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Old 14th March 2017, 13:21   #1
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Default Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

I was at the HP Auto care center BKC, Mumbai (COCO pump) for the weekly tank-up, when I noticed that the per ltr rate for Diesel as round 65/-. Found this strange as I knew the rate to be 64.85/ltr in Mumbai (tanked up the other car at a different pump the previous day). On asking the attendant, was told that this pump charges a higher rate as the service is better, this is a star pump.

Given the explanation did not sound convincing, lodged a complaint online on HP website. Got a call from a HP repeating the attendant's version. The services offered being, 1. windshield cleaning man and 2. 4 point air pump (fills air in 4 tires in one go). I explained the below things to the HP's rep:

1. Only reason people visit COCO pumps is that the fuel is cleaner and correctly measured. If COCO pumps charge more, the value add of COCO pumps is reduced.
2. What is the measure of 15 paise being the correct 'extra' charge.
3. Is the government price not the MRP of the product?
4. The services #1 and #2 are available at most pumps.
5. The person cleaning windshield tends to ignore you most times. Also, why would I pay 5-6 rupees to clean the windshield when I can simply use the wiper spray and wipe for the same?

HP's rep has promised to pass on the negative feedback to his superiors on differential pricing, but no promise on definitive action.

Questions to team BHP-ians:

1. Has anyone else noticed this differential pricing on COCO pumps?
2. Would it help if enough people logged complaints for HP to sit up and take notice that not too many people would appreciate differential pricing?
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Old 14th March 2017, 13:39   #2
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
1. Has anyone else noticed this differential pricing on COCO pumps?
2. Would it help if enough people logged complaints for HP to sit up and take notice that not too many people would appreciate differential pricing?
My answers are limited with IOL & BPCL COCO only; I hardly remember filling at HP stations India wide; once at Pokhran, other one in MH, not sure if its Hathkamba or somewhere & third one at Shoolagiri HPCL & 4th at Kelambakkam all 4 of them are one visit only.

COCO DOESN'T charge more for sure but there's definitely a price difference between Chennai & Hosur (300 Km away from Madras) which is acceptable. Also the price per liter always matches to the stated price on the dispensing machine (I use app to record my fillings)

I once (I think 2011) had a bad experience at HPCL Kelambakkam; the guy did not give back 50 paisa or so & I had lodged a complaint through online in HPCL website. I got a call from dealer asking me to visit & talk about this in person. He didn't sound quite good over the phone & hence let the matter go. This is one issue I had with HP & rest no issues.
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Old 14th March 2017, 14:07   #3
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
3. Is the government price not the MRP of the product?
I don't think fuel prices have an MRP set by the government. Technically the companies are free to price it as they want, post de-regulation.
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Old 14th March 2017, 14:23   #4
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by varunsangal View Post
Has anyone else noticed this differential pricing on COCO pumps?
I had noticed this for BP outlets in Pune, here is old link for that post (Trusted/Untrusted Petrol Pumps in Pune).
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Old 14th March 2017, 14:44   #5
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I don't think fuel prices have an MRP set by the government. Technically the companies are free to price it as they want, post de-regulation.
That is True. But Once a price is decided by the Regulators every fifteen days, it cannot be changed i.e They cannot charge 15 Paise for extra services. The general rule is that in a specific state, all petrol pumps ( Indian state-controlled oil and gas company owned) should ideally have the same rates. Please correct me If I am wrong.
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Old 14th March 2017, 14:44   #6
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
...there's definitely a price difference between Chennai & Hosur (300 Km away from Madras)...
Agree, this is acceptable, as transport costs/ state taxes would get added in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I don't think fuel prices have an MRP set by the government. Technically the companies are free to price it as they want, post de-regulation.
While I understand the rationale to bring the prices in line with market rates, but the same company using differential rates in the same city citing a better air compressor as the reason is unreasonable.

By this logic each petrol pump could potentially have its own price quoted and we would forever be hunting for the right price (or perhaps someone will build an app for that as well).
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Old 14th March 2017, 14:49   #7
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaghuVis View Post
That is True. But Once a price is decided by the Regulators every fifteen days, it cannot be changed i.e They cannot charge 15 Paise for extra services. The general rule is that in a specific state, all petrol pumps ( Indian state-controlled oil and gas company owned) should ideally have the same rates. Please correct me If I am wrong.
But even the state owned companies have differential pricing amongst themselves. IIRC, IOC charges marginally more than BP/HP.
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Old 14th March 2017, 15:21   #8
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
But even the state owned companies have differential pricing amongst themselves. IIRC, IOC charges marginally more than BP/HP.
Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was all pumps of say IOC (Within a State) should ideally charge same barring any small changes if any for metro cities. To further clarify my point, IOC pumps at Salem or Trichy or Madurai or Kovai should charge the same. For Chennai I am not sure if there are any additional Charges for being a Metro. I guess there would be some loophole somewhere to charge more from Metro's. Some clarify/correct me.

IOC, HP and BPCL usually don't charge the same is what I have always noticed.
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Old 14th March 2017, 15:40   #9
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by RaghuVis View Post
..I guess there would be some loophole somewhere to charge more from Metro's...
Tax structure for metros is usually different, for e.g. last year a 2 rupee drought tax was introduced for Mumbai only to create a fund for the drought conditions in Maharashtra. Not sure if it is still in effect though.
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Old 14th March 2017, 16:21   #10
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

The slip mentions HSD - High Speed Diesel. Did you ask for it instead of the normal diesel?

I believe the companies are free to price the fuel+additive products at whatever rates they please. Earlier the difference was much higher but seems to be quite less these days.

BP has a similar product called Power or something. I always make it a point to tell the attendant to fill 'normal' for both petrol and diesel. And haven't really noticed this overcharging.
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Old 14th March 2017, 16:51   #11
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
The slip mentions HSD - High Speed Diesel. Did you ask for it instead of the normal diesel?

I believe the companies are free to price the fuel+additive products at whatever rates they please. Earlier the difference was much higher but seems to be quite less these days.

BP has a similar product called Power or something. I always make it a point to tell the attendant to fill 'normal' for both petrol and diesel. And haven't really noticed this overcharging.
All diesel used in automobiles is HSD. The Low Speed diesel is used only in furnaces and is not sold in petrol pumps.

Thus this is not a premium variant of Diesel with additives, it is the basic diesel for automobiles.

IMO, the premium diesels have been discontinued by the Oil marketing companies and also when it was being sold, the price difference between the ordinary fuel and the premium fuel was approx 2 Rs per litre and not 0.15 paise, as in this case.

All fuel has to be sold at the price fixed by the Oil marketing companies. Charging a premium for the basic fuel is against the rules and is not permitted.
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Old 14th March 2017, 19:08   #12
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Default re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

Wow; I didn't know CoCo pumps charged higher than the same brand's non-CoCo.

And frankly, I don't understand the logic. If it is CoCo, I assume the vendor (IOCL/HPCL/BP etc.) saves on the commission they owe the dealer. That should more than offset these extra services they claim to provide (windshield cleaning).

Since de-regulation of petrol, there's not been a lot of motivation to go to these guys if there's a Shell nearby.
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:59   #13
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Default Re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

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Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
All diesel used in automobiles is HSD. The Low Speed diesel is used only in furnaces and is not sold in petrol pumps.

Thus this is not a premium variant of Diesel with additives, it is the basic diesel for automobiles.

IMO, the premium diesels have been discontinued by the Oil marketing companies and also when it was being sold, the price difference between the ordinary fuel and the premium fuel was approx 2 Rs per litre and not 0.15 paise, as in this case.

All fuel has to be sold at the price fixed by the Oil marketing companies. Charging a premium for the basic fuel is against the rules and is not permitted.
My bad. Bit of reading on the retailer's sites and I learned this now. I have usually seen Diesel instead of HSD on such slips, hence my confusion.

But you are right, they are not supposed to charge more than the prescribed rate. Maybe take a screenshot from their website and then file a grievance under PGPortal?
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Old 15th March 2017, 11:41   #14
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Default Re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
The slip mentions HSD - High Speed Diesel. Did you ask for it instead of the normal diesel?
I had asked for normal diesel. The fuel was filled from the normal diesel pump as well. I haven't noticed the hi speed diesel prices in a while, but they are ~2 rupees higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Maybe take a screenshot from their website and then file a grievance under PGPortal?
The HP website quotes 64.88/ltr of diesel with the inevitable '*' saying that prices may vary across outlets.

Have filed a grievance on pgportal already. Awaiting to hear back from them.
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Old 15th March 2017, 13:26   #15
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Default Re: Do company-owned & company-operated pumps charge more for fuel?

In BLR there is 20 paisa difference between BS3 and BS4 fuel being sold (Petrol), which i came to know off. BS4 only is to be sold withing central city limits is the rule, is this something similar?
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