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    Shell Credit Card Drives Loyalty

    Also, the company is outsourcing its IT and telecommunications departments.

    HOUSTON -- Despite high fuel prices, Shell Oil Products US is giving drivers something to smile about this summer -- Shell Gasoline cardholders can be eligible to earn a 25-cents-per-gallon rebate when they use the credit card, the company announced.

    The Earn 25 Cents per Gallon second-quarter promotion will reward new account holders opening cards between April 1 and June 30. Those customers will be eligible for the 25-cents-per-gallon rebate for the first 90 days from the account opening date, on the purchase of up to 100 gallons of Shell gasoline, the company stated.

    Once cardholders reach the 100 gallon mark, they will automatically receive a $25 Shell gift card by mail, for the purchase of gasoline, car washes, repair service or in-store items, according to the company.

    "The Earn 25 Cents Per Gallon promotion is a great way to create loyal customers who recognize that not all gasolines are the same and want to ensure they're getting a great value for high-quality gasoline," Carolyn Yapp, Shell US card and payments manager, said in a statement. "Our new promotion is designed to help people get in the habit of stopping at one of the 14,000-plus Shell-branded stations across the U.S. for their fuel."

    The promotion has a goal of creating more than 26,000 new consumer credit-card accounts, and will be supported by national radio, newspaper and internet advertising, as well as point-of-purchase (POP) materials such as pump toppers, pole signs, building signs and register toppers, the company noted.

    In addition, promotional applications for the card will be housed in a new holder, proven to provide a 30-percent increase of completed applications per pilot feedback results, the company stated. The holder is made from translucent Plexiglas and was developed to complement the Shell retail visual image and clean pump design lines. The holder, positioned at the same level as the pump nozzle, will ensure the applications remain intact during inclement weather, according to the company.

    In other Shell news, its parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, has signed a $4 billion contract to outsource its information technology (IT) and telecommunications services to EDS, AT&T and T-Systems, BusinessWeek reported.

    As a result, Shell will transfer approximately 2,960 of its IT staff and contractors to outsource the bulk of its technology infrastructure, with the company stating there will be "20-30 redundancies at worst," according to the report, which cited the company.

    Swee-Chen Goh, Shell vice president of global IT infrastructure services, told BusinessWeek that staff would be given a choice to be transferred to a new employer, and that most transferred staff would retain their rights as Shell employees for about "24 months."

    "Staff have been involved throughout the process and in most countries, we will specify a limited period of time where employees' rights are comparable to what they have now, but it is not feasible to maintain that on an ongoing basis," she explained. "Our goal is to make redundancies zero; there is a significant amount of work available both inside and outside of Shell, and the worst case is that there would be 20-30 redundancies globally."

    As a result, Shell expects "significant improvements in efficiency and productivity" and the deal will deliver "important financial benefits to Shell" during the five-year period, BusinessWeek reported.

    EDS, the operational integrator for the contracts, will see approximately 1,500 Shell IT staff and contractors join the company throughout 65 countries, according to the report. Additionally, about 900 Shell staff will transfer to T-Systems and 560 to AT&T, with employees mainly coming from Malaysia, the Netherlands, the UK and the U.S., the report stated.

    Beginning in July, the three companies will serve Shell and its subsidiaries, with AT&T controlling its network and telecommunications, T-Systems handling its hosting and storage, and EDS servicing end-user computing services and operational integration of the infrastructure services, the report stated.

    If successful, the deal is likely to be extended beyond the initial five years, Goh added.

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