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Clients complain about POL online services

Soon after the Regional Trade and Industry Office in Thimphu (RTIO) implemented the online service for POL products from January 1 this year, many customers have been complaining about the complications.

POL products include kerosene coupon, new gas connection and refilling of LPG cylinders.

The consumer card system for distribution of POL products, which was implemented in 2015 is now replaced by the online service.

Regional Director of RTIO in Thimphu Kinley Wangchuk said that the online services were implemented especially to facilitate consumers to get POL products coupon easily online without having to visit the distributors.

A consumer Yeshi Tenzin said that the online service is helpful as it helps save time.

However, another consumer, Saru Limbu said that the new online service is not user-friendly and is confusing especially because after registration they are notified saying they will receive a pin code number but it does not happen most times.

A Thimphu resident, Dema said that it is difficult for the illiterate to fill up the online form and for this they have to seek help from others which is a hassle.

In some cases they get messages saying that their registration is invalid therefore the customer needs to visit the RTIO office or the Ministry of Economic Affairs website to update their details.

Tshoki Lhamo, a homemaker, said with even though she books the LPG cylinders in advance online, she has to wait in queue at the gas station which is time consuming.

But Kinley Wangchuk said that even those who do not have smart phones or are illiterate can also register for online services with the help of relatives or friends.

Even the POL products dealers help consumers register for online services.

Assistant Manager at the Tashi Commercial Corporation LPG Supply Center, Motithang, said that they help consumers to download the app and register. Consumers can also download the app from the Government to Citizen Services website and G2C mobile services.

Currently, there are 41,000 card system users and they have been automatically registered to online services but if the consumer is not able to access the online services they need to visit RTIO in Thimphu or they can also visit the economic affairs ministry website for update.

However, a mobile number can be applied for a single form only. After registering for online services, consumers will receive a coupon in their phone.

The Regional Director also said that the authority will allow the consumers to use card system till they are upgraded to the new system. Therefore the card system and online services will be working simultaneously but they are planning to do away with the card system after three to four months.

Currently 20-30% people have started using the online service.

Tshering Yangden from Thimphu