I hate banks. I really hate banks. So today when I tried to get a mobi-account so that I wouldn’t have to go to the bank, I got naturally pissed off. Why? I’d left my ATM (card) at home.
The form needed me to fill in my account number, and I didn’t have it off-head. I asked the nice lady at the counter to look it up for me an she said no. Why? I didn’t have my original ID. It’s my account dammit! So no, I still don’t have a mobi-account, and yes, I still have to go to the bank. Aw crud.
[I suppose I should mention why I don’t carry IDs and ATMs. I hate bureaucracy even more than I hate banks. Especially the bureaucracy of replacing lost things. So I rarely carry any ID (I have scanned, laminated copies), ATMs, or notes above 200/=. Pickpockets don’t like me very much.]
But I digress. Today, I’m pissed off with Kenya Power. Again. Last month, I had drama with power and banks and M-PESA. So I was surprised when my prepaid electricity units ran out prematurely. I shrugged it off and assumed that I’d over-used the blowdrier or something. I loaded the meter with 2,000/=, which this month, bought me 127.5 units. It took 24 hours before I received the tokens, which was a bit worrying, seeing as I had just ten units left.
Two days later, I got home to find my househelp throwing daggers at the meter. Why? Well, the units had miraculously dropped from 131 to 28 in three days. The f**? As it turns out, Kenya Power had decided to summarily replace my meter. It had glitches, they said, and proceeded to give me a new one.
I should be happy, yes? They were replacing faulty merchandise for free, yes? In fact the whole prepaid meter idea is meant to make my life simpler. Allow me to monitor my usage and save energy and blah blah blah. Rather than paying a blanket monthly bill, I get to load my meter with units, and I can even do it from M-PESA. It’s just like airtime … except … it’s not. It costs me more, because it never has the same price two months in a row.
Also, here’s the thing. They neglected to transfer the units I had just bought. Apparently, I now had to buy new units in order to reclaim the 2,000/= I had loaded not 48 hours before. Ranting and raving got me nowhere, so I loaded 200/= just too see what would happen. Well, guess what happened. Nothing.
Hours later, I got a text that said my new account hadn’t been activated, so I couldn’t load the meter. Okay. I called Kenya Power Contact Centre and after being on hold for five minutes (God Bless PostPay Bundles), the nice lady activated my account and delivered the 200/=. It got me 12 units.
When I asked about my 2,000 bob, she said I had to go to Electricity House to reclaim my units. So I did. Half an hour of queueing later, the man at the counter says it will take two weeks to reclaim my units, and that it’s ‘a process’. What the f*** does that mean? I didn’t even want to ask.
I explained that I had just loaded 2,000/=, that there was now no power in my house, and that two weeks weren’t really going to help me. So he suggested I come back after lunch, talk to a Mr.Ogut, and find out what the ‘process’ really meant. Seeing as I had left the office in the middle of the day on an errand, and seeing as my office is a 40-minute walk from town, I decided to give Mr. Ogut a miss.
In two weeks’ time, I just might change my mind, but for now, I’m considering that 2K as a donation to charity. I really can’t be bothered with bureaucracy. Now all I have to do is dig some coins out of the sofa to keep the meter running until payday. So, my beloved Kenya Power, enjoy the 2K, don’t spend it all in one place, and also, F U Very Much.
It is now 12.13 p.m. on Friday 27th July. After publishing this post yesterday morning, Kevin Sang of KPLC got in touch and offered to follow up my refund request. I’ve just received a call, an email, and a refund of 102 Units. (The new prepaid meter came pre-loaded with 30 units.) Thank you Johnstone Sakwa, you’ve totally made my day =)