Sunday, May 5, 2019

Serving BC Hydo Well

 It hasn’t rained here for weeks and there is none is sight. It’s wonderful; it’s scary. It's supposed to be 26° on Thursday.
When I opened my Hydro account here, a representative explained that data pertaining to my usage would not appear online until the first anniversary of my service, so throughout my first year here I had no idea how much power I was consuming. At the end of that year, I was floored to receive a bill for $4,500.
With a year’s worth of data in their system, I was offered a monthly payment plan of $234 for this, my second year of residency. I accepted the plan and resolved to reduce my power consumption and I have succeeded admirably. 
This past April, I consumed $128 worth of power. I was charged the monthly charge of $234. And now, halfway through my fiscal year, I have a $560 positive balance in my account, so I called Hydro to ask for a reduction in my monthly payment plan.
They won’t reduce it. Their computer will automatically make an adjustment in July. That’s what the person I spoke with said. 
“It’s already been adjusted once,” she said. I checked. She was right. Two months ago my monthly charge had been reduced by $2 per month. $2! Even with the reduction, by July I will have a positive balance of around $800. 
I was appalled by my conversation with the woman and with the very modest $2 reduction in my rate—given the reduction in my consumption. A reduction of $2 per month is a .8% reduction; my actual use is down by 66% over the past six months.
The customer service representative explained Hydro’s reluctance to change my rate this way: “Were we to change the rate, there might be a sudden spike in consumption.”  
“What? You have a policy of overcharging as a means to discourage consumption?”
“We make adjustments to payment plants based on consumption that we think are appropriate.”
“A .8 percent reduction in my payment plan in recognition of a sustained 66% reduction in consumption is appropriate? To whom?” The tape recording said I would be connected to a customer service agent. Is that what you are—a customer service agent?”
“But you are grossly overcharging me. How does that serve me in any way? Aren’t you more of a Hydro service agent?””
“All our policies are in the customer’s best interest.”
It was like talking to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I hung up. Ultimately, sanity will prevail.
I am having a spectacular day. For one thing, there will be no wood or splinters. I’ve already done the dog walk in beautiful full sunshine, and now I’m going to cut the lawn and transplant just two plants. After that will follow some spa time and some reading in the sunshine before I binge on Sunday night television: The Durrells, Les Miserables, The Forgotten and Modus.

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