The Manila Electric Co (Meralco) President and Chief Executive Officer apologized on Monday for the confusing electricity bills customers received during the period of enhanced community quarantine.
Meralco CEO Ray Espinosa cited a “failure to clarify” the bills to the Senate Committee on Energy.
(Meralco Explains the ‘Bill Shock’ You Might Have Experienced Lately)
“I believe there has been basically a failure on our part to clarify to our customers what is actual and what is estimated. For that I wish to apologize to you and to all similarly situated customers,” he said.
“I believe it is necessary now for Meralco to send each of our customers a separate clarificatory letter to show the reading in February, in May, or in June and explain to them clearly.”
The electric power distribution company previously explained that the bills for March and April were based on estimates as personnel was not allowed to do meter readings during the ECQ. However, the Senate Committee on Energy emphasized the thousands of complaints about the confusion from consumers.
“The utilities are also imbued with public service and public trust kasi kung ano ‘yung binibigay ninyo sa amin, binabayaran namin [because whatever you give us, we pay],” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said.
“We cannot just blindly trust Meralco. It was proven now na magulo talaga ‘yung bill [that the bill is hard to understand] because of the estimate.”
In response, Espinosa promised that Meralco will correct the statements and issue clarificatory notices to consumers. This is expected to be done in 30 days.
“It is not Meralco’s business to charge customers beyond what they consumed. We have to stress that again and we have to make sure that in the implementation that is followed,” said Espinosa. “These are necessary for us to regain the trust of our customers.”
“We will double and triple our efforts to actually hire more call center agents to respond to emails and other issues raised on our various social media channels.”
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