Bharat Gas consumers can now book their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refills through WhatsApp, with the company launching the facility across the country.
Tamil Nadu has a total of 53 lakh consumers using Bharat Gas.
A company source said since many consumers were comfortable using the messaging application on their smart phones, the company was offering this option too.
Consumers can save the BPCL Smartline number, 1800224344 on their mobiles and send a “Hi” message from their registered mobile number.
To book a refill, they have to send “Book” or “1” and they will get confirmation of the booking.
IOC and Hindustan
Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation already are offering refill booking facility through WhatsApp.
“About 10% of consumers use WhatsApp, 80% use the integrated voice response system (IVRS), around 4% use the company website and the rest still call up the gas agencies to make bookings,” said a source in the Indian Oil Corporation.
“It is a choice given to the customer. We have never looked at this as an opportunity to reduce cost. And as such WhatsApp is used by a specific segment and the bookings are very low,” added a senior official.
An oil industry source explained that the advantage for consumers switching over to WhatsApp booking is that they need not spend on a local call required to book over IVRS and the response from the oil company is almost immediate.
“Sometimes due to network congestion, the text message response is delayed. But on WhatsApp that is not there,” said an industry source.
The WhatsApp number for Indane gas consumers is 7588888824 and for HP Gas it is +91 92222 01122.