On the warpath with K-Electric

May 26, 2016 at 8:35 pm 11 comments

logoI thought they were getting better. The guy who handles social media for them is prompt at addressing complaints. The SMS complaint chat works. Breakdowns are handled as quickly as possible most of the time. And although I am still upset that I should be the victim of load-shedding despite paying my bills regularly, I have learnt to live with it since there seems to be no-one able to solve that problem for me.

However, when I get a bill for Rs. 40,000 I am absolutely dumbfounded. How is that possible when my air conditioner broke down two months ago and it is only a couple of weeks ago that I bought a new one. There is one refrigerator and some lights and fans that are used. I am not home most of the day and the only time I use the television is for a couple of hours in the evening. So I can’t understand why I should receive a bill for such a horrendous amount. I look at the bill and I see that there is a large amount that is labeled as “Arrears”. I figure they have made a mistake so I send my office assistant to have it checked alongwith paid bills of the past 6 months. He is told that they can’t handle the enquiry at just any K-Electric office and that I have to go to the office in my area – so much for a so-called technology enabled company.

Yesterday I sent another person to the office near my home. It is an understatement to say that he was not given a fair hearing. In fact instead of listening to the complaint and trying to resolve it, the guy at the K-Electric office said to him: “Aap log kunda lagatay hein aur phir aajatay hein shikayat karnay”. My rep told him we have never used kundas, showed him previously paid bills and requested that he send someone to check out the meter. To this the response was “We know that your meter is installed inside the house so we will have no access, and you have had it turned off for a month”. Wrong!!! The meters were installed by K-Electric outside our gate and we did not have them turned off. We wouldn’t even know how to turn them off. “Come and check out the premises yourselves” he was told “or talk to my boss on the phone”. Both pleas went unheard.

The K-Electric staff member said that the best he could do was provide a revised bill breaking the amount into 4 instalments. No argument or debate or explanation was acceptable to him. He insisted that I had to pay Rs. 40,000 for the month and that was that! He also said he did not feel the need to send a person to check out my premises nor the need to talk to me. After all, who am I – just the customer!

Without any proof he made all these assumptions about a customer who pays her bills regularly:

  1. That I was involved in electricity theft
  2. That my meter was installed at an inaccessible location on my premises
  3. That I had shut off my meter for a month

Would the situation have been different if I had gone myself? Was he rude and unreceptive because the man who had gone there was visibly not someone who “looked” important enough?

Should I be intimidated into paying a bill for electricity that I know I didn’t consume? I don’t think so. I am angry and upset – and rightly so. I expect much better service from a company that is presumably run like a well-oiled machine or so I am told. Who should I reach out to? Why should I have to reach out to anyone in particular? The customer service people should treat me like any other paying customer and resolve my issue. Isn’t that how good businesses are supposed to run? Or am I living in a fool’s paradise?

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Memories are all that’s left … The power of social media

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Faisal  |  May 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Not every glitter is gold, and KE is certainly not. You got to see them how they behave in IBC’s

    Reply
  • 2. Taha  |  May 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Please email me your account number and let me have this checked pls:

    Taha.siddiqui@ke.com.pk

    Reply
  • 3. Adil Ahmad  |  May 26, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    My old Dawn mate Fawzia Naqvi, the owner’s sister, is my trouble shooter! Fortunately I have had no need to invoke her good offices, except for a couple of times some years back. But I track the units consumed on a daily basis, and keep a sharp eye out for odd fluctuations that can be nipped in the bud as early as possible. It will be a longish while before the average joe on the street can get the same response from these chaps that ‘connected’ people do. Sad state of affairs, yes.

    Reply
  • 4. mubahira  |  May 27, 2016 at 1:38 am

    K ELECTRIC power company is very best service in all customers industrials.commercials. domestic. Propers schedule wise maitainance. Daily.and yearly. K electric correct meter readings on mobile meter reading all customers. Quick meter readings systemes. All meter readings suggest Load and units slaves systems checked. Please electric front side print helplines numbers and 118 number upgrade 1188 24 hours helpline thanks.

    Reply
  • 5. Raja Islam  |  May 27, 2016 at 3:37 am

    When you start thinking that they are getting better at that time they strike you back. I experienced this with Nadra, Passport office and KE. They can only make installments of your arrears because they can’t revert it. I paid them 30K without no reason.

    Good luck.

    Reply
  • 6. M Hamza  |  May 27, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Some of the similar condition happens to me every 6 months. And as you said, there is no other solution to pay the bill for me and I’ve been doing that.

    I really don’t understand, every organization tried to make their functions better but what they all care about money.

    For me, they just think that a specific amount should come into their account and if they see low, they sends random bills.

    And because of their monopoly, they think that they can do anything.

    Reply
  • 7. owaisvirani  |  May 27, 2016 at 8:53 am

    The only way is to file a complain with the ombudsman. It is done online and matter is heard

    Reply
  • 8. Waqas  |  May 27, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Jehan i would be grateful if you post in a later blogpost how you resolved this problem, because the common person certainly has no leverage or clout to even make her voice heard…
    If there is an efficient process to take this to court or some third-party arbiter, or if there should simply be a class-action… or maybe we should all go solar…
    I may be politically incorrect in saying this but i do believe that these sort of incidents have increased in this utility after it was take over by a private equity company… However, similar incidents abound in government controlled gas utilities as well so my hunch is not well grounded, to say the least

    Reply
  • 9. Umer  |  May 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I got a similar bill of around 46k for a period when my flat was closed……after going through the so called SOP for the last 3 months……finally decided to stop torturing myself and paid 34k for electricity i never used and the meter never recorded…….wanted to go through the ombudsman but decided against that course of action….as i am 100% sure…i might be ending paying

    Reply
  • 10. Faisal  |  May 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    My sister has suffered same problem few months back and if you find something effective, kindly do share.

    Faisal
    03218405603
    Mfaysal2000@yahoo.com

    Reply
  • 11. Aniqah  |  May 29, 2016 at 12:54 am

    In my view K-Electric provides the best customer services.Their Customer Care Rep are very courteous, and undoubtedly very well-behaved.

    Reply

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