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Old 24th August 2015, 12:20   #1
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Default Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Hi,
A strange and surprising thing happened yesterday.

I was returning from Delhi in the night and near Rewari i stopped to put diesel in my car. I paid in cash.

After 2 mins, I get an SMS from BPCLMS informing me the car number, the amount of fuel, amount I paid, the fuel center and the time stamp.

Now the puzzle I am not able to solve is - how the hell they got to know my mobile number from my vehicle number even when I have paid in cash.

While going to Delhi also, I had filled fuel that too with card but I only got the bank sms.

It is good in a way because if someone steals the car, I will get to know where the thief is refuelling (provided he does not change the registration number. )
Or If you pay the driver 1000 to put diesel and he pockets 200 and just puts for 800, you will have proof.

Anyone who has faced something similar and can offer some pearls of wisdom on this new development!
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Old 24th August 2015, 13:16   #2
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Sure appears that they're creating customer profiles. What's worrying is them doing so & gathering your personal details without your explicit permission.

Similar SMS alerts are offered as part of their fleet services.

Clearly, your phone number has been shared by your credit card company (unless you signed a form, or shared your details somewhere). Bharat Petroleum used the rest of the details from your fuel pump visit to complete your profile.

Privacy in today's connected world is a myth!
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Old 24th August 2015, 16:37   #3
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Not sure if this is a possibility too - if the BP pump is associated with pollution control booth too - they would have all the data. In Karnataka, every time we do PUC check, our records are updated and the folks doing this knows car number, mobile number. Thats how we get SMS confirmation after PUC. Chances are they collected all of this information and built the database.

Getting the profiles from bank - based on cards and linking with car number is rare possibility and more effort than just making sure that you pickup the PUC register every day from the in-premise PUC check booth.

But again - in any case, they can't get the information without your notice. If they got it from bank/ PUC etc - unless @autobahnjpr have not signed privacy exception T&C somewhere, you can fight this out. But looking at overall scenario, it looks like good help than any harm.
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Old 25th August 2015, 15:14   #4
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

The car dealers are known to share the phone numbers with all concerned parties.
When I bought the car from a Maruti dealer in Coimbatore, immediately I started getting calls from all sort of accessories stores in Coimbatore. After answering about 100 such car wash/ accessories / tire shops in negative, the calls gradually stopped.
I hope this is what happens in almost everyone's case after a new car purchase.
There is a possibility that the petrol pump got hold of your number in this route. I don't think it is due to the Credit card company, as the Credit card company will not have the vehicle data to associate your vehicle with your mobile number.
In future, all the details will be linked together - your vehicle, mobile number, DL, PAN Card, Email, Facebook / Whatsapp Accounts, and in the next step, all of these to your friends / relatives, so that those who want data can query your whole life history.
As GTO said, Privacy in today's connected world is a myth! Those who know how to get the data, will get them, leaving you puzzled
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Old 25th August 2015, 15:42   #5
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

This is pretty interesting and at the same time quite surprising also. In our country where customer privacy is the last thing to be take care of, there are n number of ways through which the companies get hold of one's personal details.

In the case of filling stations, there are certain prize schemes floated from time to time to attract more customers. In such schemes the customer is entitled to fill coupons after a certain refill, say Rs 500/-, wherein all the details such as vehicle number, contact number etc are taken down. All this is done to make the customer eligible to participate in the lucky draw.

Hence this is one of the sure shot way by which the oil companies get to know about the vehicle number, make and the personal contact number of the customers. May be something this sort of had happened but still this is just one amongst different theories.
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Old 25th August 2015, 16:15   #6
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Quite strange. But for all of the above theories to work, the bunk must have a system for capturing the vehicle number manually or through a camera which can feed into the system. From the OP's description, the SMS came within a couple of minutes.

I have never seen a system/camera which captures the vehicle number at any bunk.

So how did the car number get captured?
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Old 25th August 2015, 17:22   #7
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

I reckon, this is a part of development in the after sale service. Buying or sharing customer databases with detailed information is quite common now a days.

Acknowledging the payment on the personal mobile of the customer will ensure his or her re-visit, thereby attracting more revenue for the business. So, such changes will make both the parties, happy, i.e., the customer as well as the business houses.
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Old 26th August 2015, 12:49   #8
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Last week I had filled from BPCL, they asked me phone number details.
I asked them for what purpose - they said I will get sms about filling details from any pump from now onwards.

I said good ...
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Old 26th August 2015, 13:01   #9
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Quite strange. But for all of the above theories to work, the bunk must have a system for capturing the vehicle number manually or through a camera which can feed into the system. From the OP's description, the SMS came within a couple of minutes.

I have never seen a system/camera which captures the vehicle number at any bunk.

So how did the car number get captured?
Number can be easily captured without a camera. There are handheld POS machines, through which attendants can print the bill. There will be a field of entering the car number as is the practice in the manual bill. Now this POS machine can be connected to a backend database which can trigger this SMS. No need of any credit card, camera etc.
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Old 28th August 2015, 17:01   #10
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Saw this sticker on a car in Chennai. I guess it has been taken across to all BP bunks.
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Old 30th August 2015, 13:20   #11
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

I filled my tank at a BP immediately outside Mysore last week. I noticed a woman jotting down my car number plate details. I paid with credit card, so they already had my name. She asked for my mobile #; I asked why. She said every time fuel is filled, I will get an SMS, so I will know where, when and how much my driver has filled. I said no thanks, I don't have a driver, and left.
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Old 10th September 2015, 15:31   #12
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

^^^ so this means it's a manual data collection initiative by BP. Good for them and for people who have drivers and care takers for their cars. For many of us who don't even let our better halves drive, this is not cool

Glad at least there is no data theft or stealing that is happening at prima-facie.
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Old 10th September 2015, 20:33   #13
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

As hybridpetrol mentioned, dealers do share the nos. to accessories shops, fine atleast they are relatable. In my case Bajaj dealer shared my ph.no. with an LG showroom located just next to Bajaj's and i keep getting calls from them blatantly mentioning 'Sir special offer on washing machines for Bajaj customers'. Seriously, that is the best line you could come up, exposing data sharing without consent and expecting the person you just betrayed to buy their products. Average Indian junta doesn't even remotely have a clue about digital privacy.

Last edited by RYP : 10th September 2015 at 20:40.
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Old 10th September 2015, 22:10   #14
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Last week I had filled from BPCL, they asked me phone number details.
I asked them for what purpose - they said I will get sms about filling details from any pump from now onwards.

I said good ...
Last month I was going from Navi Mumbai to Pune. After Talegaon toll plaza there is one petrol pump at left side (Kailash Parbat & Dominos pizza spot). That petrol pump guy asked me mobile number.

I suspected foul play and denied. He said it is compulsory . Gave him an earful and also threatened him that this type of demand and writing phone numbers in a diary can make up a case against him. He replied that these are company orders. I left without giving my no. but could not understand why he needed my mobile number. Now I understood.

It looks like a good initiative but there are many loopholes. First, if we sell a car will that system understand? Most important question is privacy.
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Old 11th September 2015, 00:14   #15
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Default Re: Got a detailed SMS from Bharat Petroleum after filling fuel - How?

Privacy is the main concern. With our mobile numbers being sold by everybody from our telecom providers to insurance to banking companies, I don't want one more marketer or pesky call or useless message. It would go straight to 1909 - India Against Spam!
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