We all are aware of the mess and the absurd electric bills we have. You may not be one of those who have been victimized, but you probably have had people that you know who received a bill that they “shouldn’t have.”
Should you be not aware of what the issue is, it is when we received the latest electricity bills we had, it was more than what we expected. In fact, many people saw that there was some type of “averaging” that happened.
This guide will discuss how you can get a refund for the estimated bills, if, in case you paid for it.
Adding of the previous bills to get the “estimated bills”
One take that a lot of people agreed upon was that Meralco “estimated the bills.” A formula some found to be true was that the utility agency multiplied the previous bill x2 to arrive at the “estimated bills.”
For example, if a household had an outstanding balance of P10,000 for their previous bills, the most recent bill that they’ve received would amount to P10,000 – totaling to P20,000.
Just yesterday, the electricity distributing giant Meralco released their guidelines on getting the refund for the estimated bills. The Energy Regulatory Commission or the ERC directed them to provide the refund to the people.
There are people who don’t believe the bills that they were seeing online. However, a vocational worker named Vilma Pasamba, expressed her frustrations when she saw her bill.
She said that she never failed to settle the electricity bills she had from the month of March until May; but the June bill that she received was equivalent to three (3) months.
Bayad ko na po ang 4 na buwan eh… pero hindi ko matanggap kung bakit ganito ang bill ko.”
In Translation: I already paid for the four (4) months… What I cannot fathom is the fact that this bill is too high.
Guidelines of getting the refund for the estimated bills
Based on the guidelines that have been set, if the refund would be at P10,000 max, it can be given in cash. Otherwise, a check is to be issued to those that exceeded P10,000.
For those people who want to have a refund; only to those who paid the bill incorrectly, this is the process:
- You have to visit the nearest Meralco office from your location;
- The following documentary requirements are needed to file the refund:
- Valid ID
- Proof of payment (receipt)
Should the bill be in another name; if you are renting, then you need to have an authorization letter from the person whose name is on the bill.
In the event that the person is already deceased, there should be proof saying that the person who would claim the refund is a relative of the deceased.
Meralco on being “careful”
Due to the influx of complaints that arose since the last Meralco reading, Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco Spokesperson said that they should be extra careful because of the fact that it’s the people’s money they’re dealing with.
He continued to say that it’s going to be a challenge if the funds go to the wrong people.
Pera ‘yan eh so kailangan maingat kami… kasi mahirap ‘yong tinatawag natin na mapunta ang pera sa hindi tamang tao.”
In Translation: It’s money; and that’s why we have to be careful. It will be difficult if the money goes to the wrong hands (people).
Previously, Zaldarriaga sent his deepest apologies to the people and consumers who received an incorrectly absurd electric bill. He assured everyone that there’ll be no disconnection between today an the month of September.
Paumanhin sa mga customer na naguluhan sa kanilang May bills. Lilinawin lang individually kung ano ang kanilang batayan ng bill, ano ‘yong reading noong Mayo. Between now and the end of September there will be no disconnection whatsoever.”
In Translation: [We] would like to apologize to our customers who were confused with their bills. We would individually clarify how we came up with this bill; and what the reading was back in May. Between now and the end of September, there’ll be no disconnection, whatsoever.
What if I did not pay through cash?
Following the advisory of Meralco about paying their bills cashless, many people used other methods of payment. Should you be one of the people who paid it using credit card or the automatic debit, or even through the app, reclaiming it physically might be hard.
As per Meralco, what these people can do is that they can coordinate with the social media accounts by Meralco. Alternatively, they can call the Meralco hotline at 16211.
What are your thoughts about the guidelines on how people can get the refund for the estimated bills? Are you part of the demographic who received it incorrectly?
Source/s: ABS-CBN News