Over-pricing has for long been a bugbear of Tasmac customers who enthusiastically mob shops every day. In the absence of a fool-proof system of recording transactions, a section of Tasmac salesmen have been selling them liquor at hiked-up prices.
With a view to put an end to this problem, the public sector undertaking plans to introduce computerised billing machines in its shops across the State. At present, a trial run is being conducted at three outlets in Chennai.
For the last three weeks, a technician from TVS Electronics Limited has been operating a computerised billing machine at the Tasmac outlet (shop no - 477) on Wannels Road in Egmore to map the flow of information to two servers, one kept at the Tasmac depot in Ambattur and the other at the company’s head office in Egmore.
Two other TVS technicians are also carrying out a similar exercise at an outlet in Parry’s (shop no – 111) and another at Parsn complex. These three outlets were chosen on the basis of the high volumes of sales, a factor that would facilitate a quicker and broader understanding of the process.
“Through these servers, authorities at Tasmac can keep tabs on salesmen, monitoring transactions and stocks,” said a technician. Besides checking the scourge of overpricing, these machines are expected to prevent pilferage.
The majority of customers at Wannels Road waited to get the computer-generated bills, which seemed to suggest they were looking forward to such an initiative.
Overpricing has been a persistent problem and it continues despite disciplinary action against erring salesmen.
When asked about these issues, salesmen across outlets repeatedly pointed to their poor salary structure.
A salesman alleged that salary hikes were few and, when they came, brought little benefits. “A salesman gets just Rs. 4,000, an assistant salesman Rs. 3,500 and a supervisor Rs. 5,000,” he said.
“In ten years, my salary has risen from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000.” Tasmac authorities however, could not be reached for a response.