Taking hotplate from distributor is not compulsory

Since we had moved to our new flat, we were struggling to get LPG connection. The society where I am staying is supposed to have a piped gas facility, to be supplied by the builder. It's been more than 2 years now, but the scheme is not yet complete and residents are still struggling to see the end of the tunnel. In an attempt to get rid of this problem, we decided to apply for new LPG connection.

The search of a right distributor landed us with Jitesh Gas Agency in Waraje, who agreed to provide the connection and home delivery to my residence. The application was done in January 2008. After wait for few weeks, we got hit by the ban on new LPG connection because of the shortage of supplies. After it got resumed, finally, we got an appointment for Apr 17th with the distributor to get the new connection. On that day, we reached there with the required documentation and within few minutes the processing started. When it was time to pay the amount, we were told that we need to purchase the hotplate as well w/o which we will not be getting the new connection. Since getting the connection was a priority, we decided to make the payment and follow up later. So we completed the transaction and returned home.

To somewhere deep in my mind, I remember reading somewhere that distributors can not force the customers to purchase the hotplate. Even Meghana had the same hunch. So she decided to dig it further. After searching the BPCL site, we concluded that our information was right. The next step was to put up a complaint with BPLC. So we did from the website.

For more than a week nothing was heard back from the BPCL officials. So Meghana put up another complaint hinting a stronger action against the distributor as well as the BPCL. This resulted into immediate response from BPCL. The officer accepted that the distributor should be taking the hotplate back with full reimbursement of the cost. To my surprise, when we went back to the distributor, she took back the hotplate without any question/query/displeasure, nothing..

While waiting there, we noticed that there were directions put up on the board stating it's not mandatory for consumers to buy the hotplate from the distributor :)

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