F.U.K.P.L.C.

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.

Update:

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 =)

13 thoughts on “F.U.K.P.L.C.

  1. Sorry that you had to go through this agony, I understand how frustrating it can be to have a fauly prepaid meter. I am happy that it was replaced. Kindly email me your meter number and your account number for follow up on the issue. My email is [hidden]

  2. This is mighty nice of you Kevin! You’ve taken initiative. I might want to know why the rates are hardly ever constant even on a day-to-day basis.

    • When I asked, they said it’s because the rates are based on the exchange rate, so one month, 500/= could get you 30 units and the next month you could end up with 45 units for the same amount.

      • This is true, there are variables in your bill including the famous fuel cost adjustment, VAT (charged at 12%) and FOREX rate adjustment, which makes it hard to predict how much will pay in a given month assuming your consumption is unchanged.

  3. You only got your units back because you have a blog you can write about such experiences and the hundreds, if not thousands can resonate them through the cyberspace. No one wants such publicity, that’s why they reacted to your complaint. Owe unto those who can’t write to the wider population about their woes with KPLC. Mungu ako na ninyi.

    • True. But I know quite a few people who’ve made enough noise that they’ve gotten their due without being a PR nightmare.

      The problem with having your plaints met though is that while Kevin may lurk online and only has to tend to the 5 or so comments here, offline there are hundreds/thousands of complaints that can’t be tended to by one person. My advice, use this platform and challenge them to ignore you.

      If they do, we’ll try address that. But if you haven’t tried, you can’t quite say it didn’t work.

    • Not true at all, we have a section in the KP call centre responsible for solving prepaid complaints. Every complaint is captured in our systems and delegated to teams in charge – and, true, it works for many. We also have other platofrms such as Twitter (@kenyapower), Facebook and (www.kenyapower.co.ke) which customers can post their complaints and they are resolved.

      • Dude, with due respect to the good work you’re trying to do here, I have tried pretty much all those platforms at one time or another.

        None worked faster than when I wrote that post some months back about how shitty KP’s service was, regardless of the efforts in customer care. Now I’m not sure about the semantics of the inner workings and the nuances of the processes that led to such speedy response, but dare I say, given my background in advertising, that PR nightmares tend to be what wakes up giants like Kenya Power the fastest.

        And it was you, Mr. Sang, that actually replied to that post within an hour or two, with an official statement and all.

        Two things to accept: The service is bad, the customer service is trying to cope with this. Not coping, but trying to.

        It would be flat out deceitful to claim that KP tends to all inquiries. They do not. Categorically, NO. I have NEVER gotten a reply from them on Twitter, and only 1 reply on Facebook. Ever. That aside, how are we expecting people to get on electronic media like Facebook, Twitter and your official site with no electricity? Lol.I’d rather use my little remaining charge on my phone to do what always works; try to get the most important person in our neighborhood to call someone senior at KP.

        Same strategy my mother used when we we were younger still holds.

        So what’s really changed?

        Also please don’t reply with an apology to my specific case. I’m not the only one that has suffered from the lack of service and neglect of customer care. Not even close. It’s an issue to be owned and addressed. This is just a call to own up, man up, and not pretend everything’s ok. It’s not.

        *drops mic and walks off*

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