I have an issue with Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa). I have been living in an apartment in Sharjah’s Muweilah area since 2006. On November 21, 2016, I returned from Dubai to my apartment and found that my electricity had been disconnected. I checked with the building’s security guard, and he told me it was disconnected due to non-payment of outstanding amount. I was shocked, as I had cleared my dues on October 27, 2016, and called Sewa’s number. They requested me to come to their office.
I went there and was totally shocked as they said I had an outstanding balance of Dh4,039 in my account. I told the Sewa employee that I had cleared my bills till October, 2016. They replied that my meter for water services has been faulty since the past two years. Now that they have changed it, I am liable to pay for this amount. It is embarrassing for me, as I don’t know what to do.
They never informed or served any notice or SMS regarding my outstanding bills. Whatever bill I get, I would pay on time. I never went through the details of the bill as I didn’t feel any difference in my billing. It would always vary from Dh250 to Dh600, depending on the season. My consumption is very low, as I always find ways to control my expenses.
Sewa staff directed me to their head office, to meet the customer relations officer there. So I went there and explained everything — but he also said the same thing. I pleaded with him not to impose such a big amount on me for no mistake of my own. He directed me to another office, and said I should pay Dh1,000 in order to reconnect my service. I was compelled to pay Dh1,000 and the cashier told me that Dh3,039 was still outstanding on my invoice. Now, they have reconnected the service.
They told me that it was my mistake for not checking my bill. How is this so? Whatever is due, I would pay on time. It is the department’s and the meter reader’s responsibility to check meters and if they find it to be faulty, they have to replace it.
Is it fair to disconnect electricity without even a single notice or SMS?
Kindly help me in order to write off such a big amount, as I am a low salaried, budget oriented person. I would highly appreciate it if Gulf News can help me in this difficult situation.
From Mr Kallakkal Mohammad Abdul Saleem
Editor’s note: The complaint was forwarded to Sewa for comments. However, despite repeated reminders, its management did not respond.
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