MPP wants action for overbilled Ontario Hydro customers

The Ontario Ombudsman's office says it's getting an increasing number of complaints from Hydro One customers.

The Ontario Ombudsman's office says it's getting an increasing number of complaints from Hydro One customers.

So many people are upset, the NDP MPP for Nickel Belt is going to take the issue to Queen's Park.

MPP France Gelinas said she's heard from up to 40 constituents about problems with Hydro One billing - people who either got no bills for months, or months of overestimated bills.

Gelinas said she worries about the customers on low or fixed incomes who are overcharged for months.

When their accounts are reconciled, the extra money is put in a credit against future energy use, she said.

Gelinas said customers should get refunds instead.

“It's money they didn't have and that's money they could use now to use other bills, and Hydro One holds on to it as if it was theirs,” she said.

Gelinas said she plans to introduce the issue in the legislature to put pressure on the utility to offer refunds.

‘Dig into the problem’

Another place for customers to turn is the Ombudsman's office.

Spokesperson Linda Williamson said they receive more and more hydro complaints every year, and have received about 500 since last April.

Many have been resolved through the Ombudsman, she said.

“We can go back to Hydro One and dig into the problem and try to find out what it is,” she said.

“We've had hundreds of complaints about billing issues with Hydro One and we've been able to resolve some of them.”

As for Hydro One, the company's spokesperson is apologetic.

Tiziana Baccega Rosa said customer service has not been up to standard, but added an influx of new employees and better training is fixing that.       

She is even personally offering to help.

“I am happy to take customer's information and escalate it myself,” she said.

Baccega Rosa said that means passing the case up the line to a Hydro One supervisor.


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