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.