Scams

Do you remember when I was starting my research of apartment I found at least 4 scams on my way? Just when I thought everything was set up…the 4th of July around 7 pm somebody knocked at my door. I thought it could be a neighbor because my radio was a bit loud, when I opened a tall black man wearing a cap and long shorts like a golfer said he was from Summitt Energy, explaining me since I moved the price of Electricity is getting higher and his company was offering a flat rate not that expensive. I invited to my place, we sat and he continued to explaining me the benefits of this. He asked me where I was from and he told me he was from Toronto, he studied at the university there, that he loved Incas, that he knew about my culture…he was kind of charming I must admit. I was so naïve and I believed everything he said, about the company, the rates etc etc etc. There were like 3 forms and he asked me to sign. I know you don’t have to sign those things but I don’t know why I didn’t what to refuse.  And I signed. He phoned the company with his Blackberry and asked to talk to another representative and this woman was asking if I had form A, form B, if I understood this and that. I said yes. The guy left and I sent an email to the landlord if this was a common practice. He replied me it was a scam!

I checked on line and that company was fined like 2 years ago for bad practices and also high rates. I was in panic and shock. I was fooled like an immigrant. There is website called Redflagdeals.com, where customers explain or give opinions about services and so on. I read the same kind of stories. You move to a new place and 3 days later there is somebody to ask you to sign those things. People after a couple of months received high invoices for electricity. I was still in panic and searching online. The landlord told me to contact that company and alert Hydro Ottawa. I sent an email to customer service asking to cancel my account. I was still panicking and I could sleep so at 11.30pm I found a website called Ottawa Fraud Hot Line http://www.ottawa.fraudwaste-fraudeabus.ca. I made a call, I explained my situation and the guy said “this is a line just if you’re a member of the public and its employees to report suspected cases of fraud, but I can help you, the first thing in the morning you call Hydro Ottawa and you explain that. Also I think the contract says you got 7 or 10 days to cancel it without fees. I happened to me years ago” I said thank you and apologized because I was calling the wrong service. And he said “I’m glad I could help you” But still I couldn’t sleep. I was looking to my radio clock it was 1am and after 2 am.

At 6am I woke up and I made my usual thing like taking a shower and having breakfast. I went to work and at 8am I called Hydro Ottawa, Roxanne answered me and told…guess what: That I didn’t have a Hydro Ottawa account set up what??????????????????? It’s impossible I told her, because I made a call like a week ago asking for a new account. She said no, nothing in the data base! She said the charges were passing to the landlord. So she opened my account and there I go. I got finally an account. So, in the meantime I sent another email to customer service asking again to close my contract. I waited until 9 am to talk to somebody and the woman on the phone who seemed tired of my type of call told me because it was too new probably I wouldn’t be in the system. But I insisted and she said my email was received that was all.

Well, the hard part was to wait, just in the afternoon I received confirmation my contract was closed. I got a confirmation number and my soul came back to my body. However, this morning I called again because I wanted to be 200% sure my account was closed. A very nice guy answered me and asked me if I got a confirmation number, I said yes but I hadn’t on me. He said “if you got the number so is closed, but I’ll take a look again” and after I got the final confirmation. Awful experience, so far, I don’t like the way Ottawa says Welcome!

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