Stickman Readers' Submissions August 27th, 2009

My Tricky Landlord

Thought you'd get a kick out of this since This is Thailand. Let me tell you a story of an incident that happened three months ago.

Briefly, I went to Canada for a month.I shut off all the power, unplugged the fridge, house was dead! Came back presented with an electric bill for six hundred baht. What the f… I exclaimed to the landlord. Okay, you cause problem you go he yells! I'm
totally baffled but like it here so say okay maybe some problem I don't know about. Check the outside breaker to see if the lights around the compound are rigged to my meter that night. Off / on, off / on. Nope…notice my neighbour is away
and there's no lights on at his house. Think nothing of it…

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Just found out last night that the reason my electric bill is so high is because I'm paying for the bungalow next door to me as well. When I hit the main breaker outside the little bungalow I live in my power went off as expected and
to my astonishment so did my neighbour's. I actually did the "Shave and a Haircut…two bits" routine. You know the da da da da da…da da with the power switch. My friken neighbour is on my grid. I tried my test again because I
checked my meter and did the math. I owed 1250 baht for this month's electric! This month I was very careful to shut lights off and use power sensibly.

Now here's the dilemma…(Conundrum?) If I go and ask my landlord who's an easily agitated idiot why this is so (he owns both bungalows and to save money he put both houses on the same meter to save the 27,000 baht cost of installing
another one) and why my bill is around 1200 baht a month when I only use 7 watt bulbs and no air conditioning, just fans, a fridge and no outside lights on all night he'll tell me to just go and I'm a trouble maker. I'll have caused
him to lose face big time since I've figured out his dirty deed. I'm not sure if my neighbour is in on the deal (a German Farang, not friendly either) because the way I figure it they're cashing in by charging me the full rate (dhuuu)
and possibly my neighbour as well. Or him half me full. If I ask the neighbour I'll blow the whole thing wide open and still have to leave. What the landlord's doing is illegal and he'll know that for sure but will not feel he's
done anything wrong since the stupid farang is dumb enough not to figure it out.

So there is another bungalow in my little compound that belongs to a Thai that has no affiliation with my current landlord. Meaning he's not married to any family members etc. I live in a one bedroom now and this is a two. I can convert
one to an office which would be good for me. The rent will only go up 1,000 a month.

I think this is the only way to resolve this problem cause I know sure as hell he won't pay back the six months overcharge! To top it all off I also found out he's charging me two baht a point more than he should be. Crikey!!!!
Sneaky little bastard! I've been here as you know for over six years and have never been stung like this because I usually am privy to these kind of stings. Overall it's only around six or seven hundred baht a month he's been ripping
me off but it's "The Lie" that pisses me off. Why the hell would I want to pay for anyone else's utility bill even if it was 20 baht!

Anyways I do rant on…Just thought maybe a shout out to some of your other Stickmanites can make them aware of this type of sting. It easy to figure it out. Timing is important. Just find out where your meter is and make sure all other houses
in your area have one as well. I suspect an ultimate sting would be to have one installed and then not hooked up and two or three hooked into one. Check to see if the little wheel is spinning. If you shut off all your breakers in the house and
then go back to the meter and it's still spinning away. Someone is on your grid!

All those stalls you see stealing power off the grid…well that power comes from someone else's business. If you're unfortunate to be on the street with all those stalls your store or business could be paying for their power consumption.
It'll be on your meter. I've noticed power lines taped into at almost every 7 Eleven. I kid you not look up and find rouge wires trailing off from any Family Mart or 7 Eleven. Easy pickings. In a way I don't blame them. They're
poor and…well nature always finds a way ha ha, but someone has to pay.

With that money I could barfine, buy a round, have a nice sushi dinner, see four movies, maybe buy some popcorn…pay for another month of power!

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Stickman's thoughts:

I never cease to be amazed at some of the tricks that local landlords get up to in Thailand…

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