City mistakenly charges 2,000 people rec fees during pandemic
City to automatically cancel memberships in order to process refunds
The City of Ottawa is apologizing after incorrectly charging about 2,000 people this week for four months' worth of recreation memberships while facilities were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People were charged for the months of April, May, June and July on Tuesday, even though membership costs were suspended in March when the city closed its arenas, gyms, pools and other recreation facilities, a Wednesday memo to city council says.
"Yesterday, an error in payment processing occurred, which resulted in those monthly payments being charged on the membership clients' credit cards," said the memo from Dan Brisebois, the acting general manager for recreation.
The charges to clients ranged from $80 to $400, a statement from the city sent to CBC said.
City to cancel memberships to process refunds
City staff will be cancelling affected people's memberships and will be sending out refunds in the next few days, the city said.
"Staff at any recreation facility will be able to assist clients in reactivating their membership and answering any additional questions," said the memo.
"An email has been sent to affected clients whose email address we have on file, apologizing for the error and informing them of next steps."