[Resolved] Indane Gas — grievances
Sub: Extra money claimed in the name of inspection and forcing customers to buy private product (else LPG refill delayed) by gas agents supported by area manager, IOC, Chennai.
Ref: LPG Consumer Connection No.16680 Venkat Gas Agencies
Six months back a person from Venkat Gas Agencies called on us saying that he should check our connection. He got a match box from us lit the stove and after five minutes took a questionnaire filled it and claimed Rs.80.00 as Service Charges. Since, there was no service involved in that justifying the claim, we refused to pay. He immediately said that, we have to buy a tube (hose) from his agency with brand name Suraksha LPG hose; otherwise he will mark the questionnaire with statement saying that the tube is old. Since we bought the tube with five year warranty some two years back and it was sturdy and not having leaking problems we were shocked at his threat, and let him go without signing the questionnaire. We made a complaint to IOC over phone spending several call charges. The Area/Zonal manager (a lady) told us that we have to pay the service charges of Rs.80.00; and added that since the checking was not done during the previous year they charge two years charges. So, the service or checking was not the intention but collecting Rs.40/- per month under some head is their motive and apparently the IOC and its zonal/area managers are hand and glow in the show.
After this incident, we checked with our regular service person and replaced the existing tube even though it was sturdy and within the warranty period. We bought it for Rs.160/- (MRP is Rs.170). It has a Product Warranty for 5 years from the date of manufacture but IT DOES NOT have any record of the manufacturing date. But it says that we should preserve the warranty safely. Only the cover states that the product was produced during 06 2007. People will miss the cover and the print on the hose will erase while cleaning the kitchen top.
Now, just after six months, the gas agents once again say that we have to service our stove. Since we refused they delay our refill supply even after their assured five days. Since I am working in a distant place I tried to contact the area manager several times and wasted a good deal of call charge and finally spoke to a person who claimed as the next to the Area manager at No.[protected] ext.300. That person told me “you should fight with your agent and get the refill delivered”. Is this the righteous answer? Is this the purpose you are running a branch at Chennai to manage the LPG gas supply?
On enquiry I learnt that Suraksha Brand was manufactured in a company owned by retired senior staff of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. By virtue of their influence in IOC they are using statements on the on the cover as “Indane Recommends” etc. The consumer bills as well as IOC staff advocate its usage. At the same time, they don’t say that it is a product of IOC. So, IOC’s goodwill is being used for promoting a private company. If Suraksha is the only safe hose then why other brands (they too carry ISI/ISO certification) are permitted in the market?
Please note that the Agencies are misusing their role and claiming extra money for no appreciable service. This undemocratic act is supported by IOC high officials in its Chennai branch. The government is giving good pay to its staff but still they are prepared to suffer the public in an undemocratic way.
Complaint marked as Resolved Aug 13, 2020