Aavin milk card renewal online: Customers face undue hardship    

Residents demand a seamless process for renewal of Aavin milk card subscriptions and scrapping of online renewal charges.

Getting up early in the morning and picking up the Aavin milk packets delivered to our doorsteps or queuing up at milk booths are vignettes from everyday life that most long-time residents of Chennai have grown up with. But of late, the exercise of getting a regular supply of milk from the State-owned milk co-operative is riddled with obstacles. Many residents have been facing problems in renewing their monthly milk card subscriptions online. 

People who are well-versed in using smartphones and other digital devices may not have any major issues in renewing their cards online. But it is not the same for individuals, who do not have access to such devices or are not comfortable with online transactions, especially senior citizens.

Read more: Failures in digitisation plague Aavin in Chennai

Cumbersome for senior citizens

Elderly people are put through undue hardship as the process of getting an Aavin milk card renewed is not just cumbersome but also impractical. Moreover, consumers are charged a transaction fee of ₹18 while renewing their cards online. Senior citizens, who do not own smartphones are forced to seek the help of internet browsing centres to renew their milk cards online and take a printout. This printout enables them to get the physical card when they produce it at the Aavin zonal office.   

According to Sivasubramaniam, a senior citizen living in Perambur for over 50 years, he has to bear an additional cost of ₹48, incurred in renewing the card through a private browsing agency. Here is the break-up of the cost:

Aavin online charges — ₹18

Browsing centre fee — ₹25

Printout charges — ₹5

Many residents, especially senior citizens, live by themselves with no one to support them. They do not own or use smartphones or even landline phones. They are forced to depend on their friends or neighbours to process the payment against a cash settlement.

The officials at the zonal office in Perambur have been pushing the customers to register their cards online and the issuance of monthly cards at the zonal offices is purported to be stopped from next month.

This will cause difficulty for many consumers, who are not used to online transactions and depend on the Aavin zonal office in their locality to get their milk card subscriptions. Earlier, the administration had assured that people unable to renew their cards online could still approach the zonal offices.

A faulty subscription process

Many other customers have registered their subscriptions online and have been giving the printout to the door-to-door milk delivery agents, who in turn have to procure the milk cards. The agents claim that they are being asked to come to the Aavin zonal office and collect the milk cards in exchange for the printouts.

Sivasubramaniam, who procured the milk himself, says he had to exchange the printout to obtain the physical card. These cards are dispensed by the officials only on the 15th of every month, during specific working hours. Many customers are forced to make numerous trips to the Aavin office to get their online cards registered, renewed and exchanged.

If the milk is going to be dispensed only against a milk card, why is it mandatory for customers to digitally renew the card, take a printout and visit the local office? When Sivasubramaniam sought an explanation from the senior officer at the zonal office on why such a simple process was being complicated, he was asked to approach the Aavin Milk head office in Nandanam. 

milk card
The milk card renewal process is confusing to residents. Pic: Raghukumar Choodamani

Sivasubramaniam claimed he had filed a petition with the Chief Minister’s Office and had been waiting for their feedback. He was left wondering if it would be possible for him to seek a refund in case his family is travelling.

With physical cards issued across the counter, the amount could be adjusted in the next month’s subscription. With online cards, it would not be able to seek a refund and would be dependent on his delivery agent to sell the sachets in the open market or forego the amount. Our Perambur Neighbourhood Development Forum has been receiving similar representations from other residents and even the milk delivery agents in our locality to resolve this issue.  

A few months ago, we were asked to submit our ration and Aadhar card details to get Aavin’s full cream milk. The registration was done manually in ledgers and was a cumbersome process with hundreds of customers being forced to take a break from their daily routine and stand in a serpentine queue on the road. This went on for several days with very few officials being deputed to man the counter. We were forced to report the issue and escalate our grievances through the social and mainstream print media.

When I approached the Aavin officials at the zonal office in Perambur and sought clarification recently, on the difficulties we have been facing, I was informed the senior officials and government authorities are aware of the complications and the problems would be set right. 

Rajini Sharma, another Perambur resident, was asked to come to the counter on February 17 and 18 to complete the registration of the online subscription of full cream milk. On both days, the counter remained closed.

Another issue faced by residents is the sale of Aavin milk above the MRP rates in some locations.   

Read more: Fresh milk suppliers in Chennai struggle in the face of lockdown curbs and fodder scarcity

In this background, I escalated this issue to the Chief Minister’s Special Cell and the Aavin customer care through an email, copies of which were also sent to the Citizen, Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG) and Alliance of Residents Welfare Associations so that they could help us. 

In response to our petitions, Sivasubramaniam was contacted over the phone by the CMO and Aavin customer care. They tried to convince him that the online renewal system would curb malpractices and the teething problems would be addressed soon, he said.  

Ease of living for all sections of society, rich or poor, literate or illiterate is the key to resolving all such issues. We seek immediate intervention by senior officials of Aavin to resolve this matter. If the officials or the state administration haven’t figured out a way to handle the renewal of the monthly milk cards online, we urge them to pause the transition. 

The milk co-operative must first put in place a foolproof and robust system for the renewal of monthly cards online and test it properly before rolling it out. This will go a long way in retaining their customers. 

If you have a complaint about the quality of Aavin milk or any other milk supply related issue contact the milk co-operative’s consumer complaint cell on — 23464575 / 76 / 78 / 79 or call the toll-free number— 1800 425 3300 or email: aavincomplaints@gmail.com.

Call to action

  • Aavin must get all customers to register their monthly milk cards online and facilitate multiple online payment options.
  • Consider including a separate counter or an automated machine at your office to pay by credit or debit card.
  • Stop pushing customers to get a printout and exchange it for the milk cards. Install round-the-clock automated machines to print the milk cards outside all zonal offices or ATMs.
  • Reverse the online transaction charges of ₹18 to motivate customers from all walks of life to migrate to the online renewal system.
  • Train and deploy customer care officials at local offices to address grievances effectively.
  • Assist senior citizens and others, in getting their cards renewed through a seamless process.


  1. Jayaraman V S says:

    When Aavin has determined the MRP rate for its various brands of milk, what stops it from ensuring that they are available at MRP at all outlets and even at the delivery points from consumers wish to pick up themdelves?

  2. Jayakumar says:

    I don’t understand why every renewal collecting Rs. 18/- as registration fees .

  3. Chandrasekhar says:

    I was informed at the local Aavin office that Subscription charges of Rs 18/- are a one time charge.
    However when I tried to renew today for next month I am again asked to pay ₹ 18/- as subscription charge !!
    Why ?

  4. Dr Venkatramana Rao says:

    I have been buying 4 packets and now want only to buy 3 packets but there is no provision to increase or decrease while purchasing online. The amount of Rs 18 every month as convenience fee is stiff and unreasonable. Savin should address these issues immediately

  5. ravikumar says:

    Its indirect hike in milk price, by making the customers to pay the online transaction cost of 18 RS every month renewal.
    Fooling the customers in the name of digitization.

  6. Umesh naig says:

    Followed payment procedure for renewal of milk card. after all successful payments iam not able to get the payment receipt proof by website to submit at milk booth
    Email complaint also given

    Aavin official intervene and please solve to get the official receipt

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