Provincial Electricity Authority Apologizes for the Error
A small hotel owner in Surat Thani’s Koh Samui district received a rude awakening when she was sent an electricity bill for more than 11 million baht last month. The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) has since apologized for the miscalculation, which went viral on social media.
Apassanant Pattharapisithorn, the hotel owner, originally posted a picture of the bill for July for her eight-room hotel on a dedicated Thai consumer protection website. In the image, she expressed her horror at the news that her hotel had consumed a shocking 5,099,939.87 units of electricity, resulting in a bill of 11,780,004.62 baht.
Ms. Apassanant stated that her hotel usually paid between 30,000 to 50,000 baht for electricity, so she immediately contacted the Koh Samui PEA call center. However, she was diverted to an answerphone message asking her to call back on Thursday following the holiday weekend.
Social Media Reaction
Feeling anxious, Ms. Apassanant took to Facebook to share her grievance. She posted, “[Koh Samui PEA’s] call center said that I have to wait until Aug 3 to hear back from them. I’m really concerned.” Her post quickly gained traction on social media, leading to the PEA addressing the issue.
PEA’s Apology and Explanation
Thanaphan Tiasuwan, director-general of PEA’s Communication Affairs Division, apologized to Ms. Apassanant for the error in the bill calculation. He explained that an employee had keyed a digit into the wrong row, causing the total charge to skyrocket.
The Koh Samui PEA has also assured Ms. Apassanant that her amended July bill will be for 46,878.20 baht, a far more reasonable amount for her hotel’s electricity usage.