7 August, 2019
Personalised Service, Friendly Staff and Value for Money are the Goals of Independently Owned and Operated Kiwi Petrol Company Challenge Fuel
By Media PA
Written by Ciaran Warner
In an age and industry where service stations are becoming increasingly automated, removing staff and depersonalising refuelling, Challenge Fuel stations around New Zealand continue to provide their key services while retaining the human interaction when fuelling up for your next journey.
Independently owned and operated, each Challenge Fuel station is a little different, with services now including mechanics, tyre services, trailer hire, car wash, LPG fill or swap and barista coffee – all served with a smile rather than dispensed from a machine.
“We want to keep things friendly and helpful – unlike so many stations that have gone automated, we continue to offer full forecourt service at most of our stores, providing pump service, oil checks, window cleaning and rest room facilities” says Challenge Fuel Chairman Simon Bratton.
Challenge Fuel has also recently created the “My Challenge” programme, which rewards customers with a fuel discount and one point for every dollar spent. The programme is designed to encourage members to “Use, Save, Give” allowing them to either spend their fuel discount or donate it to a local community group. The programme has so far been hugely successful, with over $14,500 paid out in community donations in April, and more on the way in October.
Winners of the Canstar Blue Award for Overall Customer Satisfaction four times, Challenge Fuel also prides itself on providing employment opportunities for those living in the local community of each store. The Challenge store in Darfield, Christchurch has been providing service to the Darfield community since Challenge was formed in 1998, with 23 full and part-time staff. The Darfield store has recently begun a fundraiser to aid the local primary school in upgrading its digital resources to provide a higher level of education to its students, and has for years been supporting the Malvern Lions by providing LPG gas for their fundraiser stalls.
“At Challenge Darfield you'll meet a team of people who take real pride in being able to deliver the services and products that the local community need,” says Simon.
Challenge Fuel also offers Farmlands Card holder discounts, providing a 12 cents-per-litre discount, and one Choice Rewards point for every fifty dollars spent on fuel.
With stations conveniently located throughout the country, including Auckland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Wellington, Canterbury, Southland and Otago, Challenge Fuel is never far away when you need them.
26 June, 2018
Challenge service station bucks automation trend to set award record
The Challenge network has won the criteria. Canstar Blue Award for Overall Customer Service Satisfaction for service stations for the fourth time in five years.
Challenge Dealer Network Chairman, Simon Bratton, says the award recognizes the company’s continued focus on friendly and personal service even as other service stations move toward increased automation of customer interaction.
“We work hard at the lost art of old fashioned service,’ he said. “It’s a true honour for the Challenge group to receive such a prestigious award ahead of much larger, multi-national competition.”
“We still have people on the forecourt who will pump your gas and check the oil, and our customers are telling us that those are the things that really do make a difference,” he explained.
He said the small footprint of the brand against its competitors made the win even more significant.
“It’s fantastic to know our customers feel and value that service difference. I am extremely thankful to our loyal customers and the hard-work of our dealer group,” said Mr Bratton.
Challenge was the only service station network to receive five stars for overall satisfaction and received 27 out of a possible 30 stars across all criteria.
The Challenge Dealer Network will receive their award from Canstar Blue on Thursday 27th June at the Magic netball game in Hamilton.
20 July, 2017
Challenge once again supreme for customer satisfaction
For the third time in four years, the Challenge network has won the Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customer award for service stations.
The service station award is one of a series of awards handed out by Canstar Blue customer research. Service stations are rated on their appearance, service, the price of petrol, facilities and the range of other items available on-site.
Challenge was the only service station network to receive five stars for overall satisfaction and received 28 out of a possible 30 stars across all criteria.
Challenge Dealer Network Chairman, Simon Bratton says the award is recognition of the 100 percent New Zealand owned network’s commitment to provide all customers a genuine Kiwi experience when they visit their local Challenge site.
“Challenge service stations pride themselves on taking really great care of their customers,” Simon says. “Every Challenge service station and especially their local teams have contributed to this award and I really appreciate all their efforts. Also a really big thank you to our wonderful customers that took the time to vote for Challenge! If there was an award for the best customers it would certainly go to Challenge customers.”
The award also justifies Challenge’s ongoing upgrade programme, creating more modern service stations and convenience stores for the growing customer base.
“We are a New Zealand owned alternative for people that like friendly, personal service,” Simon says. “Our facilities now match our service and winning this award three times in the last four years shows that we are on the right track.”
The Challenge Dealer Network will be officially presented with their award this month.
12 May, 2016
Simon Bratton talks with NewsTalk ZB
Listen to Dealer Co Chairman Simon Bratton as he speaks with NewsTalk ZB about the recent Commerce Commission announcement.
29 April 2016
Announcement and clarification from Challenge service station network.
Dealer Co, the group of independent service station owners that operates the Challenge service station network, acknowledges the decision by the Commerce Commission to allow Z Energy to purchase Chevron’s non-exploration assets in New Zealand.
However, media reports following the announcement have generated confusion as to Challenge’s relationship with Chevron, which requires clarification.
Dealer Co Chairman, Simon Bratton says all Challenge sites are independently owned and operated by hard working New Zealanders. Despite what some media have reported today, Z Energy has not bought Challenge.
Challenge was formed in 1998 in an initiative by Fletchers, who saw an opportunity in the New Zealand fuel supply industry to create an independent retailer network. Chevron has never owned the Challenge service station network, a statement incorrectly reported today.
“Our network has always been local and loyal and built on traditional Kiwi values. We are proud to offer customers an independent Kiwi brand, delivering value for money along with personal, friendly service that our customers can enjoy,” Simon says.
“There will be no change to the Challenge brand and offer with the Z energy purchase of Chevron – it is business as usual for all Challenge sites.”
Chevron’s direct supplier/customer partnership with Challenge ceased in 2010, when the Challenge brand was licensed to Farmlands Fuel Limited.
Farmlands Fuel Limited is Chevron’s largest customer in the Asia Pacific region, reflecting a significant portion of Chevron New Zealand’s total fuel volume. Farmlands Fuel Limited received early assurances from Z Energy that they would remain a priority customer, should the Commerce Commission vote in Z’s favour.
Regardless, Challenge will continue to be the independent, 100% Kiwi-owned alternative – proud to bring local values and service to its customers nationwide.