March 17th, 2014
To whom it may concern,
This letter is to voice my dissatisfaction with Hydro One Networks Inc. Having recently purchased a small business in Ontario, the noticeable irregularities of my hydro bills have come to my attention. We indeed have the controversial new smart meters and we question whether or not the smart meter's time-of-use function is operating whatsoever? In three months my bill has tripled and this month there is no bill at all? I telephoned to ensure that my payment would be on time; however, the utility company tells me that they are aware of an error and no bill has been issued for this month. What sort of error is unclear to them and to me also? I am extremely concerned about what may happen next. I have read numerous horror stories about having a credit given and then taken away, and not being quite sure how much one should actually be paying Hydro One! I am exceptionally worried about a costly "catch-up" bill. Yes, there certainly needs to be an investigation into this consumer service provider; however, there also needs to be one on my property as there seems to be transmission problems with their “Smart Meters” and they are failing to give accurate readings because of “interference” and so on... Ontarians deserve better!
I have complained to several customer service employees and each and every time I get thwarted. I am saddened and frustrated with my unsatisfactory “explanations” concerning my “time of use portal” and whether it is functioning correctly.
I am just now awaiting a service call for a meter reading as my account has been “blocked from invoicing” due to “irregular transmissions” says Hydro One. I can anticipate that the Hydro worker(s) will find that all is functioning “normally” and I will, without a doubt, get hit with a monster bill. What can I do? What outside agency can supervise and accurately comprehend these “smart meters”? I and many other Ontarians need protection from misrepresentation and unfair business practices from the “Hydro One” service provider!
According to my rights under the consumer protection act, I can’t be charged for receiving an item or service that I did not request. Then why did I and another 1.3 million Hydro One customers have no choice but to pay for these inaccurate, erroneous and flawed “smart meter” devices? Really it is illegal for the business (Hydro One Networks Inc.) to give us (the consumer) false information about themselves or the product or service they offerprovide. Mystifying billing practices was not the product they offered and pledged to Ontarians through their compulsory installation of their “smart meters”.
I would like to see this legally sanctioned and regulated monopoly broken up. In light of all the recent general public antitrust and alleged company abuses (an audit that revealed generous pensions and big bonuses at Ontario Power Generation late last year – Hydro One racked up a huge debt then looked to the consumer to pay for it under the guise of a ‘Debt Retirement Charge’ which is on all of my hydro bills) and something needs to be done! I will vote for the party that has their constituents concerns at the forefront and is willing to deal with this issue and Hydro One (I think most Ontarians feel this way).
I am greatly concerned and affected by the Hydro One monopoly and this letter is a testament of the deep problem that I and countless others have and are presently experiencing. This is a conflict between the users and the providers that I believe now needs government intervention with its principal mission as the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anti competitive business practices. Please tell me: What can be done?
I look forward to some accountability and answers.
March 19, 2014
To whom it may concern,
I would like to share with you my latest encounter with the Hydro One Network. I had an appointment to have my meter read at 10:00 am today, March 19th. This prior arrangement was set up (I thought) for my convenience given that I was asked and encouraged to be present for this meeting. Good so far, until the meter reader arrives at 8:40 instead of 10:00 am.
The technician speaks with my mother and says he’s early because he has many other clients to see today but will wait for my return – as I am to be present. He begins by opening the smart meter and changes at least one part within the unit. The job is complete before 9:00 am. I return at 9:40 am and am on time for our 10:00 am appointment. He is sleeping in his idling vehicle and I need to get into my driveway. I honked the horn; he wakes up, moves and lets me pull in.
We chat for a moment and he walks me to the meter. He shows me a green light within the unit and says the meter is working just fine. The problem lies within the billing department’s new computer program and this is why I am not getting a bill. I asked him if “once he gave the office the meter reading if I would then get a bill?” “You should” he said. He told me to keep calling and demand a bill! He also had a couple of recommendations on how to save on electricity costs – these are of course at my own expense i.e.: Hire an electrician to test the amperage output of the breakers or spend $30 000 to install solar panels...
Now this so called “appointment” saw a Hydro One employee get paid to have a nap in my driveway at the expense of all the customers. For the record: He never told me that he had done any work to the smart meter (I was supposed to be present); I only found out after he left and I got inside the house. I had no idea how long he actually was here! He left by 10:00 am.
I have recently purchased a small home based business. My husband works full time and I maintain a part time job as well as run the business. We have been here for less than 1 year and I am fearful of losing my home and considering shutting my doors because I cannot afford the huge hydro bills. How could the Ontario Energy Board allow such an increase in Delivery rates that many Ontarians could lose their homes or businesses or both? According to Hydro One Networks “The delivery rate increase for 2014 will add $1.25 per month or 2.0% to the Delivery line of the bill for a typical medium-density residential customer using 800 kWh a month”. My electricity costs have doubled from previous months and previous years!
One final comment is that roughly one hour ago I got a call back from the person whom had set up today’s “appointment”. His call was to give me the [protected] telephone number (that any dupe could find online or on a previous bill) that I need to ask for a bill to be mailed to me. Go figure, more wasted time and money from Hydro One Networks Inc.
It is now time for an extensive review of Hydro One's operations and the ever increasing electricity costs and the lack of legitimate and valid service from the organization. We need some oversight and accountability.
The Rideau Ferry Inn
PO Box 7, 8 Rideau Ferry Road
Rideau Ferry, ON, K0G 1W0