Our Word Against Yours

Authority BC Hydro and Power Authority

Coral was surprised to find a $65 failed installation charge on her BC Hydro bill. Coral had asked BC Hydro to exchange her analogue meter for a smart meter. BC Hydro told her it would take two to six weeks and agreed to call her the day before the installation, so she could allow them access to her meter. She did not receive a call.

Coral asked BC Hydro to reverse the failed installation fee. BC Hydro refused and Coral complained to the BC Utilities Commission. Both authorities maintained that a courtesy phone call was not guaranteed and provided notes of BC Hydro’s conversation with Coral as evidence she was not promised any advance notice.

Coral came to us, frustrated that her honesty was being challenged. She was adamant that BC Hydro told her on the phone that she would be called in advance of the meter installation, so she could prepare.

From other investigations, we were aware of inconsistencies with BC Hydro’s response to customers like Coral who request advance notice for meter installations. We investigated Coral’s case.

BC Hydro provided us with notes of their communication and the original audio recording of their phone call with Coral. Coral was correct – the notes were wrong. The audio confirmed that BC Hydro had told Coral, twice, that she would get a courtesy call one day before the meter was to be installed.

We brought this discrepancy to BC Hydro’s attention and asked that they refund Coral. It did so immediately. Coral felt vindicated and was happy to have the fee reversed.

Names in our case summaries have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. This case study can also be found in the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

Category Environment and Natural Resources, Housing and Property
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2016
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast