IVRS mess: Press '0' by mistake and your LPG subsidy is gone

  • Debashish Sarkar, Hindustan Times, Jamshedpur
  • Updated: Jul 18, 2015 23:15 IST

Over 11 lakh consumers in Jharkhand have responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘give it up’ campaign, but in Jameshedpur people complain they are losing their LPG subsidy after falling prey to the confusing interactive voice response system.

About 3,500 of the total 10.67 lakh Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) consumers in Jharkhand have given up their LPG subsidy so far.

But many alleged the recorded message through IVRS is leading to an automatic cancellation of their LPG subsidy.

While booking cooking gas through mobile phones, they get an automated Interactive voice response (IVRS) message saying: “if you are capable then give up your subsidy so that the same could be given to poor brethren, if you wish to surrender subsidy press 0, if you want refill press 1 ”

“The problem is cylinder is not getting booked on the first attempt by pressing 1 and confused consumers sometime end up pressing the 0 button in their second attempt, leading to automatic cancellation of their subsidy," said a consumer, wishing anonimity .

He said they got to know about the cancellation only when no subsidy amount is credited to the bank account.

The IOCL officials have assured the consumers of subsidy restoration claiming the cancellations were a case of accident.

“This is IVRS message system and consumers should be careful when pushing buttons. Nevertheless, in such cases they should visit their respective area offices and their subsidy will be restored," Rakesh Saroj, IOCL, area manager, told HT.

Tarachand Agrawal, the general secretary of Jharkhand LPG Distributors Association (JLDA), said they have received complaints of subsidy automatically getting cancelled due to curious attempts by customers to click open the subsidy domain in www.indianoil.com.

“The IVRS on mobile is a bit problematic and the process of surrendering subsidy through writing or official website is the best option. We have no power to restore subsidy back as it's a centralised system," Agrawal said.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited area manager Bibhash Chandra Mandal said they had no such IVRS messaging system for surrendering LPG subsidy through mobile.

“Willing consumers have to file a form in writing with the dealers or by logging into the website to surrender LPG subsidy," said Mandal.

About 1,600 of the 2.60 lakh BPCL consumers have surrendered LPG subsidy in the state so far.

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