Many consumers of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are angry over the service provided to them and complain that the digitalised system of booking and delivery of LPG cylinders is a total failure.
Consumers complain that on booking a cylinder through the online system, they do get a message saying that the refill cylinder has been delivered but in reality the cylinder is not received by them in many cases.
Many LPG consumers, particularly of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), thought that their woes would end after the verification process carried out by the LPG companies. On the contrary, their woes have doubled with the failure of the online system.
The agency staff blames it on the system saying that there could be a technical snag and that the LPG company should rectify it.
Representatives of HPCL had visited the state last year and unfolded their new plans to the consumers stating that henceforth their woes would be solved. However, the situation has worsened in many places like Porvorim, Saligao other areas of North Goa district. Many people come to the offices of the agencies to fight with the staff over the non-delivery of LPG cylinders on the scheduled date and time. They also complain that the vehicle supplying refilled cylinder at their doorstep does not reach the spot for delivery even after they (consumers) receive message on their cellphones that the cylinder has been delivered.
In one of the instances, one Mr Shaikh from Porvorim had booked an LPG cylinder through the online system on November 7. On November 11, he received a message on his cellphone which read, ‘refill will be delivered shortly: cash memo number is 104565 dated November 7.’ The message was received at 9:26 pm. Later, on November 19, Mr Shaikh was shocked to read another message, which he received on his cellphone at 12.15 pm. The message read, ‘HP gas refill delivered vide cash memo number 104565 at 12.15 pm’ when he had not received the cylinder at all. Upon inquiry with the agency, Mr Shaikh was told that he would receive the cylinder on the next day. But the cylinder has not been delivered till date. “If you ask the staff when the vehicle will deliver the cylinder, they give excuses like ‘cylinders are out of stock,’ ‘our delivery boys are not there,’ ‘can you collect it from the godown?’ ‘our vehicle is out of order, only one is in running condition’ etc,” said Mr Shaikh.
Another consumer from Porvorim who did not receive the LPG cylinder on time showed his willingness to purchase it by paying Rs 900 and he was given the delivery immediately at his residence. Yet another person who visited the agency office for booking the cylinder was sent back by the staff saying, “Please do not come here for booking. You can do it on your mobile since the system has been digitalised.” They further gave him a number and refused to book the cylinder manually. Some other consumers who had approached the agency officer were given slips to collect their refill cylinders from the godown at Paithona, some 3-4 km away from the agency office.
When contacted, the owner of the agency refused to answer the questions posed to him and slowly walked out of the office. [NT]