Ontario man battles with gas company after getting $1,000 bill because of faulty meter
TORONTO -- An Ontario man who had a faulty gas meter and racked up a $1,000 bill says he was shocked when he was told he would still have to pay the bill.
Toronto resident John Agellon said he is frugal and watches his bills closely and felt when his bill skyrocketed that it was a mistake.
"In May, I received a gas bill of $1,005.41, which is more than ten times the amount of my regular bill," Agellon told CTV News Toronto.
Agellon said the gas meter on his home is the same age as his house, which is about 40 years old. He said the numbers for May didn't seem to add up and he reached out and contacted Enbridge Gas.
"There was a 900 cubic feet discrepancy, so Enbridge charged me for an extra 900 cubic feet of gas that I’m not sure that I actually used," Agellon said.
Enbridge did come and replace the old meter with a new one, but didn't reduce the bill and Agellon felt he was overcharged $980.
"They kind of acknowledged it was an old gas meter and said that they often fail and that maybe this one failed. They just got rid of it and put on a brand new meter, but they didn't change the bill," Agellon said.
Agellon disputed the bill for months but says when he was told his account would go to collections and his natural gas supply could be turned off he had no choice but to pay it.
"Unless I switch to heating my house with coal or wood or electricity I have no option but to pay whatever they say and that's exactly what I did," said Agellon.
Agellon contacted CTV News Toronto and we reached out to Enbridge on his behalf and the company agreed to review his bill.
"For privacy reasons, I can’t provide specific details regarding the customer’s interactions with Enbridge without a written release of information. I can however confirm that in June, following a call from the customer, we initiated an investigation into the possibility that the higher bill may be related to an issue with the existing meter," an Enbridge spokesperson said in a statement.
"To confirm, we replaced the meter and undertook a detailed assessment of the old one. We were able to determine that an issue with the meter was causing it to display a higher than actual natural gas use. Unfortunately, this process took some time and our billing department is now in the process of adjusting the billing, which should bring it more in line with the customer’s previous bills for that billing period. This an unusual occurrence and we apologize for the frustration that resulted."
Enbridge has now refunded Agellon the $980 that he felt he was overcharged, which was good news for him.
"I couldn't have done myself. I'm very glad and I feel vindicated," Agellon said.