Oil companies ask distributors to ensure faster deliveries

With competition from private companies and within the oil industry, the three oil majors are asking distributors to be more proactive while servicing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) customers. They are bringing in more ways to ensure faster supply, with fewer hassles, to the customers.

“During the pandemic, we introduced a one-time code, called the delivery authentication code, to do away with the paper delivery challans. Around 65% of our consumers have switched over to this. They just have to share the number with the delivery boy, they do not need to sign the delivery slip and return it to the man,” said an official of Indian Oil Corporation.

The company, which has over 1.3 crore LPG consumers in the State, launched a new Integrated Voice Response System booking number in November last. “Consumers who want to add their registered mobile number can do so by dialling 7718955555. It will take them on a path where it will ask for the consumer’s 16-digit ID. This is usually found on the delivery challan, or the respective gas agency can help. If not, all OMCs have online gas booking portals where the number can be found on submitting the old consumer number and the name of the agency,” explained an oil industry source.

A distributor said they were doing as much as possible and in many cases were even giving same-day supplies. “When customers call us up, saying they are out of gas, we take steps to supply as soon as possible. After all, domestic consumers are our mainstay. In many cases, we have developed a long-time relationship with consumers,” he said.

Consumer activist T. Sadagopan said the supply chain of LPG bottles from the filling point to the end consumer needs to be fine-tuned further. “During the monsoon or strikes, they are unable to manage. As for the tatkal scheme that is to be introduced, it seems to be a way to usher in the end of the subsidy era. They will say people are ready for cash and carry and people can pay more than the retail selling price. These are public sector undertakings, whose main aim is serve the consumer. It should not become private companies,” he said.

Meanwhile, OMCs are facing tough competition from private players in the LPG business. Total Gas, which has been present in the State for over two decades, has cornered a portion of the sales in the commercial, industrial, auto LPG and domestic LPG segments. This is despite the fact that they sell non-subsidised LPG. “We maintain product quality and high service levels, which bring customers to us. We also ensure same-day delivery,” said a company official.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 12:13:29 pm |