Hydro One bills have unleashed ‘incredible’ number of complaints to Ontario ombudsman


Locutus
#1
TORONTO — The “horror” stories of Hydro One customers over their bills have unleashed an unprecedented number of complaints to his office, Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin said Monday.

So far, his office has received more than 7,900 complaints about the provincial utility’s billing practices — and they keep pouring in, he said after releasing his annual report.

“We’re still getting about 10 a day, which is quite incredible,” Marin said.

His office has never received so many complaints about a single government organization, he said, pushing up the annual total to a record 26,999 complaints last year — a 37% increase from the year before.

Marin launched an investigation in February after customers complained about delayed or missing invoices, which resulted in high “catch-up” bills.

Hydro One took $8,390 from the bank account of one woman who had authorized automatic payments, saying it had underestimated her billings for almost two years, his report said.

Other customers complained of unintelligible billing, erratic billing and overbilling, lack of meter readings and malfunctioning smart meters, he said.

“People whose homes have completely burned down and they’re still getting hydro bills, which is my favourite one,” he said.
“It’s actually quite incredible … for many of these people, it’s been a hopeless quagmire.”

Hydro One responded immediately after he announced the probe and have taken several short-term measures to alleviate problems, Marin said. He expects to release his report in November.

The Crown corporation said it has received 1,733 complaints from the ombudsman’s office and has resolved 1,567 with customers. It said it is currently billing 99.2% of its customers on actual usage.

Hydro One “would like its customers to know that we [have] been working tirelessly — and have made progress — to resolve the customer service issues currently before us,” president and CEO Carmine Marcello said in a statement.

But Marin said he’s skeptical. “I’m not sure where these numbers come from,” he said.

His annual report also summarized other cases his office is working on, such as a probe into unlicensed daycares launched after the death of a two-year-old girl north of Toronto, which is expected to be released this summer.

People whose homes have completely burned down and they’re still getting hydro bills, which is my favourite one

It also looked at whether the government took any action in response to the office’s previous work, such as non-emergency medical transfers. Marin said the Liberals did introduce legislation to address problems stemming from some of those cases, but those bills died when the June 12 election was called.

They included a bill aimed at replacing a controversial law that led to police arresting and detaining hundreds of people during the Toronto’s G20 protests in 2010.

“I find it troublesome that it’s still in the books,” Marin said.

Now that the Liberals are coming back with a majority of seats in the legislature, government legislation should pass more quickly, he said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has promised to re-introduce a bill that would give Marin a long-sought power to oversee municipalities, school boards and universities — but not hospitals.

It wasn’t quite everything he had dreamed it would be, but it will allow Ontario to catch up with other provinces and the powers they’ve granted to their ombudsmen, Marin said.


Hydro One bills have unleashed ‘incredible’ number of complaints to Ontario ombudsman

your liberal government at work
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#2
What I want to know is, after reading about this unprecedented volume of complaints and problems for months, why is it that there is no demand for a public inquiry into how these bastards are conducting their business? Is it perhaps because it's a Crown Corporation and therefore 'untouchable'? Any private business that was jerking their customer base around like these guys have done would have the government crawling all over them by now.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

What I want to know is, after reading about this unprecedented volume of complaints and problems for months, why is it that there is no demand for a public inquiry into how these bastards are conducting their business? Is it perhaps because it's a Crown Corporation and therefore 'untouchable'? Any private business that was jerking their customer base around like these guys have done would have the government crawling all over them by now.

That's because the CBC is demanding public inquiries on the Federal gvt's procrastination in not painting 2 park benches on Parliament Hill... Someone could get a sliver, and that trumps Hydro One every time
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+2
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

That's because the CBC is demanding public inquiries on the Federal gvt's procrastination in not painting 2 park benches on Parliament Hill... Someone could get a sliver, and that trumps Hydro One every time

Bah! On a good day I rather hate the government, you know? In all it's guises.

There is nothing more infuriating than knowing that my hard earned dollars are taxed and then going to pay the guy at the top of an organization that is ripping people off. And then, when it all comes to light, nothing gets done about it.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+2
#5
Welcome to Canada!
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+2
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Welcome to Canada!

Are you trying to make me cry?

Lol.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#7
Just teasing hon... Some things are sooo screwed up that the only real option is to laugh
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Just teasing hon... Some things are sooo screwed up that the only real option is to laugh

I know. I get that, I feel that.

It's just that some days, on my way towards laughter, I'd like to lace my fingers around someone's throat to throttle them, you know, figuratively speaking.

And we are screwed.

We are so, so screwed.
 
DaSleeper
#9
Damn post went in the wrong thread??????????
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Damn post went in the wrong thread??????????

I thought there was something amiss about that. Gave me hope for a second that we were maybe getting naval support against Hydro One though.

Lol.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#11
I added another yesterday - and am still trying to figure out how my "smart" meter figured I can use 45, 71 and 55 kWh (average daily) from December 12 to March 15 - more than double previous years - when I have gas heat and no appliances powered higher than an electric range and water heater
 
petros
#12
Just snap your fingers and say "greenie weenie jelly beanie" and solar and wind power will set you free for free.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
+1
#13
If you think that stuff sets up for free, there's a job waiting on you in OG
 
petros
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

If you think that stuff sets up for free, there's a job waiting on you in OG

Oh heck no, it's not free. To run a 10kWh daytime 5kWh on battery for the dark you are looking at $40K then replace batteries' inverters and contollers and spent panels in perpetuity after the first 5 years.

Your better off with Hydro One.

A job but I'm a party pooper?
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Oh heck no, it's not free. To run a 10kWh daytime 5kWh on battery for the dark you are looking at $40K then replace batteries' inverters and contollers and spent panels in perpetuity after the first 5 years.

Your better off with Hydro One.

A job but I'm a party pooper?

...not to mention court costs to debate the guy who wants it cheaper ... but not where he can see it
 
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