The report from the Ombudsman today is an indictment on how Hydro One deals with its customers. A huge number filed complaints about billing irregularities and customer service – which must be only a small representation of those who have been affected.
These complaints are substantive – people who were sent huge bills or had money removed from their accounts, when they hadn’t even been billed by Hydro One for months at a time. As well, a corporate client was billed for $15 million dollars, when their actual bill was only $4,000. These examples – and many others – can’t even be called typographical errors. Rather, they are a complete disregard for customers and a lack of attention to detail in Hydro One’s business operations.
These problems with Hydro One are obviously systemic as they are so numerous and have been going on for so long. The culture at Hydro One needs to be changed. Selling any portion of it won’t necessarily accomplish this. Customers can’t be left without somewhere to turn. If privatized, some type of independent oversight should be put in place to ensure Hydro One isn’t allowed to continue to run wild. It is unfortunate the Minister of Energy wouldn’t accept the one recommendation the Ombudsman made to him to make oversight a reality.
This government and Hydro One need to be accountable to Ontarians which, given today’s report, they obviously haven’t been.