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TNB On Another GLC Scam?

Posted by Simon Templar On Wednesday, June 02, 2010 1 comments

On and off we'll find some complains in the papers on how TNB has wrongly charged us for our electricity consumption. Most of the time, I could not even be bothered to read them. I think there was a massive wrong charge in Perak earlier this year or was it last year? See, I didn't even bother.

But I had a huge bill for the last month and this got the missus unhappy.

We use about RM300 bucks a month. Yeah, that's quite a bit for 2 people but this is a hot country. Plus the UMNO goons are always getting the blood boiling.

Anyways, back to the TNB bill. The bill for last month came to RM670 bucks! Shocking!

I compared the latest bill against that of the previous month and here are my findings...

March 2010 meter reading: Dahulu 42539 Semasa 43420 (Usage 881 kwh)

April 2010 meter reading: Dahulu 42539 Semasa 44499 (Usage 1960 kwh)

Hey! Why does both Dahulu start on 42539. That means I have been double charged for usage of 881 kwh! And on top of that, I will be paying a bulk of the usage in April on higher tariffs. Am I getting rip-off right under my nose? And to top it up, the March bill somehow came via normal post! That's highly suspicious if you ask me.

Then I looked at the unit charges.

For March, the tariffs are RM0.286 (500 kwh), RM0.378 (100 kwh), RM0.387 (100 kwh), RM0.397 (100 kwh) and RM0.417 (81 kwh).

For April, the tariffs are RM0.286 (1,000 kwh), RM0.378 (200 kwh), RM0.387 (200 kwh), RM0.397 (200 kwh), RM0.417 (200 kwh) and RM0.446 (kwh).

Ok so they have increased the usage band for April. I worked it out on an Excl worksheet and it does not look like I had been significantly overcharged.

But how then can I still be paying close to RM1,000 for 2 months' usage when my monthly bill is RM300. This doesn't add up!

I looked at the bill again and then it dawn upon me. The bill has gone up to RM670 because TNB had increased by deposit by another RM300. I initially already had RM300 paid to TNB. TNB's practice is to have deposits collected as close as possible to monthly consumption.

With their dubious practice, they have now increased my deposit with them to RM600 i.e. 2 months by average consumption.

I know I am not an isolated case.

Look, TNB is not stupid. I initially thought that they are trying to jack up their revenue by wrongly charging us consumers. But that would be a very short term move as when you find out, the reversal will be made the following month and their revenue will go back to square 1.

But with what I have just experienced, TNB had just increased their cash collection. Hmmm... Why the cash? Is the government really that dry that TNB's subsidies are being held back? Is the government that dry that TNB has to find other means to pay their suppliers such as the IPPs?

I checked TNB's quarterly announcements to Bursa. Consumer deposits have increased steadily over the past 1 year plus:

As at 28 Feb 2009: RM2,634,300,000
As at 31 May 2009: RM2,673,100,000 (increase of RM38.8 million)
As at 31 Aug 2009: RM2,717,300,000 (increase of RM44.2 million)
As at 30 Nov 2009: RM2,752,600,000 (increase of RM35.3 million)
As at 28 Feb 2010: RM2,795,500,000 (increase of RM42.9 million)

How much of the increase is actually from installations of new meters? I guess we will never know. But TNB has increased it consumer deposits by RM161,200,000 in the past 12 months. It may not seem like a big movement in their enormous balance sheet, but that sure is a lot of money. I can't think of 50 PLCs in Malaysia who earn that kind of money in a year. And these are free money mind you - interest free loans from you and me. Can you imagine this - RM2.8 billion of interest free loan from the public. And it is increasing everyday. What a wonderful business! No wonder TNB is looking for ways to increase the deposits.

I am inclined to think that TNB is implementing a a systematic application of this tactic to unscrupulously increase their consumer deposits. A lot of rakyat had been hit with this earlier, I got hit know, and I think it is quite likely that all of you will experience this someday in the near future (if you have already not been victimised). So, look out for your next TNB bill.

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