Paying and managing Utilities in Pattaya city Thailand
A important part of the process of moving into a new home, and to start getting settled, is to get all the services that we will need in our daily life. Back at home, we are familiar with how utilities are provided, bills paid and what rights we have as users.
In Thailand, the basic essential utilities are provided by government monopolies. If you are dissatisfied you cannot transfer to another supplier, as you can with mobile telephone, internet or television providers. We do not get compensation for failures of service provision.
Here we outline what services you may need, the alternatives and how to pay your bills. In this simple, humble way , it is how we are linking Pattaya Together.
Getting Electricity Service in Pattaya
Electric services are generally reliable, although in the rainy season blackouts are not so uncommon, especially east of Sukhumvit Rd, sometimes called the “dark side”, because until around 2005 there was little or no street lighting.
The voltage is 220 volts at 50 Hz and the power outlets are suited to two-pin plugs. This means that there is no “earth” line and the outer casing of your appliances may give you shocks. You can ask an electrician to install an earthing rod in your garden and re-wire the house to include the third line.
Electric services are provided by Pattaya Provincial Electric Authority (PEA) which is a Government Enterprise in the utility sector attached to the Interior Ministry. The Provincial Electricity Authority’s primary responsibilities include generation, procurement, distribution and sale of electricity to the public, business and industrial sectors in 74 provinces, 99.4% of Thailand, with the exception of Bangkok.
If only I’d known..
One of the advantages of living in a condominium, is that in case of blackouts, each building may have a spare transformer, so the service won’t have long interruptions, with the only exception of blackouts affecting the whole neighbourhood of the building.
Getting Telephone connection in Thailand
Thailand has a quickly developing IT industry. Fixed telephone lines, mobile telephones, dial-up Internet, wifi and ADSL broadband are all available with varying quality. Some remote rural areas will not have access to some, if not all, of these services but will most definitely have wireless phone access.
The telephone system in Pattaya is reasonably reliable, especially if you have a look at the lines and how they are maintained. Occasionally, especially after storms, the telephone lines, which are usually above ground, are down or under repair, situations that could last a few hours to a few days.
Two major companies , dealing with local/ domestic calls , handle most telephone connections in Pattaya : Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT ) ,and and TT&T. True also provides fixed-line services, but the service is not available in all areas. Just for getting familiarised,all numbers in Pattaya area begin with 038 .
TOT Public Company Limited
TT&T Public Company Limited
True Corporation Thailand
If Only I’d known…
- These companies do not provide their services to all locations within the city, therefore, it is highly recommended to do some research about which company provides the best service in the area you are moving in, before making a decision on the provider. With your new address and location, just go to any of these companies’ branches and they will tell you whether the service could be given.
- When a line service is interrupted by a storm, each company has a Service Call Direct Line which you could contact to get your line repaired.
How to make International calls from Thailand
When calling internationally using the standard 001 prefix, calls will go through Cat Telecom (Communications Authority of Thailand). Though for cheaper rates you want to use Skype to make phone calls. You can make phone calls from your cell phone too but it’s expensive.
CAT Telecom Public Company Limited
If only I’d known…
When dialing 009, 008 or 007 before the country code, a discounted call charge is applied although call quality is variable. The prefix 007 is slightly more expensive with a corresponding improvement in quality.
Check website or local press for details of up to date promotions.
Mobile Telephones in Thailand
How to get a Mobile telephone in Pattaya Thailand
Handsets can be bought at any shopping centre where you will find entire areas with many small stalls selling mobile phone units, apart of the official retailers of each brand .
SIM cards are sold at most service provider shops throughout the country. Please, be aware that you r passport is required to get a prepaid SIM card, as all users are registered by the government.
While the sale of mobile phone handsets is a huge business for Thailand, only three companies provide mobile service.
AIS Call centre: 1175
DTAC Call centre: 1678
True Move Call centre: 1331
There are two different types of SIM card available in Thailand:
Pre paid telephones: this is the simplest package for new residents or those whose usage is very low. You just buy a card (they range in value from 100 to 500 baht) from any mobile phone shop and when the credit is used, you just go to any Seven Eleven or Family Mart to get more credit.
Registered accounts: this is more useful for more permanent residents and companies.It is convenient because offer lower call rates and packages. It is advisable to consult all providers about available packages before making any decision.
You could find further information visiting this website:
Also, we found this useful site where you could find interesting information and ’Tips for Expats, by Expats visiting Pattaya Expats Club website: www.pattayaexpatsclub.info/useful-links/phone-tips
Internet Providers in Thailand
Internet usage is expanding rapidly in Thailand, as is the list of providers. This is a list of some of Thailand’s Internet service providers:
CAT Telecom Public Company Limited
You could find further useful information visiting:
Getting Television Service in Thailand
If you are thinking of bringing your favorite TV set or DVD player for watching your movies or your children’s game player, you may be charged customs duty on recent equipment.
Please be aware that there are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world:
NTSC (used in the USA, Canada, Japan and some other countries) ; PAL (used in most of Western Europe, Australasia and South Africa) and SECAM ( used in France and Eastern Europe)
These three systems are not compatible with each other. The television transmission standard in Thailand is PAL B , which is different to the PAL I system used, for example, in the UK, so older televisions from the UK are unlikely to work in Thailand.
Similarly, older NTSC televisions from the USA will not work in Thailand. Many newer TVs are multi-system and can accept PAL or NTSC signals. So, it is highly advisable to check the television’s user manual before bringing TVs to Thailand.
Television Stations in Thailand
There are six terrestrial TV stations that are controlled by various government agencies, including the Royal Thai Army and MCOT.
Terrestrial TV channels
The terrestrial channels broadcast predominantly in Thai. Some have small sections of English-language programming or with some TVs the language can be changed to English for certain programs.
- Channel 3
- Channel 5 ( only in Thai)
- Channel 7
- Modernime ( Channel 9)
- NBT ( National broadcasting Service of Thailand) with some daily transmissions in English
- Thai PBS ( Thai Public Broadcasting Service)
Cable and satellite channels
Banglamung Cable TV Pattaya (BTV)
Serving North Pattaya, Naklua and some some coverage in East Pattaya (The Darkside).
CTH Satellite and Cable
This is ideal for those who want to view the English Premier League Games. Satellite and cable packages offering sport, movies, kids entertainment and lifestyle. Website: www.cth.co.th
Jomtien Cable TV (JC)
Jomtien cable is available from the Threppasit Road area through to Jomtiem and Haui Yai.
Sophon cable TV Pattaya
Sophon cable coverage is available in Jomtien through to North Pattaya, Naklua and some areas of East Pattaya.
Thipmanee ‘TMN’ cable TV Pattaya
Only available in East Pattaya, “The Darkside”.
True Visions Pattaya (formerly UBC)
True Visions has a large number of channels broadcasting in English available with different packages of varying costs depending on the channels chosen. Website: www.truevisionsgroup.truecorp.co.th/?ln=en
65 Sport TV Thailand
5 channels of pure sport via an Internet connection or separate TV box. You can watch live sport on your laptop, tablet or mobile device, or on your TV via the separate ‘set top box’, the only drawback is you can only watch it on 1 device at any one time. Well worth a look if you’re a sports fan, package includes the English Premier League and a host of other sports. Website: www.365sport.tv/index.php
You could find further information visiting these websites:
Paying Utilities Bills
Where to pay Electricity bills in Thailand
If renting, your utilities may be included in rental fees.Otherwise each service will need to be paid individually. While each utility provider has their own main office and numerous sub-sites, payments can be made at all participating 7-11 convenience stores if paid within the allowable time frame.
If only I’d known…
- If living in a condominium, it might be possible that you could pay utilities bills at the office, what saves a good time queuing at any of the Electricity Company’s office or going to 7-11.
- If living in a house, bills also might be paid at the office of the village, if you live in an enclosed residential estate. In the case of living in a house without that service, it is advisable to check your mail box periodically or, as the due time of bills falls on the same date or similar each month, when you estimate that the bill should be there.
- Having said that be aware that the post service although generally reliable, in some occasions bills might not reach your home. In this case, you should go to the office closer to your house, to pay it before your service is cut.
Where to pay Telephones, Internet, Television bills in Thailand
Bills are paid monthly, either at the local service office, by direct debit, by Internet or telephone banking, at the bank, cheque by post, credit card, direct debit, ATM transfer or at the Post Office. Only certain banks and credit cards will be accepted by individual telecoms providers so it is best to check with the company.
If only I’d known…
- Paying bills is not a real burden. The bills show where you can go for payment, which is easy, because you will recognise the logos of each bank.
- But what is the fastest is simply go to any 7-11 or to a Family Mart, they’re open 24/7 and there are many of them covering the whole city, believe us, so it turns to be the most convenient place for bill payments. They will able to charge all your bills by reading the barcodes.
- Bills in Thailand have a barcode, so it is really not difficult to pay them. Just go to the determined banks- see on the back of the bill- , 7-eleven or Family Marts to get them paid. Photo Credit: Silvia Muda
- Is important that, as the due time of bills falls on the same date or similar each month, you should make a note of when to expect a specific bill. If it isn’t delivered on time, just take the paid bill of the previous month to any 7-11 or Family Mart, and their staff will read the barcodes and you will be able to pay it. Keep the receipt to add to the bill if it arrives.
After living in Pattaya for a while you will realise that there are more, much more than what we just have listed in this page, but to try to include all it is just impossible. We tried to put on the table which services you will find once living here, and how to manage them.
Pattaya is a city that you must experience yourself. As we do. Every single day is a new experience, a new challenge. But we really hope that we had been of help with the information collected in this page. Although you might find further information and tips when you were already living here, we tried to give you a basic help. If you have some comments, please, lets know. In this way, we will keep linking Pattaya together.