BUSINESS

Hydro One Bills Shocked Customers: Ombudsman

05/25/2015 04:28 EDT | Updated 05/25/2016 05:59 EDT
CP
TORONTO - Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin issued a scathing report Monday on how poorly Hydro One reacted to billing problems created by a new computer system at the utility. His report included many examples of hydro customers getting shocked by huge electricity bills.

- A senior from Timmins noticed Hydro One stopped withdrawing automatic payments from his account in May 2013, and in September got a call from his bank saying the utility was trying to "grab" more than $10,000 from his account. The situation took 19 months to resolve, and the electricity bill was reduced to just $778.

- An Inglewood man sold his property in April 2013 and spent months waiting for his final Hydro One bill, which he figured would be about $100, but a collections agency called in October saying he owed $18,000. More than a year later, the bill was reduced to $56.35.

- An 84-year-old woman in King Township stopped receiving Hydro One bills, which averaged about $200 a month, in the fall of 2013 but then got three bills in the same month, for the same time period, for $9000 each. By February her bill was reduced to $640, but she was never told why she had been charged so much in one month.

- A Bolton man received no Hydro One bill from June to September 2013, but starting in October got a series of confusing bills for a total of $73,385 for a three-year period. It was later reduced by more than half to $34,476.

- A couple in Porcupine complained after they got a Hydro One bill in February for $11,638 which was eventually reduced to $2,238.

- After getting no bills between July 2013 and March 2014, a Waterloo man with terminal cancer was stunned to find he owed Hydro One more than $10,000. The company agreed to provide him with a discount, but began threatening to cut off his electricity at the same time. Hydro One is still reviewing his account.

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