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"There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path." Buddha

Abnormal Electricity Bill: Cross Readings

Tenaga Nasional Berhad Logo

I was just looking through my electiricity bill the other day and found out that one particular month stood out from the rest.

Jan 2006: RM 35.64
Feb 2006: RM 40.32
Mar 2006: RM 32.56
Apr 2006: RM 120.53 (ouch!)
May 2006: RM 43.26

I was quite sure that this could not have resulted from an “estimated reading”. I decided to call up TNB and find out what caused the spike.

TNB authority, “Encik ada buat renovation kah?”

I replied no.

TNB authority, “Kalau macam nih, mungkin masalah cross-reading.”

To which I replied, “Apa? Cross apa?”

I was curioused what cross-reading was, and after a brief explanation by the authority, cross-reading is an accidental act of misreading the electricity bill of different unit owners, and hence resulting in an inaccurate payment sum.

Cool, it seems that cross-reading is a pretty common phenomenon, since they even coined a word for it. They should have considered “false-reading” or “cheat-reading” to ensure that such act is negatively associated.

The TNB authority said that they will call back and confirmed again, and indeed, several days later, they clarified that the meter was cross-read, and that they will reissue a new bill for me again.

This incident taught me that we should not take any meter readings for granted. Making a phone call might cost a few sen and probably waste a few minutes of our precious life, but it’s definitely one way to ensure that these irresponsible acts do not repeat itself too often. If you think the recent tariff hike is not enough, with all these cross-readings going on, it will definitely boost the profit margin of our one and only (read: monopoly) electricity provider.

Are you being cross-read?

  • shadowfox

    Ah, this article is so appropriate for minishorts. She has an interest in this particular area. ;-)