Sudbury·Audio

Hydro One to tackle customer service problems with new panel

Hydro One is bringing in outside help to work on its customer service.
It was a year of outrage and anger for many Hydro One customers who saw bills sky rocket — in some cases for no apparent reason. Even the Ontario Ombudsman launched an investigation into alleged unfair billing practices. On Wednesday, the utility announced plans for new customer service strategy. (Canadian Press)
Provincial utility, Hydro One announced plans for new customer service strategy after complaints about billing. 8:24

Hydro One is bringing in outside help to work on its customer service.

The move comes after thousands of customers complained about problems with Hydro One bills after smart meters were installed.

Hydro One says it will create a third-party panel to provide feedback on its customer service.

"I formed this group to make sure that our actions as a customer service organization were transparent, accountable and demonstrated care," said Carm Marcello, president and CEO of Hydro One.

"That's the culture we want to embody. The panel will publicly hold us to account and we will report on our performance measured against our new customer commitments that we are developing in consultation with our customers and stakeholders." 

But for some, it's too little, too late.

Madeleine Fex-Tinkus, a retiree who lives in Lively, said she had to dip into her savings to cover an unexpectedly large bill from Hydro One.

Her problems started after a smart meter was installed at her house in 2011.

“It took them a long time to do it, you know. They are not very well organized if it has taken them that long,” she said.

The Ontario Ombudsman is still investigating the billing practices of Hydro One.

The office says almost 9,000 people have now made a complaint.

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