Indane, the LPG division of Indian Oil Corporation Limited, is planning to introduce Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) for LPG refill booking.

The facility is being introduced in Coimbatore next to Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

In the second phase, 14 cities across the country will get the IVRS facility and Coimbatore is one among them.

Talking to The Hindu , Senior Area Manager of Indane M. Chandrasekhar said that in the initial stage 18 distributors will come under the IVRS platform benefiting four lakh LPG consumers. Initially, cities and major towns will get the IVRS facility and will be gradually extended to other areas as well.

With IVRS, constraints such as working hours and holidays stand eliminated.

It helps eliminating human interface and also the scope for complaints such as refusal to accept booking requests will end. The ordeal of visiting the distributor's office every time for a refill and complaints of not being able to reach the distributor over phone will become a thing of the past.

Mr. Chandrasekhar said that IVRS had been successful in Chennai with 98 per cent of the refill requests coming in through IVRS. Henceforth, Indane consumers will have to just dial 81240-24365 (24 hours and 365 days) to book their refill request.

On dialling, the IVRS has language options - either English or Tamil.

The consumer will have to key in the telephone number of the distributor with STD code.

The system will confirm the name of the distributor and then the caller will have to key in the consumer number. IVRS will confirm the acceptance of the booking with a number.

If the call was made from a cellular number, then a Short Messaging Service (SMS) will be despatched to the caller when the distributor processes the request and prepares the cash memo. Booking of refills through IVRS can also be done through landline phones. It is tuned to a system of permitting only refill booking for three connections from a particular number. This is to prevent the misuse of cylinders by other people.

At present, the feeding of database of the distributors and consumers are being done and Indane is planning to launch it before Deepavali.