KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Utility provider Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has resolved the issue of surcharges for 11,331 out of 14,469 complainants, chief executive officer Amir Hamzah Azizan said today.
Speaking at a press conference, he said the power company has been pulling out all the stops to resolve the problem that had gained national and Cabinet attention over the past few days.
"TNB has also been receiving theories or complaints over the approved lines that we have. From the approved lines, we’ve investigated to find out the root cause of the issue.
"To be clear, from our data, we have received 14,469 complaints up till today. Out of the 14,469 complaints, we have resolved 11,331 cases," he told reporters here.
Among steps Amir Hamzah has taken to appease customers include placing his chief retail officer Megat Jalaluddin Megat Hassan as the head of a special task force to deal with the matter.
He has also extended the working hours for Kedai Tenaga from 8am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday while doing the same for its Careline call centre, with working hours now starting from 7am to 11pm from Monday to Saturday.
When asked about the reason for the overcharges, Amir Hamzah explained that there was a glitch in TNB’s system on May 15 which was subsequently resolved five days later.
"We had a glitch in our system on 15 May. During that time, our data wasn't affected. But in order to bring the system back online, we had to conduct testing protocols before we can go live. Between May 15 to May 20, we had regular updates on MyTNB.
"The focus of our team at that time was to release as much functionality as we can. By the second day we could take applications for new lines or termination of lines.
"Once our system was up, we uploaded [data] into the system. That's when we recognised that there was a technical downtime for the system," said Amir Hamzah.
He explained that during the five-day downtime, they could not conduct any billings which led to some homes being overcharged, as once the system became operational again, it lumped some unbilled days together.
This is when instead of TNB's usual 30 day billing cycle, it extended to more than 30 days for some bills, leading to an overcharge.
At the same time, Amir Hamzah asked TNB customers lodge a complaint if they have been overcharged at any point in time, including incidents prior to May 15, so the power company can conduct an investigation.
When asked regarding refunds for customers who have paid their bills, Amir said due to the ongoing investigations as well as the volume of the claims, it might take longer than the usual two to three weeks to settle such cases.
Touching on Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin's statement that TNB will be fined by the Energy Commission, Amir Hamzah said that he will deal with the issue later.
"We are always in touch with the ministry and the commission. However, right now my focus and priority are my customers who have been affected. We will deal with anything else later," said Amir Hamzah.