Just days after Direct Energy backed away from plans to charge its customers hefty cancellation fees, an Ottawa man told CBC News he had to pay more than $1,500 for a rented water heater he never used.

Jose Antillon and his wife installed a new, tankless water heater in their new Kanata home last August.

After looking over a rental agreement that said he could return the old heater at a minimum charge of $75, Antillon said he called Direct Energy. He said an agent told him it wouldn't cost anything.

But Antillon had been looking over the former tenant's agreement, not the new one he actually signed, which said he had to pay much more.

In December, the couple received a bill for $1,536.80. Antillon said he paid it Thursday to avoid having to deal with a collection agency.

In an email, Direct Energy said Antillon was under contract for the heater the minute he moved in. The company said the charge is valid and they're standing by it.

"I feel like I was bullied," Antillon said. "They're big, I'm small, I'm the consumer, there's nobody to represent me, so whatever they say goes, right? At that point I have to pay."

The Better Business Bureau has now closed the case.