Dept of Electrical Services (DES) provides many ways for its customers to pay their bills or purchase prepaid tokens:
To date, DES statistics report on customer preference in paying bills/purchase prepaid token still favours over the payment counter. Do you think Government should give discounts/subsidy to encourage online payments through credit card?
Refering to the discussion on whether or not DES should give discounts to those who purchase their prepaid electric bill via credit card, I strongly reject this idea.
Let me list and elaborate the pros and cons.
Credit card. CREDIT. Bruneians say HUTANG. Are we trying to encourage Bruneians to increase their debt? Will all the goods prices going high and no signs of slowing down, let alone, going down? Yes, credit cards can be benificial if it is used the right way. Are we Bruneian confident that we can used credit card in a smart way? For BIBD, yes there is this thing "2 points per dollar used in credit card". But is this worth it? Use, say $100 per month to purchase electric prepaid card, and pay the monthly installments and top it up with monthly purchase of more electrical prepaid card? More disadvantage than advantage from the way I see it.
Plus, it would be so unfair to those who dont have access to credit cards. Mind you, not all employees in Brunei (non-government sector I mean) receive their paycheck via bank. There are still a wide range of companies who still pay their employees by hand, locals and non locals. So this idea of giving discounts to those who use their credit cards will not entitle to everyone. And what about the elder citizens? What about a family with no online banking? Especially those who need the "discounts" the most? They can't get the discounts because the don't even know how to use a credit card. What kind of system is DES trying to emplement? The privileged ones get discounts and the under-privileged ones are not even entitled at all?
Now the pros. Say, starting from say, 28th every month (on average), Government AND non-goernment employees are rushing to run errands - pay car, prima, astro, water bill, electril bill etc. I assure you from my personal experience, this can take a whole day (if you're lucky). Which means you have to take a leave(or for some cheaters, pencuri tulang, escape work just to get this done. So to have the ability to purchase a prepaid via credit card, or better, online banking, will save a lot of time.
But still, I strongly don't agree with this discount system. Even the current system DES is using right now, the first-purchase-of-the-month-gets-more-prepaid-pounts is a bit frustrating. Why can't DES just use ONE TYPE of tarrif counts? Why does it have to be two? Why does DES have to give discount only once a month. Yes, its a good thing. But it is also frustrating at the same time, especially when DES shows no signs of using the data they receive for the past.. few years I guess? Since this system was implemented?
Review the statistics, how many household purchase the electric prepaid MORE THAN ONCE PER MONTH? This shows that even though there is this generous discount on the first purchase of the month, it is still not enough to last for the whole month. So I would like to suggest DES to review and reinforce a new tariff. $100 per month for a household of no more than 6 is too much. Not only that, most of us have to purchase another $5 or $10 or even $20 so we don't have to experience a black out while we sleep. So please, DES, recheck the tariff. Introduce a friendly one, not a cekik darah one.
Thats all for now. May all this info be used in a helpful way for us all.