Monday, May 12, 2008

MEW bill payments - a real pain in the butt

Electricity/Water Bill Payments in Kuwait. Al Watan Daily has a big headline this morning: Expats owing power bills to face travel ban.

I’m a baaaaad expat. It has been 11 years since I have paid my electricity/water bill. They finally busted me and I owe 780 KD. Not a BFD. What is really stupid is that my name and civil ID number was not on their records (neither was my initial 100 KD deposit). I remember throwing something away like 2 years ago that could have resembled a receipt. Oh well.

I don’t mind paying. In fact, it would have made me feel a whole lot better. If I could sit at my desk and pay my bill every month over the internet to some Ministry of Electricity and Water website, I would do it. (Ditto on my home landline with the Ministry of Communications.) If it could be automatically deducted from my account, I would be happy with that too. For 5 kd a month, I’m not really feelin it. In fact, I'm giddy that it is only that much. Kinda cool. (780 kd -- I am feelin, however - as well as the potential to be instantly cut off at the whim of some MEW dude.)

However, these people make it so hard just to pay. For the electric bill, I have to go down to their office and hopefully someone will speak like 10% English. They rarely can find your record. There is rudeness potential there (in an attempt for YOU to give them your money). This is all before you have to

1) try to locate a meter-reader dude, and
2) go with meter-reader dude to your building to have the meter read and
3) find your hariss to have him open the meter room door,
4) go back to the MEW and sit around again for a while until someone figures out how you can actually pay them.

This “system” sucks.

The MEW doesn’t even send a guy ONCE IN A YEAR with a bill to my apartment. ELEVEN YEARS is how far I’ve skated by. Is someone perhaps not doing their job (ok I know I’m not by not paying, but I’m not a collector). What has dude been doing for 11 years? How much ball-scratching can one person possibly do?

Sidenote: Why doesn't the Government of Kuwait learn something from Zain? I worked on projects like 10 years ago [at Saad Barrak's (Zain CEO) former IT company] when they were discussing a project for MEW for meter-reading and bill payments. Zain knows exactly how much you owe them - down to the minute. They even send you constant reminders on SMS. They make it reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally easy for you to pay them - and will even smile at you in the process and say "thank you". WTF MEW?! Get your shit together.


Bashar said...

Theoretically speaking there is online MEW bill payment. Technically, don't try it :)

There are efforts for automatic meter reading, which should've happened long time back. Let's see. But you gotta admit you had 11 years of relaxation :)

david santos said...

I loved this post and this blog.
Have a nice day.

Grey said...

I live in Salmiya , and there is this guy ( probably works or MoE), who can do any electricity & Water related paper work for just 2KD , when i took my new apartment i didnt even go to the ministry , i just called this guy and with hours my job was done!... life is easy when you live in Salmiya :P

Desert Girl said...

GREY!!!! Hook a sistah up! Got his number?

Yousef said...

Same story here ,,,.... 4 yrs, just a nightmare to go down.... take leave from work when you dont know how long will it take hours ... months ...
Hey Grey can you mail me that guys number please.

Anonymous said...

Hey Grey can u email me his number as well PLeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaassseee, i have to go and do this cr*p as well and just dont have the time.

Thanks dude!

Anonymous said...

Hey Grey can u email me his number as well PLeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaassseee, i have to go and do this cr*p as well and just dont have the time.
Thanks dude!

Unknown said...

There should be online site where you can pay regularly your bills as one has to go on normal working days fo this work and that wait for the guy to come with us and check and go back etc. give me his number too......

Desert Girl said...

Roop - not in this century.

Anonymous said...

These stupid people cannot think of making the life easy for expats. India is a very poor country still everyone receives their electricity bills in every two months at their door step.

I feel pity for the MEW administration.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone managed to get that number outta GREY?

Hey GREY do all of us a favour. Can you post that number out here.


Anonymous said...

hey grey pls mail me the guys number from salmiya or if any one has it..? its been long but wut the heck in tryin if the guy still exists?