Consumers Beware! Enbridge Horror Story
Consumers Beware! Do I have a horror story for you! Now I don’t normally like to bring negativity to SaveaLoonie but this is not just a story of negativity but also a warning for all of you! For those of you who don’t know Enbridge is a natural gas distribution company in Ontario.
So let’s go way back to January of last year. Ryan and I moved into our house here in Peterborough, ON. We rent this house and pay all the utilities here. For the first 4 months living here we never received a bill from Enbridge (to be honest we didn’t even know we had to pay for the gas). Well then in April of 2010 we received a bill that came to our house but was addressed to the company we rent from. No big deal, we set up the online account and began paying the bill.
In August last year, there was a billing issue so I called in to speak to a representative about the problem and was informed because the account is not in my name they are unable to discuss any of the details with me. I understand, it’s the Freedom of Information Act. So after a big run around between us, our landlord and Enbridge we finally got things straightened around and a new account created for Ryan and I. Well go figure, then they wanted a $250.00 security deposit or for us to sign up for automatic withdraw. We elected for automatic withdraw.
During this whole process we also found out that we had been over paying the old bill. So after we had sent in proof of payment for the old account we received a substantial credit on our new account. Score! Being a little naive I suppose, we didn’t question the amount of the credit and carried on. So again, everything was fine. The bill amount was automatically being deducted from my account each month. Then at the beginning of February we received 2 bills from Enbridge, one for our account and one for the old account.
So we opened both bills and discovered that not only we were being billed for our monthly payment, but apparently our old account also had an outstanding balance of $341 and change. Keep in mind, this was the first bill we had received from the old account in 7 months! I called into Enbridge and after an hour on the phone with a representative we finally sorted things out. It turned out that when I sent in my proof of payment instead of just crediting the new account with the overpayments they instead transferred ALL of the payments that I had made on the old account over to the new account, hence the larger than anticipated credit. On top of that, they somehow then also charged the $250.00 account set-up fee to the old account as well as late payment charges! You can assume I was rather up-happy (but still polite) by this point.
The only solution to this problem (I was told) was we had to pay the $341+ balance from the old account as we did technically still owe payments on the old account now. She then applied a credit of $250.00 to the new account as we should have never been charged that fee and now had to pay it. The representative also revoked the late charges. So now even though we have a credit with Enbridge and don’t have to pay for a few months, we had to pay $334+ in one lump sum. Needless to say not everyone just has $334 laying around to cover someone else’s screw up! But we came up with the money and paid the bill.
Fast forward to yesterday. Again, 2 bills from Enbridge arrived one for the old account, one for the new account. I opened the old account bill first expecting to see a 0 balance. Nope, $2.28 credit. Ok, on to bill #2 expecting to see a credit of around $80 remaining. Nope, $409+ credit. WHHAAAAT?!?!? Ok, time to call Enbridge again. And after another 45 minutes on the phone this is what happened. With all the confusion, we actually wound up paying the $334+ to the new account by accident. I take responsibility for that error. As for the $2.28 credit on the old account, the bill printing only reflected the removal of the late payment charges and didn’t show the actual balance of the account. Now we’re back to the same problem as before – they can’t transfer money between accounts. So the Enbridge rep tells me that we have to contact our bank, have them revoke the payment and re-pay the bill. So then we call the bank and they proceed to tell us that before they can revoke a payment they have to contact the merchant (Enbridge) and get permission from them. Then they process the paperwork and the money gets re-deposited into our bank account. Apparently this whole process takes 5-7 business days.
So as it stands right now, we have $334+ in limbo and an account that is past due and now accumulating late fees that isn’t even in our name! We still haven’t gotten another bill for the old account stating the current balance either. I am far beyond annoyed with this company.
Let this be a lesson to all of you. Monitor your bills and payments carefully because you never know when a company could be messing with your money!
UPDATE: Yesterday, I received an email from the Ombudsman from Enbridge! I emailed her back and later received a phone call from her. After talking on the phone for a few minutes she said she would fix this problem and contact me back. Sure enough, I got an email later yesterday afternoon stating that the balances had been adjusted and everything was fixed! YAY! I am so glad to have this experience behind us, and big Thanks to the Ombudsman at Enbridge.
UPDATE #2: So we thought everything had been worked out. Not quite. On Tuesday, I arrived home to find a COLLECTIONS NOTICE for the balance owning on the old Enbridge account This notice was dated after the last time I spoke with the Ombudsman and was told the issue was corrected. So I immediately called the collections company and surprise, surprise – because my name was not on the account they wouldn’t tell me anything. So back on the phone with Enbridge. I first tried calling the Ombudsman again and she was out of office so I left a rather snappy message (so not like me but I was livid!). I then called back and spoke with another customer service representative. Upon first looking at the accounts she told me that the old account was a balance of $0 but the new account still had a $400+ credit! I almost lost it! But after further investigation she did find out that the balance on both accounts was correct. At least that was a moment of relief. Then after some more discussion with a supervisor and time on hold I was assured that the situation was resolved, the balance on both accounts was correct and that the collections notice should be disregarded and it will not affect ours or our landlords credit. I took down the rep and the supervisors name and ID number for my own records. I then emailed back the Ombudsman and told her it had been dealt with on the phone and to apologize for my earlier message. The next day the Ombudsman called me back and apologized for the continued problems. She wasn’t sure why the collections notice had been issued as the account had already been settled. She again assured me that everything has been corrected and taken care of. She is a very nice lady, but all I can do now is wait for my bill to arrive and see what it says. I have a feeling this isn’t the last of my Enbridge nightmares.
UPDATE #3 (14-5-12): I have officially had ENOUGH of this company now! I didn’t update about the last incident since I was ASSURED it was correct so I left it alone. But now I’m going back so that you have the full story.
So mid-April our bill for March arrived. I was right. The nightmare wasn’t over. Our bill was still showing a credit for well over $300. So I called the Ombudsman once more. She said that there should be no problem, she would look into it and call me back. And she did, just a few minutes later. She explained that everything on the account was accurate (showing a $60-ish credit at that time I believe). She said that it was most likely that there was just a delay in the latest correction adjustment being posted to the account and that the bill had been printed before the adjustment was posted. She once again assured me that NOTHING was wrong with my account and the next bill will be perfect.
The beginning of April, we switched our banking to the new RBC Optimum account, so I called into Enbridge customer service a week or 2 later for advice on how to change my automatic billing information. She had NO clue what she was talking about but from what I gathered she paused my payments so no more money would come out of my old account and I had to email or fax in my new banking information with a hand written letter explaining what it was. Well after all of our issues I’m sure you can imagine I was a little more than hesitant to just fax in my banking information with a note. I wanted a little more clarification before I proceeded. As an addition to that, I also asked to know the balance on my account, still showing over $300 of credit.
So the I emailed the Ombudsman once again. Even though I’m sure it is no where near her department I asked for advice on how to proceed with changing my banking information and asking once more for her to look into our account to see what the balance was. I got a reply May 1st (not from the Ombudsman but from her office) saying the balance was a credit of $21.96 and the old account had a $0 balance.On Friday when our bill arrived, that all went up in smoke.
Our bill, after 2 months of Enbridge saying it was fixed, still wasn’t. Our account is STILL showing a credit of $317. Of course, their customer service is closed all weekend so at 8 am this morning I was on the phone. After a half hour on hold and trying to explain this whole situation over again to a representative this is the ASTONISHING news I was told:
The credit didn’t really exist (shocker!) and that we actually now OWE Enbridge around $20 for last month’s charges! There was “something” blocking the proper credit/debit transactions from showing on our account. So now not only are they not sending me bills that have a correct balance, they are building a tab for me in the meantime! Can you believe that? Now we are right back into the same position we were in that started this whole thing. They want to give us a credit when in fact there isn’t one. I emailed the Ombudsman once more this morning to make her aware of the situation and how unhappy I am. Haven’t heard back yet.
At this point, we are so confused with money moving here and there, and credits and charges and account numbers and reversals and everything else, that I have NO IDEA how much money we really owe or are owed. This has been absolutely, without a doubt, the WORST experience with a company I have ever had. I’m honestly disgusted with their customer service and their ability to resolve customer issues. We are in the process of filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau so that MAYBE they can get this issue finally resolved for us. And rest assured, we have vowed to NEVER be involved with Enbridge again. Unfortunately, going with another company is not an option in this area and moving is currently off the table as well. But when we do, we will keep this in mind and make sure that we avoid this company at all costs.
Update #4 (17-5-12): I am so hopeful that this will be my final update on this blog! The Ombudsman at Enbridge contacted me on Tuesday by phone and after a short conversation she said she would look into this again and get back to me. She sent me an email later that day explaining that when she originally moved the payment from the new account to the old account, the payment got hung in the system as was awaiting approval. So it was all showing fine on their side but not on our bills. So now that has been released and finalized and SHOULD correct the problem for good. As a good will gesture, the Ombudsman also credited us back the $22 we would have owed for this month plus an addition $100 credit on the account. For that I am grateful. So now here’s hoping, pretty-pretty please with a cherry on top that this is the END of our Enbridge Horror Story.