I happened to observe today that Shell India marketing company which sells lubricants through the authorized retail petrol bunks, is selling certain products at a price which is more than double the price at which it is available through other dealers. I would like the consumers to start a movement to boycott Shell Petrol Bunks and its products until they apologize for their consumer exploitation and reduce the prices to normal levels.
I personally bought the engine oil for my car at the persuasion of the staff at the petrol bunk. After the engine oil was drained, I found that the cost of the oil for the 4 lts can was Rs 4980/-. When I checked the price online I found that it was available at Rs 2299/- through cloud tail.
I donot believe Cloudtail is selling the product at a loss and hence I believe the real price of the product should be around Rs 2000-2050 and the official petrol bunks of Shell are selling it at Rs 4980/-.
I consider that this kind of pricing is exploitative and usurious.
I have taken up the matter with the company through an e-mail addressed to one Ms Ankit Mehra as suggested by their call center and am awaiting response.
I have also copied the e-mail (copy given below) to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for their reaction.
Since the primary license of the Petrol Bunk is to sell petrol, the selling of lubricants at the above prices should be considered as a misuse of the licensing and hence should be stopped forthwith.
If this is the attitude and culture of the company, it is possible that the premium petrol that they are selling may actually be ordinary petrol and the company is unreliable and untrustworthy.
I wish the consumers recognize this and stop using the Shell petrol Bunks.
I request other consumers who have had similar experiences to also raise this issue and write to the company to lodge their protests.
Copy of letter sent to the Company through e-mail:
To Ms Ankita Mehra
Shell India Markets Private Limited
Sub: Shell is practicing unfair marketing practice and cheating the Consumers
I hereby give you notice that it has been observed that your company is practicing unfair marketing practices and cheating the consumers, in the marketing of lubricants sold through your authorized retailers.
I today went to your authorized petrol bunk in the Bull Temple Road for buying petrol. I was offered a free engine oil check up and advised that the oil needed change. I agreed to change the oil and chose to use 5W-40 Helix Ultra. I was sold a can of 4 litres at a price of Rs 4980/- for my Maruti Swift Dzire (petrol).
While the engine oil was being drained from my car, I checked the price of the same oil at other dealers and found that it was available at Rs 2299/- inclusive of all taxes through Cloud tail India.
The authorized dealer however has billed me Rs 4980/- stating that it is the MRP and they have been instructed by the Company to sell only at MRP.
I therefore was paying Rs 2681/- higher than the retail price of Rs 2299/-, which was 117% higher.
Considering that Cloud tail must be selling at a margin of atleast 10%, the real price of the 4L can should be around Rs 2050/- and your authorized petrol retailers are selling it at Rs 4980/- or at a margin of 143%. (Even if the tax component is considered, the change would be only notional).
Further by selling me a 4L can when I required only 3.5 lts, a further over charging has been done to the extent of 0.5 liters which would amount to Rs 622/-
This is obviously an usurious and a day light looting of consumers.
Please therefore show me cause why I should not move the Consumer Courts to ban the sale of lubricants to consumers through your petrol bunks all across the country.
I will also be moving the Ministry of Petroleum to understand if such consumer exploitation is allowed under Competition act and whether the petrol retailing licenses include a permission for such consumer exploitation.
Kindly let me know if you have any response. If I donot receive any response, within the next 15 days, it will be presumed that you donot have any response and I would go ahead with necessary action to claim damages and for a direction to stop selling of lubricants across the retail petrol bunks.