Hydro Quebec Turns Power Off On Single Mother With Three Children

Is it me or has this country lost its humanity.  I am no lover of Hydro Quebec and the way they do business, but I do understand that business is business. My daughter is a struggling divorced mother working her tail off to keep food on the table for her 3 kids, clothing on their backs and a roof over their heads. She has custody of her daughter, shared custody of her youngest son and the father has sole custody of the middle son.   The dead beat dad refuses to work and has since the divorce been receiving child support from my daughter for the middle son.  He lives within his new girlfriend and her minor son and I guess they all collect welfare and she is court ordered to help support the woman who stole her husband.  The court nor the government sees a problem that this  forced payment to a dead beat dad is causing my daughter to not be able to meet her bills; no one seems to give a damn.

 This shut down by Hydro Quebec in the manner in which it was done has added just enough stress to send her over the edge. Since May my daughter has been trying to work out some kind of deal with Hydro Quebec without very much success for months now. The process was slowed at the Hydro Quebec end and no fault of my daughter’s. So much so that a representative of  Hydro Quebec not long ago told her that her bill would be frozen until some one helped her to figure out some sort of plan to help her clear up her bill and that no action would be taken against her untill that time and gave her a confirmation number so that she could prove it if need be.  This confirmation was also added to my daughters file. My daughter was duly grateful and waited like she was told to be contacted by Hydro. Hydro contacted her all right by turning off her power and sticking a note on her front door. 

When she called them they said that they knew what was in the file, but they made a mistake and cut it off so that was that and that they never really promised not to do it in the first place they just said they would try.  They said that her only solution right now was to pay her bill in its entirety, or wait for the call from the people who promised to fix things for her.  My daughter tried to explain her situation with the children and the need to have the power and the service woman got really rude.  She told my daughter that she was not the children’s mother and their situation was not her fault and that she should not call back just pay her bill in full.

 That was yesterday and today was so different; what a difference a day makes! Staying home and missing work she tried again on the phone and actually made history; she got the lady who told her to wait and that had given her the confirmation number. The service lady confirmed that her account was indeed frozen and said that her electricity should never have been shut off. The lady told her that there was a confirmation of the no act should be taken agreement, but that a clerk had not put it through. The service person could not understand why the person my daughter talked to yesterday did not fix the error except that it was close to finishing time when my daughter called.  Today talking to the right person who cared just a little a new contract was signed between Hydro Quebec and the power was put back on. It took all of 20 minutes.  Why did my daughter and grandchild have to suffer? Why is it a flip of a coin what kind of service you get at Hydro Quebec 

I am glad that I was at home and was able to take my grand-daughter into my house for the night and that the 2 boys were with their dead beat dad.  I guess you must do your job, but some people seem to enjoy their work too much, or take out their personal hardships on their customers. Hydro Quebec is insensitive to the old, sick and poor and its people who deal with the public are often rude and unhelpful. They pass you from person to person and  from department to department and refuse to pass you to managers, or supervisors when you request it.

I for one think that Hydro Quebec needs to be investigated from top to bottom from it rates to how it services the lines and its customers.  Hydro Quebec has an air about them that says you will pay or else. We are the only game in town.  At Hydro Quebec we can do no wrong. To prove it we have no complaints department. Just pay your bill, shut up, or we will turn your power off and there is nothing you can do about it, because we have a monopoly.  

One day some one is going to die because of Hydro Quebec’s brash, heavy-handed tactics. My daughter is in good health and has me to come to for support, but what about all those people who are sick and alone? Who stands up for them?

About archemdis

I try to say what is on my mind and not hurt others, but some things need to be said whether they hurt or not and I do just that. I try to listen as well as talk, but my opinion is just that mine. You need not take it as your own, just respect the fact that I am entitled to it, as you are yours. I do read all comments, but will only answer, or allow to be displayed those which adress me by name, refer to the post by name in the comment, or that have been sent through the proper channels. In this manner I can tell whether the comment was meant for me and that it is not just spam.
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12 Responses to Hydro Quebec Turns Power Off On Single Mother With Three Children

  1. fiona says:

    Your story is definitely similar to mine! My father is 78 years old and lives alone in the country. He had no savings and worked as hard as he could to keep making money and a couple of months ago it all caught up with gim and hydro shut off his power. There is no way for him to pay his bill in full until he sells his house. Now the days are getting colder and he is sitting at home in his winter jacket and boots and some nights can’t even sleep for being so cold…he has no water and has to bathe in the freezing lake…he has no heat or power which means no perishable food. It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. He has even thought about ending his life since it would be easier he says to me. I dont know what to do or who to call. I am only 23 years old and dont have any money to spare except a few dollars here and there to buy him gas for hia truck and food. If I loose my father because of this I will NOT stop until hydro pays for it.


    • archemdis says:

      Dear Fiona this is so sad, but I would be calling on the government of Quebec to do something this is their company and maybe you could try taking this story to the local press. Hydro will not listen to you this I know for certain, but this is also the harper government backing out of its’ duty to Canadians. Good luck and let me know what happens.


  2. CJ Plourde says:

    Thanks for writing and sharing. Ive been in my current apt. for 3 years and about 1 year ago, I got an increase in my bill for around $325.00. This was strange because I don’t pay for heat, and I was up to date on my regular bi-monthly bills, which totaled about 70.00 every two months.

    I eventually contacted them and told them that there must be some problem, because my bills were paid bi-monthly. After waiting and not hearing from them, I sent a letter. eventually I received a letter stating that this was from my previous residence.

    They were telling me that I had amassed a $325.00 bill in my previous apartment, however this was not true. It was an apt. with free heating, and I signed off in June and notified them of my new apartment, where I have been for the past three years.

    I sent another letter and told them that my roommate and I had left, and that since the bill was in my name, it had been paid, and that I had received new service and given them the order to connect me.

    Since they had my address, they could have sent me a bill anytime, but there was no need to because the electric bill had been paid. And how or why would anyone have a $325.00 electric bill? That would mean that it had not been paid for, well, let’s do the math: 70.00×2 months, = 140.00 for 4 months, x 2 = 280.00 for 8 months…So that would mean that I had not paid my electric bill for the past 9 months, which is absurd because they would have it shut off before that…I know of no one who had electricity for 9 months, never paid the bill, etc., and were allowed to have an account for one year.

    I eventually received another letter and in that letter, or in a phone conversation, I cant really remember, but I have the letters, I was told that they had redone their computers or something, and that it would get worked out.

    Today, I get a letter in the mailbox telling me that in 8 days they will d/connect my electricity if the bill is not paid in full. Because I was one week and five days late paying my regular bill, they are now asking me to pay 425.00 and they have added $40.00 worth of extra “administrative fees”.

    This is a nightmare. I did go down to the bank and paid a portion of the bill, my portion, the portion that I owed, and not a penny more.

    I’m from the states and I never had this kind of problem with a utility company before. It is absolutely dreadful. I thought that eventually, they would take me to court, so that they could get their money, and i was fine with that, because at least then I could prove that I didn’t owe them anything. But No, they have a monopoly, and what they will do is shut my electricity off!! I can’t believe it.

    Likewise, I’ve been disabled for the past three years, and I am on disability, and sometimes I cannot move out of bed for weeks at a time. In fact, I had not been down to the mailbox because I was sick for the past week. I know it’s not their fault for my sickness, but I’ve been really patient for TWO YEARS, waiting to eventually confront them and tell them that my roommate and I both paid our bills, not to mention the fact that since I got new service, they could have sent me the bills—but they didn’t, not for two years…they try to be tricky, I think. I just don’t know how they are allowed to conduct business like this.

    I think, if I get the chance and if they shut off my electricity, that I will take them to small claims court.


    • archemdis says:

      Thanks for sharing your story it helps others to at least know that they are not alone. Hydro Quebec will not even see you in person. other than the nasty little person on the other end of the phone you have no recourse. Just 3 days ago they cut off another lady’s power by accident while she was at work. they said that they are really sorry but they will get around to turning in back on when theynhave a tech in the area. They are about the rudest nastiest SOB’S in this province. Please keep me informed on your case and good luck to you. Have a nice evening.


      • Rangdrol says:

        Hello Archemdis. Thanks again for your response. Well, finally, in December of 2011, I got a letter from Hydro stating that I did not owe that money and that I was not responsible for that consumption!

        It took them three years to figure that out! They actually knew that I had called in and switched services because one of their service reps, on the phone, read the notes in my file!

        HOWEVER, a month ago I got a call from a collections agency named TAR or something like that. They claimed I owed a bill for $326 or $329 and I couldnt believe it! This has been sooo stressful, lots of time on the phone trying to reach them, explaining things to every single person I come from, reaching out to my old landlord and bugging him to keep faxing documents and leases to prove that I had moved out in June 2008 and that I even asked them to re-establish electricity in my new place, where Iived for the following three years.

        Today, I got another call from the collection agency. The woman told me to “let’s rush it” when I told her I had to take time to explain.

        TOmorrow I have to now fax a copy of the letter I received. I am disabled, in chronic pain and have had to call the ambulance on two different occasions because I had back problems and couldnt walk.
        I really wish there was some panel that was there to help people. I have called the consumer protection office, “Office de la protection du consommateur ” here in Quebec somewhere, but I have no idea how long it will take and many of these organizations are not able to help with companies like Hydro. I may even have contacted them in the past I don’t remember.

        In any case, I am shocked at how inefficient a service Hydro Quebec is and how uncaring they are about customers. I know they don’t see us, be we are real, we are sensitive and we are human and we all have limits. I no longer have patience with this company and never saw anything like this before.

        I should also say that I am 53 and never dealt with any company like this. I even worked for a utility company in Massachusetts, and we would never have been allowed to treat customers like this.

        What QUebec needs to do is allow for customers to litigate against companies like Hydro Quebec, simply because they actually cause emotional distress, and considerable distress, I might add. To live in fear because one thinks that the electricity could be shut off at any time is a hard place to be. HQ cannot continue to make mistakes and to harass customers and to get away with it.


      • archemdis says:

        I knoiw it frustrates the hell out of me!!!


  3. sister says:

    My sister is right now without hydro, they cut her off 2 weeks ago, She is a single mother with 3 kids, and doesn t
    make that much money.
    In March 2010 her hyddro bill was $75.00, now in October 2010, her bill is $ 6000.00 outrageous, this can t be. she doesnt own an apartment builing, she hass a regullar size house,

    When shse ccalled hydro quebec, and afteer waiting 2 hours on the phone the B—– told her pay in full, or too bad, thenn hung up on her!!! alk about ignorance!!!!

    Hydro was supposed to send a Tech, to check out the situation because this definately does not make sence, that was last week, sstill no one ha come. Witer is jusst around the corner, and is pretty old right now, in fact it is snowing right now, anyone have suggestions, I know the bill has to get paid, but they won t even listen, she wants to make an arangement with them, but they are so unconsiderate, not at all understanding, and hang-up on people, what should she do…..,,.


    • archemdis says:

      I know this is becoming a real problem. Hydro just does not care. They are now trying to rush all the cut offs before they can not do it anymore until spring. Hydro Quebec is owned and run, by the Quebec provencial government. Write, call and give these politicians hell, I do. In fact I am about to post a letter I sent to all federal party leaders concerning just this issue.


  4. sandbuzz says:

    Indeed the people at customer service/collection department at Hydro Quebec are rude, uncaring and fascist like when dealing with the public. They have even hung up on me…

    I got my power cut off June 1st, 2010 and is still not connected this day of September 27, 2010. I am single and divorced and have paid my exwife alimony/childsupport well over $ 300,000 since the divorce in 1994.

    Today I am still paying $1,000 per month.

    Needless to say I struggled and got behind paying my hydro. Total bill was $1,372 as of June 1 which I could not pay. I have since paid hydro quebec $1,000 and now owe $526. The bill is growing, and I have no power! I can’t figure that out, but believe they are goughing me…

    Hydro Quebec still refuses to connect me until the entire bill is paid. The absolutly refuse to make deals with me.

    I am 64, diabetic and suffer from degenerative ostheoathrities, and must sleep in my now cold and damp apartment. I have no family here that can take me in on cold nights and it will take me a few more months before I can pay the fascists off.

    I am writing this at a friends house tonite.

    I am glad your daughter and grandchildren got their power back…



    • archemdis says:

      I feel bad for you and thank you for your reply. When you get mad at Hydro remember to get mad at your government. Hydro is a government monopoly. Start knocking on your representatives door and give them hell.


    • Rangdrol says:

      Was this ever resolved? I have been asked by HQ to pay a bill that was not mine, and then they cleared it up and now they started the process all over again. It is so disorganized. Maybe what we need to do is to start a group action against HQ so that we can have them pay for the pain and suffering and stress that they have put people through, especially when people are falsely accused because of bad paperwork and bad business practices. I live in Montreal and am willing to talk to your sister.

      Maybe a small claims court case by a bunch of customers will help to bring HQ where they should be, at a court table where there actions, which negatively impact innocent people, can be shared.

      I cannot see how they can legally disconnect service to someone who is disabled, which I assume you are, as I am with osteoarthritic hips, hip dysplasia, and degenerative disk disease.

      I hope that things have been better for you and that you put this behind you, however, HQ should be made accountable for its actions. I am sure there are many more like us, and yet they simply feel they have no voice, no place to go to to complain.


      • archemdis says:

        They started to give her her money back in the form of credits, but like you both of us think that they go too far. It is the no one to turn to the no optiopn that gets to me. We hve moved on but the class action suit sounds very good. Have a great night and if there is anything I can do to help you let me know.


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