In the good old days, there was 1 government that handles all matters relating to gas, and it was all well and good for the end users, you and me. But it was deemed not good for the government, so they decided to privatise it, the same thing that they did to the bus service and the MRT.
Now, there are many many companies and departments and teams that handles gas matters. For example, there is 1 team that handles residential users, 1 team that handles hawker centres and canteens, 1 team that handles restaurants, 1 team that handles installation works inside your premises, 1 team that handles installation works outside your premises….. Yes, they do it to that level of detail. And the best part? The physical work of actual installation is outsourced!
So the way City Gas works now is they try to look like a private company, so the only one that you get into contact is City Gas. However, they work like a government department, or worse. When things don’t happen on time, they tell you it is not City Gas problem, and push to another team, another department.
Back to my case. I contacted City Gas back in June. When I first contacted they, I was informed by the officer in charge that he will send me a Letter of Undertaking (LOU) to sign the next day. Installation to be completed 10 weeks upon signing the LOU. The exact date was 14 Jun that we spoke on the phone and was promised all this. To put it in a more readable format
14 Jun – I was promised that LOU will be sent to me the next day, and all installation will be completed in 10 weeks
23 Jun – LOU finally received in my mail
24 Jun – LOU signed and returned
As of today (week 10), our dear officer is still not able to tell me when will my shop be connected to the Gas network. And now he says it is 12 weeks, not 10 weeks. And you had guessed it, he is waiting for some other team and other department.
When I begged him to help expedite (yes, I used that word, beg – I really did beg him), all he said was “time line was just an indication, not a service standard”. Yes, those were the exact words he used.
So much for government support towards small businesses. Of course we cannot blame the government, because they had privatised the thing, so they are now private companies, out of the government’s hands.