Open letter to Hydro Quebec
For the second time in several months, I received an automated call advising me to expect “an important letter” from Hydro Quebec. Rather that calling on a Saturday morning, Hydro has my email address; and now I had to worry about this “important letter”. Was my service to be disrupted? The meter not working? A problem with my 60-year-old home?
It was actually the same letter I’d received months ago, saying my bank had refused the automatic payment I had authorized to Hydro. I phoned TD, and was assured that payment had been made, on time, both for June and previous months.
When this happened earlier, Hydro had the wrong bank account number, although I had sent it by mail, with a voided cheque. When I checked back with Hydro, a Customer Service rep assured me the letter had been a mistake, and my account was paid in full.
I want to commend that rep for being helpful and compassionate, but I feel the following problems need immediate attention.
1. Why has Hydro repeatedly asked me for my email address, yet continue to communicate via automatic phone calls and mail?
2. Why alarm customers with a phone call that contains no information except that “an important letter” has been sent?
3. Why aren’t Hydro’s own records of recent payments reviewed before claiming “Payment refused”?
4. Why, when both the phone call and letter are in English, was I not able to speak in English to anyone at Hydro’s number on the letter? I had to wait over half an hour, attempting to respond to prompts in French that I wasn’t sure I completely understood, before reaching a rep who spoke English.
5. Why isn’t a public utility required to offer an English option to customers? English on the website is not enough.
If all this had happened to me with with a cable provider, telephone company, or an internet provider, I would have switched providers. But we are hostage to Hydro. The last time I wrote to Hydro, voicing a similar complaint, I received no reply. I expect an apology, and an immediate change to how Hydro handles telephone calls to the utility.
Barbara Florio Graham