Haslam: Pilot sales are good despite negative attention

10:12 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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CEO Jimmy Haslam says his customers have stayed loyal despite FBI allegations that certain employees took part in rebate fraud.

"Obviously when you go through something like this you're very cognizant of what happens to your sales. And we've had a solid sales week. No different than last week," Haslam said in a news conference Friday afternoon.

On WBIR's Facebook page, there's been a mostly negative response to the news of the past 24 hours. Some people say they do not want to buy gas from Pilot anymore.

But when 10News visited Pilot and other gas stations, we found the majority of people are not letting the allegations affect how they shop.

Some customers, like Darrell Oakley, said they want to show their support for Pilot.

"I know they are a national company but they are also a local company and I like that. I've always been a customer of theirs. And I plan on continuing to be one," said Oakley.

Others like Jimmy Vaughn are taking the wait and see approach.

"I would like to wait and reserve judgement until everything does come out and see before I make that decision," said Vaughn.

But most of the customers we talked to say what's going on at the corporate level does not affect how they choose their gas station.

"When I look at getting gas, I look for gas prices. I don't really look at the business aspect of it or what's happening with the corporate owners. I look for cheaper prices," said Lindsay Spry.

Other businesses are also stepping up to show support for the Haslam family.

"I am proud to stand by them, in front or behind them to talk about integrity in action," said Sharon Pryse, president of the Trust Company.

There's no denying that Pilot Flying J has had a major impact on the community.

Their spokesperson says they give donations to dozens of charitable organizations.

Haslam pledged to continue their work in the community.


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