A Calgary woman says she's been billed by Direct Energy even though she never opened an account with the provider, and has not lived in the Grande Prairie home it was sent to since 2010.
Bobbi Michaud's former landlord called on Saturday and told her there were bills for her from Direct Energy.
"At first I thought it was a scam until she sent me the pictures of the actual bill and realized it wasn't a scam," said Michaud.
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When Michaud called Direct Energy, she says company representatives told her they have government records that she owns the home where the gas bill is not being paid.
Michaud says she's never owned a home.
"Also I never had any kind of energy bills while living in Grande Prairie."
They told her she owes about $500, including a security deposit fee, current charges and penalties. She was also told that in order to clear up the account, she needs to prove that she doesn't own the home. She says her former landlord owns the home.
"They don't have to prove that I live there, I have to prove that I didn't live there, which doesn't seem right to me," said Michaud. "They should have had consent to opening the account before they actually opened it."
She has filed a complaint with Service Alberta's Utilities Consumer Advocate.
A spokesperson from Direct Energy says they are looking into Michaud's case.
Cheryl Tkalcic from Service Alberta says they are aware of ongoing issues for customers of this energy provider and are working with Direct Energy, through the Utilities Consumer Advocate, to resolve the situation.
She also says accounts should not be opened unknowingly.
"Contracts that are signed up without customer consent would be in contravention of the Fair Trading Act. Our consumer contact centre is able to investigate these types of situations once the consumer files a complaint," said Tkalcic.
Michaud says she's lucky she remains in contact with her former landlord.
"If she hadn't phoned me to let me know that bill had come in, and if I hadn't phoned Direct Energy, I never would have known that this bill actually existed until it went to like a collections agency or something. I'm worried that this could be happening to other people who've never even had an account with Direct Energy."