Darkness and stillness – Power cut at your home due to non payment of electricity bill ?? Check the PDF given below Know your rights. Power Cut complaints Consumer rights.
Frustrated I decided to get “gyaan” on why this had to happen now. When I called up the Toll Free number, I was told to get in touch with the local branch office for addressing the greivance…On calling up that number, I came to know that the person was on leave and was not in a position to help me – He gave me another number.
I called up the second number and explained to the person at the other end the problem that I was facing. This person asked me to go to the MSEB office in my area and show them the receipt. Promptly I went to the MSEB office and showed the receipt to the concerned person. It was 1.00 PM the person told me that it was a mistake from their side and it had happend because I had paid the bill of two months together.
He explained to me that if one month’s bill is not paid before the last date then :
– it is automatically added in the next months bill as arrears
– secondly a defaulters list is also generated.
Now if the customer pays the complete amount after the list is generated then there is no mechanism in MSEB to cross check this and this results in power-cut, even if the bill has been paid. In my case MSEB cut off the power supply, eight days after the bill payment. This was ridiculous. I requested them to send someone to restore the power. But I was told that this can happen only by evening. By this time I had lost my patience, I started escalating the matter and started calling officers in the MSEB one after the other. Most of the officers that I spoke with were reluctant to answer my questions, and were arrogant. One of them indicated that it will take 24 hours to restore the power…..(the procedure is as follows: If the power is cut due to non payment of the bill, then it should be restored within twenty four hours once the bill is paid, but in my case eight days had passed-since bill payment) on my continuous persuance, after 2 to 3 hours the power was restored.
Once the power was restored I went to the MSEB website to check the rules if there were any before power-disconnection.
This is what I found under section VI. RIGHT TO RECEIVE NOTICE AND DUE PROCESS PRIOR TO DISCONNECTION AND PROCEDURE OF RECONNECTION
Consumers have a right:
1. To receive minimum fifteen clear days’ notice in writing before disconnection under default of payment under section 56 of the Act.
Website: http://www.mahadiscom.in/ under (Electricity Consumer Rights).
On reading this I immediately called up Cheif Engineer questioning as to why I was not given such a notice. Initially he tried to defend his position, but finally he appologised and assured me that this will not happen again.
What was most annoying was, that none of the staff whom I had interacted with were aware of this policy (which was right there on their very own website)