Motorcyclist postpones protest against ‘manipulation at refuelling station to cheat customers’

The protester alleges Sohrab Service Station in South Kalyanpur has doctored its pumps

Published : 1 August 2022, 01:59 PM
Updated : 1 August 2022, 07:34 PM

A motorcyclist has postponed a protest at a refuelling station in Dhaka against the alleged manipulation of the pumps to cheat customers following a watchdog's assurance of action.

The protester, Md Ishtiak, said he left the station on Monday afternoon after a director of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, or DNCRP, called him and said they would look into the issue on Tuesday.

Ishtiak, who works at Eastern Bank, said he would decide whether to continue the demonstration after watching the action against the refuelling station.

He ordered octane worth Tk 500 at Sohrab Service Station in South Kalyanpur around 10am on Monday.

He was given a voucher for octane worth Tk 500, but alleged he had not been given the right amount of fuel. He asked the station workers to weigh the oil in his motorcycle’s tank, but they refused.

In protest against the station’s action, he started demonstrating outside of it, carrying a piece of paper with “I want the right amount of oil” written on it.

Tofayel Ahmed, chief of Darussalam Police Station, said he sent a team to the station. He said ishtiak left the refuelling station around 5pm after a DNCRP official talked to him.

“It appeared to me that they [the station] gave me oil worth Tk 300 after I ordered Tk 500 of fuel,” said Ishtiak.

“When I asked them to give me the right amount of oil, they said it was a mistake and tried to give me my oil.”

“But I think it wasn’t a mistake and they're cheating every customer. That’s why I decided to protest. The station authorities started apologising to me after police arrived.”

He said he started to demonstrate instead of filing a complaint to draw everyone’s attention.

AHM Shafiquzzaman, a director of the DNCRP, said he asked Ishtiak to file a written complaint. “We will take proper action after getting the complaint.”

He urged all to file complaints if they face any such irregularities.

Belayet Hossain, manager of Sohrab Service Station, however, claimed the incident was “just a misunderstanding”.

“The person who came to buy oil was wearing a helmet. The pump worker heard Tk 200 when he wanted oil worth Tk 500. But he gave oil worth Tk 20 as he forgot to press one more zero while typing.

“When the buyer mentioned oil worth Tk 500 instead of Tk 200, the pump worker gave him Tk 300 of oil more.”

"When the buyer was leaving, our worker noticed that he would get another Tk 180 worth of oil. When we requested him to take the remaining amount of oil, he rather protested saying we gave him less," said Belayet.

Claiming that such problems sometimes occur due to the carelessness of the workers, he said, "The workers press the machine's buttons about 2,500 times a day. Sometimes oil of Tk 1,100 is given away when someone wants oil worth Tk 100 due to double click on 1. The pump often incurs a loss this way.”

He also claimed the pumps were not doctored. "No errors will be found in the pumps, no matter how they are tested. There is no chance of giving less oil.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher