How can I pay once a month when my pay is on a different schedule?

Authority BC Hydro and Power Authority
Details

Marjorie called us in a panic as her power was about to be disconnected. She said she was behind on her payments to BC Hydro, but could not afford the repayment option. Marjorie had two young children in her house and needed power for heat and light. Given her urgent circumstances, we investigated whether BC Hydro had followed a fair process in deciding that Marjorie’s power would be cut off if she did not immediately start paying $400 twice a month as well as her regular hydro charges.

We focused our investigation on the fairness of Marjorie’s repayment schedule. We reviewed Marjorie’s account history with BC Hydro, including records of telephone conversations, letters, bills sent, and payment plans created. Marjorie’s account had not been paid in full since she opened it two years earlier. BC Hydro had created many payment plans to help Marjorie pay the overdue amounts, but none of them had been successful. Although Marjorie usually made payments every couple of weeks, the payments were often late, or for less than the amount she had agreed to pay.

When we spoke with Marjorie she explained that it was hard for her to budget for the monthly instalment payments because she got paid every two weeks. She tended to lose track of when bills were due, and for how much. Although she had taken on a second job to earn more money, she was falling further behind with BC Hydro every month.

We discussed these challenges with BC Hydro and what might be done to address the situation. BC Hydro agreed to start another installment plan for the overdue amount. This time however, BC Hydro agreed to let Marjorie spread her payments on the overdue amount over a longer period. To help Marjorie, BC Hydro also agreed to automatic withdrawal through her bank for the new installment payments as well as her payments for current use. Marjorie was confident that she could manage the reduced payments over the longer term and felt that the automatic deduction would work better for her. We were satisfied that BC Hydro had offered a fair resolution to Marjorie’s situation

Category Housing and Property
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location The Lower Mainland