More oversight needed at Hydro One, Sudbury customer says
Hydro One is apologizing for the problems it caused customers with its new billing system, but one customer in Greater Sudbury says after having thousands of dollars taken out of her account, she'll never use pre-authorized billing again.
On Monday, Ontario ombudsman André Marin released a report on billing practices within the utility, including 65 recommendations to improve the service.
Hydro One's director of communications Daffyd Roderick, said the company is sorry about the problems it caused about 100,000 customers in the past two years.
"We've apologized for the damage that was done and most importantly, the damage that was done to our reputation with those customers," he said. "We hope to regain their trust."
Madeleine Fex-Tinkus, who lives in the Sudbury community of Lively, heard the apology but said it's not enough.
She said she'll never sign up for pre-authorized billing again after the company took more than $2,000 out of her account.
Customer wants utility kept public
Fex-Tinkus said more oversight is needed, and that won't happen if the utility is sold.
"I certainly don't think privatization would be the solution," she said. "There should be better control maybe of what's going on."
New Democrat Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas said the utility was run like a business, focused on making money instead of serving the public.
Although the ombudsman's report included recommendations to improve customer service, Gélinas said the public may never know if they are implemented if the utility is sold.
"The minute this becomes a private company, the minute the Liberals start to sell Hydro One, then [the ombudsman] loses any access to them," she said.