petrolprices.com

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