Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has said that the practice of some vendors demanding RO25 or more as charges for replacing their old gas cylinders in residences is illegal as all such replacements are the responsibility of gas companies (bottling companies).

Charging consumers for replacing old cylinders is cheating: MoCI

Many cooking gas vendors (orange mini-trucks) in Muscat have been charging some consumers RO25 for ‘gas cylinder refills’ that price only RO2.eight.

These vendors claim that cylinders that are a lot more than 15 years old have to be replaced at the customer’s price. With a lot more and a lot more vendors saying the exact same, most consumers have no alternative but to think them and spend the inflated charges.

The practice of a ‘cylinder replacement charge’ has been been on the rise in current months according to residential consumers.

“The vendor who came to deliver a fresh gas cylinder told me that the empty cylinder was too old and that I would have to pay RO27 to get a new one,” stated a hapless consumer in CBD.

Another consumer in Ruwi stated that he had to spend RO25 as so referred to as ‘replacement charges’.

Speaking to Muscat Daily
, Eng Sami bin Salem al Saheb, acting director common of Standards and Metrology, MoCI, stated that by law it is the duty of gas businesses to sustain and distribute LPG cylinders.

“The gas companies should make sure that such an illegal practice doesn’t take place and should warn their distributors against cheating customers.”

He added, “Asking money from customers for replacing an old cylinder is cheating. The customer should note down the name and phone number of the vendor and complain to the main gas supplier company or the authorised distributor. The gas company should stop dealing with those (vendors) as their agents for not complying with regulations.”

A senior official at Muscat Gases Company stated that it does not straight deal with consumers but its authorised distributors ought to be exchanging the old cylinders with out any charge.

Awan Gas Company, which is the principal distributor of Muscat Gases Company in Wadi Kabir, agreed that it was the duty of the businesses to replace old cylinders with out any charge.

Amer al Wahaibi, public relations officer, Awan Gases Company, stated, that cylinders with manufacturing date from 1996-2002 are readily replaced. “Those older than the year 1996 can’t be replaced but have to be scrapped.”

An official from Oman Coral Trading, a distributor of National Gas Company, as well stated that the organization replaces old cylinders. “We have a stock of more than 250 old cylinders. We get them replaced from the gas company from time to time.”

The official urged consumers not to give any funds to the vendor for exchange of old cylinders. “It is an illegal practice indulged in by a few vendors who are trying to make a quick buck.”

Household LPG cylinders are sold by distributors for RO22 to vendors who usually charge anyplace from RO23 to RO25 from consumers as a ‘security deposit’ the initial time they purchase a cooking cylinder – but most do not concern a receipt for this.

Some vendors that Muscat Daily
 spoke to claimed that some gas businesses had been delaying the replacement of old cylinders and that this was the principal cause for them to ask consumers to purchase new cylinders.

While gas businesses are accountable for the upkeep of cylinders and vendors are supposed to supply refills ‘no questions asked’, hapless consumers in Muscat continue to face the issue of paying ‘cylinder replacement charges’.


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Information Source: Muscat Daily

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