Convenience as a Service

I hate going to the gas station. It not a painful experience but it’s never convenient, it’s one of those things that I’ll do at odd hours to try to make it as painless as possible.

For a few months now I have been using Filld. This startup has a fleet of roaming gas delivery trucks that will show up between 9pm and 4am to fill your car for you. Instead of going to the gas station, the gas station comes to you. Use this promotional code to get $15 off your first order, H9X2TQ

Each order comes with a $3 delivery charge and there is a small markup on the price of gas per gallon, using Costco as my benchmark price. I am typically a penny pincher when it comes to gas, and will go to Costco to get the best price even if it means suffering through a line. However, the interesting behavior I exhibit is that when commodities are being delivered to me, I care less about the price. Amazon doesn’t have the lowest prices but you would have to pry Prime from my cold dead hands. 

Because this service works for me does not mean it will scale. A couple of things stand out, the first being the nature of cars parked overnight. I live in a suburban neighborhood and my car is always parked in my driveway at night, and in order to fill the car up Filld has to find the gas cap open. Not a problem for me but if I lived in a San Francisco neighborhood and parked on the street, leaving my car unlocked would be no bueno. I could lock the car and leave the gas cap open, but I wouldn’t want to do that in San Francisco either. Parked in a garage with a security feature, you are out of luck. 

On balance I am probably an ideal customer target for Filld. Our cars get low MPG so we go through a lot of gas on a monthly basis, and the aforementioned pain of going to a gas station is acute for me. I don’t mind paying the markup and delivery charge for the convenience, and our physical location is well-suited for this type of service. The vehicles are parked in the driveway, and we don’t have an issue leaving the gas cap open at night, and our street.

I am skeptical that Filld will work outside of the evening hours. The optimal time to fill you car when the delivery window is 4 hours is at home, a fixed location that is constant. Surprisingly, this is one of the annoying behaviors their app exhibits, it insists on using the map to guess my location rather than have a default “home” address that is used unless overridden with a map-driven feature.

Filling a vehicle parked at a work location is not impossible but brings a lot of complexity. If parked in a garage, access to the garage and locating the vehicle is going to be an issue, if parked in a street or with a valet lot, there are accessibility issues. I just don’t think filling a vehicle as a place of employment will have the same convenience of doing it at a home location.  

I definitely recomend this service. In addition to providing a lot of utility relative to the expense, I have had a couple of interactions with the support team due to deliveries that were missed because their map function was way offbase, and in each case they were very accomodating. Use this promotional code to get $15 off your first order, H9X2TQ