With a view to provide better services to the customers and to reduce the scope for irregularities, Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies, OMCs namely, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) have introduced the facility of refill booking through Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) in 18 States. These States are, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Puducherry and UT of Chandigarh, covering, 2965 LPG distributorships and about 4.36 crore LPG customers. Giving this information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri R.P.N. Singh stated that under this system, there is a facility for confirmation of the refill booking and the time of the booking to the customers along with information on the likely date when the refill would be supplied.
Further, he added, OMCs have planned to expand the facility further in remaining areas with objective to cover 63 lakh customers through 490 LPG distributorships.
The Minister also informed that in most of the cities, more than 80% of the customers are using the system successfully whereas, it is more than 90% in some cities. No specific survey on customer satisfaction on this initiative has been undertaken so far, he added.
Shri Singh stressed that the OMCs have prescribed a norm to their LPG distributors to effect the delivery of the refill LPG cylinder ordinarily within two working ways of the booking. However, due to factors such as product supply constraints, strikes, road breaches, floods, unplanned shutdown, natural calamities along with huge growth of demand, it has been seen that the distributors take some more time to deliver the refill LPG cylinder.
He underlined that whenever OMCs receive complaints on deliberate delay in refill supplies, these are investigated. If the complaint is established, action is taken against the erring LPG distributor in accordance with the provisions of the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG).