Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Electric Bill Received

Received a new electricity invoice today via online banking from HydroOne, now for a more reasonable amount of $66. Not too far off from my $65 estimate.

Now if only I could handle the shock to my grocery budget of buying cat food, cat litter, two packs of diapers, a box of baby wipes, and water filters all in the same week...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Meter reading errors

Received my latest monthly electricity bill via online banking this week. Boy, was I in for a shock (pun completely intended). It was for the princely sum of $1488 and change! The meter reading used on my bill, in the 25,000 kWh range, wasn't anywhere close to the current 14,000 kWh showing on my meter register. I guess somebody messed up big time. Even though my meter is in a bank with five others, none of the other meters has a reading anywhere close to 25,000. Maybe somebody is in for another shock because their electric bill is too low!

I took a current meter reading and called HydroOne. To their credit, they instantly cancelled the invoice and agreed to send me a new one based on my meter reading. This is more than I can say for some companies, including Bell, whom insist that you pay the full invoice amount no matter how many errors the invoice may contain and wait for a bill credit in a subsequent invoice.

This is a perfect example of why it's so important for any utility customer, no matter how large or small, to read their own meters on a regular basis and use those readings to verify the invoices are accurate. It's an even better reason to never allow any company to suck money out of your bank accounts via "pre-authorized payments" because you essentially give up your right to review the invoice for accuracy before you pay it. I can't begin to imagine the headaches if what I expected to be a $65 bill was instead approaching $1500, and the utility had attempted to take that amount from an account that only had a balance of a few hundred dollars.