My Hydro bill is past due?

When you don’t have a lot of bills coming in, sometimes the mail is pretty dull.

Yesterday, I actually had an envelope in the mail that was really addressed to me. Seems rare these days. I get my the usual utility bills, and my visa bill, and the odd notice that the interest rate on my mortgage has gone up when Bank of Canada adjusts their overnight lending rate. Otherwise, I get a lot of opportunities to save money on pizza, home repairs, sushi, fitness centres, daycare, etc. The realtors in my neighbourhood encourage me to sell my home about 15 times each week.

My envelope yesterday was from Toronto Hydro.  I wasn’t really expecting to hear from them in September. Toronto Hydro bills every alternate month now, and I paid my bill September 1.  So I thought.

Their short, polite note advised me that as of September 10th, my bill of 206.25 had not been paid. They asked me to give them a call to discuss my payment options.

What? This letter must have been addressed to me in error. I checked the name on the envelope – yep, it was mine. Thought I’d better check my online bank statement and my budget spreadsheet.

My spreadsheet confirmed that I paid $206.25 on September 1. Why the heck did they not receive it 9 days later? Then I logged into my bank account. Yep, I had a payment of $206.25 on September 1. As I clicked through for the details, I see I paid Toronto Utility, not Toronto Hydro.

Cripes. They bill even less frequently at quarterly. So, it seems my water and garbage bill will have a credit balance when it comes in December.

I called Toronto Hydro, and told them apparently I was drinking when I paid the bill.  The service representative laughed and said “you wouldn’t believe how many people give their hydro money to Toronto Utility!” Then she said “I have no idea why that happens.” When I suggested that the list of bills that a person has in their bank account is listed alphabetically, it’s likely an easy mistake to pay the wrong bill that starts with TORONTO.

I’ve now paid Hydro, what seems like déjà vu to me, but it’ll be the first time for them. Instead of $206.25 spent on utilities this month, I’ll have spent $412.50.

At least the very polite customer service rep said “you’re a great customer with a history of paying your bills in full and on time. When you see your next bill with a late charge, just give me a call back and I’ll waive that for you. I wish I could do it in advance, but I can’t do that until the bill is issued.”

Nice. She gets my gold star for yesterday. Imagine having fun talking to a customer service rep about an overdue bill?

Guess I’ll knock that estimated $200 off my utility bill for December.  Maybe I had an ulterior motive. Can’t think of why $200 bucks extra would come in handy in December!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by seenonflickr on September 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Don’t you just love GOOD customer service? Glad things got sorted out!


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