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Letters  

Fortis customer fee

Another complaint and criticism of an irresponsible and unethical corporation, FortisBC.  I and thousands of consumers are being ripped-off by this greedy energy company.  I called their 1 800 number for answers to simple questions, “what is this ridiculous $30.33 customer fee, and what I get for my money?”

I asked about my account charges and was put on hold for 10 minutes. Someone came back and was surprised I was still there; she actually admitted most people hang up after 4 or 5 minutes. I asked her to explain the $30.33 customer fee on every bill.  She gave me some nonsense reasons; it was for rental on a meter; then it was for rental on the wiring and for a meter reader’s wages.  I said that is ridiculous and that I wanted to talk with someone higher up. Again I was put on hold and it was 20 minutes before they came back. The next person was as unrehearsed as the last one. This person told me it was labour,  labour for what?  I was not satisfied and not going to end this until I got an answer.  When I told them we see them as a cold, uncaring and unethical corporate citizen they hung up on me. 

There are a lot of poor and fixed income people and families that like me who do not turn on their electric heat because of the expense. FortisBC has no problem taking monies they do not earn and letting people suffer with no heat, poor quality of life and possibly poor health.  40% of Canadians struggle to pay their bills, this is why.

They do this because they can, there is no choice. They have a monopoly so they take advantage.  What happened to free enterprise and why doesn’t our government protect us against this?

So how do we fight back? Use and as little of their “product” as possible. Complain to representatives  in government, city, (City of Kelowna gave them this account, make them responsible and accountable) provincial or federal. If you are moving or buying property, ask if the property is serviced by FortisBC, if it is walk away and tell the realtors why. If you own a home, heat it with a wood stove, the new pellet stoves are very efficient and will cost less.  Complain and expose FortisBC for what they are, a detached, irresponsible money grabbing company with no morals.  A petition; even if it falls on deaf ears it will publicly embarrass them. If every account is charged this $30.33 fee and they send out 50,000 bills, they take from us $1,500,000 every billing, from people that can afford it the least.  That’s $181.00 a year from me and $10,000,000 a year from us.  When does it become theft?

No wonder they have a huge brand new building in Burnaby surrounded by a fleet of new trucks and equipment. 

I wonder how the CEO of Fortis sleeps at night. I bet he is warm and comfortable, and cares little for his consumers and only about his exorbitant salary.  This is how things are done in the States. Ralph Nader was right, when two economies merge; they deteriorate to the lowest common denominator. Here’s the scary part: if FortisBC  gets away with this, other companies will follow suit and point to FortisBC as their inspiration. The customer fee on my last bill was more than the power I was billed for.  

William Lewis
Kelowna



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