Smart meters create billing problems for Sudbury senior
Hydro One says it is in the process of hiring more workers and giving them better training, in response to problems with smart meters and a changeover in the billing system.
However, one woman in Sudbury is still struggling with what she says is over billing.
Madeleine Fex-Tinkus, 67, said she admits she didn't realize that she hadn't received a bill for a few months last winter and spring. She had been told by Hydro One there were delays.
When the utility contacted her in June, she was on pre-authorized billing. But then she received a bill that was far above the several months she owed.
The retiree said Hydro One took $2,400 over a period of several days in October. She said the money was her financial cushion, and now she’s forced to use her credit card to make ends meet.
“Since then I've had to use it because, to be able to make my payments, and pay for gas and even buy groceries.”
A spokeswoman for Hydro One said she can't talk about specific customers, but noted the utility is dealing with an unusually high number of complaints.
Tiziana Baccega Rosa says there needs to be infrastructure to improve signals among smart meters — and it's not clear when the problems will be resolved.
“I don't have a timeline, but I can assure you it is a huge priority and that all available resources are working on it,” she said.
The billing system, which changed in May, has been creating problems.
Fex-Tinkus said the utility continues to deduct money despite her request to take her off the automatic billing program.
“I even emailed them a letter stating I wanted them to stop automatic withdrawal and I never got any reply back,” she said.
“There's not much you can do when you're on automatic withdrawal because the bank has no control over it.”