Friday, October 15, 2010


It's been awhile since we've updated this blog but thought we'd just close the loop. :) Enmax finally did sort out the issues and we have been receiving our bills on a regular monthly basis and have had no issues to date.

To answer a few items from people who have posted comments:
  1. Yes, we as a consumer are liable to pay our bills on time, etc which we have. Our original issue is that we didn't get a bill and when we inquired about it, no one had an answer nor were they able to provide us with an amount to pay. As a result, blame shouldn't be placed on the consumer who was proactive in tracking down their bill and be responsible and pay the bill. They had originally setup our account wrong and sent it to an empty lot because the person who input the account information got our address wrong; however, they had 4 different phone numbers to contact us at and this would've resolved the issue but we didn't get a call from anyone. To say that a bill is considered delivered to a customer or mailed to a customer and therefore, the customer now owes the company is interesting considering that the company sent it to an empty lot and then ended up getting a return to sender mail back but failed to find other routes to notify the customer. As a consumer who took the responsibility first and stepped up (we could've just done nothing) and made the initial call and even asked how much so we could pay it seems to have been lost on some readers. Enmax acknowledged that they had received the return to sender bills but no one there took accountability to call to verify address information which they also acknowledged was their own process failing.
  2. There are great customer service reps out there and we commend them on their work as it's hard to deal with customers on a daily basis; however, to point out that we had been irrate or yelling or swearing at them is not fair as we did none of them. Were we frustrated? Absolutely! We had tried and worked with the reps and the ones who escalated it for us did what is expected - their job. Once escalated however, the service level continued to be low (no return phone calls as they had committed to, no follow-up, etc). Is this fair on a consumer who saw that they didn't have a bill and wanted to be responsible? No. The consumer is only trying to do their part by being responsible and paying their bill but when a retailer is not stepping up, that shouldn't be blamed on the consumer. How would someone feel if they were promised that the house they had purchased or built would be ready in a certain time and then it's 6 months later and no response? Should the consumer be at fault or blame for trying to PAY someone else? This doesn't make sense. The amount of effort a consumer is putting in so that in the end, they are paying someone else isn't even recognized which is very sad. We weren't trying to run away from paying bills. We are responsible, mature adults who actually recognized that we didn't get our bills so we took the first step in trying to rectify the situation and to have the company keep slamming doors in our face is unacceptable, especially if the monies owed is going to the company in the end.
  3. Other retailers - sure we could go to other retailers but in the end, consumers will go to whomever provides the best price and not necessarily the best service. Many of us will go to a place because it has the best price (we all worked hard to earn our money so shouldn't we be wise about where we spend it?). If there are 2 car dealerships offering the same car but one is offering it at a lower price, which one would you go to? We were with AES before but they couldn't compete with Enmax so that's why we switched. We have also heard horror stories about AES which basically mirrors ours so it's an industry issue which needs to be looked at all around.
  4. Regulated body - as a regulated body, Enmax didn't even notify UCA of account number changes and this is what a regulated body is supposed to do so is it UCA's fault? Probably not. Is it not a socially responsible thing to do to notify the governing body of what a regulated company is going to do if that's what the agreement is? So should Enmax not be looking within their own company and processes to seek areas of improvement instead of pushing that responsibility and accountability onto the customer who has no control over their business processes?
  5. Billing - if the company has the ability to put "spam" in the same envelope as the bill, the company can put a note to indicate that the account number has changed or the billing cycle may have moved and to check their bill to verify that all is correct, etc. There are no excuses for a company to say they didn't have a way or the only way was on their website if they have the capability of "spamming."

When the company does finally step up and do something, they made a commitment to put our account to indicate that there shouldn't be late-charges applied for their errors which was greatly appreciated but when we called back to let them know that it was still applied, there was little effort on their end to correct it. So to say that we were just being "sensitive" is a bit overstated considering that the company made the commitment to fix it as a way of "good faith" but failed in the process in the end. And to add further insult to injury, we had to go through the whole story all over again when it was clearly stated in our file, etc. That is not fair to the consumer who was patient and did what they could to help in resolving the issues. Seems that some people would rather put the blame elsewhere (in this case - company to consumer) rather than review their own processes within.

We are not the only ones with issues with Enmax or any other retailers (utility or otherwise) out there. This blog was originally created to bring awareness to the issue which is that big companies should really look and review their processes, etc. before using the responsible consumer as a scapegoat. We appreciate all comments and haven't blocked any as everyone is entitled to their opinions which, one who has any common sense would realize that we aren't the bad ones here who didn't want to pay their bills but we were just simply trying to get our bills and correct a billing issue.

To all who still have billing issues, etc. with Enmax, we empathize with you. We really hope that the more people who bring this to light that the big companies may one day stop kicking the little guy around for being responsible and look within their own companies for areas to improve on instead of just blaming the consumer or utilizing everyone else as a scapegoat.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Still waiting...

March 13, 2009:

Still waiting for someone from Enmax to call us back to provide us with an explanation. In the interim, we had received a comment from our blog by an anonymous person:

"Stop whining and pay your bill, I work in the customer service industry and people like you are the bane of our existence, no matter what we do, you always have another excuse to whine, sometimes problems happen, and we are the ones who are first to apologize, your account number and billing schedule changing really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, pay your bill and shut up. "

So, we will take a moment here to respond to this comment:

Firstly, if you had read the blogs carefully, you would notice that we would pay our bills if we could receive them. That is the original problem - we didn't get our bills and when we had contacted Enmax about this, they had no idea why nor did they do anything to help us. Where is the customer service in this? Understanding that problems do arise in any industry but in a customer oriented industry, wouldn't it be wise that the company advise the customer before it escalates instead of just saying "I don't know" and do nothing?

Secondly, we are not whining but in fact, stating the issue (had you actually read the blog). We are also in the customer service industry and to have a CSR: pass you off; get irrate at you for asking where your bill is; provide excuses rather than try and actually find the answer; provide contradictory information or no information at all; pass the buck "it's the printers, it's the bank, etc."; not return phone calls, etc. This is not what we would consider as customer service. And, we have yet to receive any apologies for any of the issues we have been experiencing.

Thirdly, if you are educated in the utilities industry at all, you would realize that they must be accountable for what they do. In other words, they need to be accountable for their actions to the government. If Enmax doesn't provide the customer with the information they require (ie. the bill, the correct account number), they cannot penalize the customer for not paying the bill because the customer might be paying to an old account number which was not correctly transferred. That being said, it is the responsibility of Enmax to make sure their systems can apply payments from an old account number to the new one - not the bank.

Fourthly, an account number and billing cycle change is a HUGE problem if the customer is not advised. If you actually look at the bigger picture than what's in your head, you would recognize this. For example, if your bank changed your account number and didn't notify you and all your auto-payments for your bills got rejected (the dealership couldn't take your monthly car payment and sends you to collections or repossess your vehicle) or your tax refund never got to you because the government wasn't aware of your account number change, would it matter to you? If you were on a fixed income or pension because you're a senior or in the lower-income bracket and you only got paid once on the 5th of the month but you need to have your bills paid by the 1st of the month or else you have no power or electricity, would it matter?

So, before you write a comment about how we should pay our bills, you need to learn to read the full blog, understand the utilities industry, the billing industry, the banking industry (in which by the way, we are very educated in), look at the bigger picture of how many people this actually affects (how socially responsible is a company when they tell the UCA that it only affects about 300 people when they change ALL the account numbers? We doubt Enmax only has 300 customers). Perhaps you need to look at the "grand scheme of things" before you accuse others of whining when all they had wanted was their bill and to have it be accurate so they could pay it, and to have answers to their questions so that they are aware of what's going on so that future payments of their bills will actually get credited to their accounts.

Still waiting for a manager to call back

March 12, 2009:
  • Called back to find out why a manager has yet to contact us to explain to us why we weren't notified of our account number change nor were we notified of the changes in our billing cycle
  • Talked to Badur @ 10:50 am and was advised that they had informed the bank on our behalf and we asked them why were we not notified of this account change. No response.
  • Badur advised that we would be back to our "regular" billing cycle in April which would mean that our bill will be shifted back to being printed on the 28th of each month instead of the current change of the 3rd of each month
  • Asked again about why we were not notified and Badur advised that they couldn't inform the customers in time due to the system upgrades, etc.
  • Pointed out that a system upgrade and billing cycle changes would have been planned and not something that is done within a week, especially if they had notified the UCA in early February
  • Asked who made the decision to not inform the customers of the account number change or the billing cycle change. No response
  • Asked why we weren't called back by a manager within the promised 24 hours. No response but just offerred to help (which he didn't as he didn't respond to our questions)
  • Had to ask for our new account number as agent didn't offer it. Ask to be transferred to a supervisor
  • Was on hold for 5 minutes before speaking to Daryl @ 11:04 am
  • Daryl advised that the banks were notified and this is suppose to go on indefinitely (the banks would be the ones responsible for transferring our payments from our old account numbers to the new ones - not Enmax)
  • According to Daryl, there will be a notice sent out sometime in March or early April. The notice was delayed, possibly due to some decisions "higher up"
  • Daryl informed us that the billing date has now been changed to the 3rd
  • Advised Daryl that Badur told us that our bill cycle would be back to the 28th instead of the 3rd and Daryl's response was that this is impossible because of regulation. Two different answers for one question...
  • Daryl was unsure why we weren't called back within the 24 hours and concluded that the person who was suppose to call back got busy but someone will call us back

Thursday, March 12, 2009

UCA provided more info than Enmax

March 12, 2009 - Wrote the UCA (the "Commission") to ask them if a utility company can shift your billing cycle because of an upgrade to their systems or change your account number without notification?
  • Spoke with a representative and was advised that yes, they can shift the billing cycle to better align with the meter reading dates and they can change your account number without notification if they had taken the precautions to notify the affected groups (in this case, Enmax notified the banks of the change)
  • Pointed out that although Enmax may have advised the bank, if the information doesn't get trickled down to the branch level, no one will be the wiser. As well, advised him that like Canada Post, the banks will not be transferring funds from an old account number to a new account number on behalf of a vendor forever. They will do this as a courtesy for about 6 months, like Canada Post and after this timeframe, they will just pay to whatever account number that is on the client's profile. Problem arises when the client was not notified that their account number has changed so that they can update with their banks, accountants, Epost, auto-payment, or whatever way the customer pays
  • Representative advised that Enmax did do its "due diligence" by advising the Commission that they were planning this before the change was implemented and that it would only affect a small handful of people (approximately 300) so that's why they weren't going to advise people.
  • Asked representative why did the CSR advised that they had advertised this on their website ( or on the IVR system as a blanket message to all customers if this is suppose to only affect a "handfull" of customers? If they had advertised this as blanket messages, then why couldn't they have placed it in the Special Messages box directly on their bill (as not everyone will sit and check out their utility company's website daily or call the IVR system just because)?
  • Representative was not aware that they had done blanket advertising as Enmax had only advised the UCA that it would only affect a small group of people so he will look into it further and get back to us
  • Checked the Enmax website and this is what was on there:

Why has my account number changed? We’ve recently upgraded our customer care system. As a result you will find a new 9-digit account number that replaces your current 12- or 13-digit account number on your bill.

  • This begs the question, how does changing from a 12 or 13 digit account number to 9 digits only affect a "handfull" of people so that's why Enmax didn't think it was necessary to advise the customer with an insert or something noted in the "Special Messages" box???

Billing issues again???

So we've been trucking along for the last year, 7 months and 14 days with no issues. We've been receiving our bills as they had promised... or so we thought... here's the latest update:

March 11, 2009 - Called ENMAX @ 310-2010 at about 7:30 am and talked to Quang from the Calgary Call Centre to ask him about our bill as we haven't received it yet

  • Advised Quang that our bill usually gets printed on the 28th of each month so we usually receive it the first week of the following month; however, this didn't happen for this month
  • Quang advised that they had upgraded their billing system so all clients' bill cycle has been shifted by 5 days which means our bill will now be printed on the 3rd of each month going forward. Advised our bill was printed on the 3rd and was sent out on the 4th so we should get it this week (which we received in the afternoon of March 11/09)
  • Asked Quang about notification of bill cycle change & account number change because while on hold, the IVR lady had advised that ENMAX had also changed the account numbers and they had notified the banks
  • Quang confirmed that they did change the account numbers because of the billing cycle shifts & the upgrade to the billing system
  • Asked him why we weren't notified of this change and his answer was "It was mentioned on our website but the powers that be thought it wouldn't be important to notify the customer on the bill because the banks were notified so it wouldn't matter as you're still able to pay your bill with your old account number. I was able to pull up your account info using your old account number."
  • We pointed out that they should be able to pull up our account info using our old account number as it's their internal system. Asked him where is the level of customer service if you couldn't write a one line on your bill or have an insert to notify the customer of the changes? As well, what is the purpose of having a Special Messages section on the bill if it not utilized?
  • Quang rebutted with "If your payment is still going through at the bank under your old account number, why does it matter that you would need to know that your account number on the bill has changed?"
  • Requested to speak with a manager and was told that a manager would call back within 24 hours and they would reiterate the same thing he said
  • Waiting for a manager to call back

Friday, July 25, 2008

Okay so far...

It's the end of July and a quick update:
  • It took us until March 2008 before we were able to catch up to our bills from 2007

We do scrutinize our bills now from Enmax every time. We've learnt that our bill print date is on the 25 - 28 of each month so we should receive it in the mail within the first week of the next month...

We are concerned though as it's usually the Fall season that their "servers" or "networks" seem to go down or have "issues" (as they put it) and then our bills stop coming. We'll keep an eye on it and let everyone know.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Some resolution?

September 19, 2007 – Shelly Wolfe called back and advised:

  • Credit rating has been restored from 2 (Satisfactory) to 1 (Excellent)
  • Does not affect Credit Bureau rating. Only time this happens is when the account is closed and Enmax is trying to collect any outstanding amounts
  • Final Notice letter was sent out in error – the flag on accounts which had billing issues were lifted at the end of August and it was done system wide so ours was one of them. This generated the letter to be printed
  • Confirmed that payment of $422.09 was received and our balance is $0.00
  • Willing to put it all in writing and will send out to us when completed

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Here we go again...

September 18, 2007:

  • Bill from Calgary called back. He is in the Collections Centre
  • Questions raised to him were:
  • Why are we receiving a Final Notice when we didn’t receive any other letters?
  • Bill advised that we would’ve gotten it on our prior bill at 30 days and the 60 days was for the April non-payment bill
  • Advised him that we didn’t get an April bill and the issue was already escalated. As well, if the letter is for a 60 days in arrears, why did we receive it in September? 60 days from April is June. Letter was printed September 8 and was mailed on September 10, 2007
  • Bill advised that he does not know what the problem is as it's a billing problem, not a collection problem
  • Also advised him that we were experiencing issues with Enmax not billing us (even though we asked them many times over) and we were on a payment plan. Had he read the file completely as we had requested prior to contacting us, he would have known that we didn’t have a bill in April but still made a payment on May 1, 2007 for $300 after our phone conversation with Ed Isidro
  • As well, with us not receiving continuous billing, we were not sure which month we were paying and what was in arrears or not; however, payment arrangements were made with no penalty or disconnect
  • What does a credit rating of 2 mean? What are the rating numbers and its corresponding descriptions?
  • Bill advised that our credit rating has been restored to “excellent” which is a 1 but did not answer our question of what does the rating numbers correspond to
  • We would like to know if this has hit Toby’s credit bureau report but didn’t receive any answers
  • What does the Status Code “A” mean?
  • Bill advised that “A” means active
  • Can we get this in writing that our credit rating has been changed back and we are caught up on our bills and will not be disconnected?
  • Sent Maria Gonzaga, Rob Mackin and Kevin Brown an update email explaining current issues with Enmax. Also sent copy of Final Notice Letter in pdf format.
  • Asked if someone can contact us to answer our questions we had posed to Bill as we did not receive any satisfactory answers from him. We would like to know in writing:
  • Indicate that our credit rating has indeed been restored with Enmax and what this credit rating number and its corresponding title is
  • Indicate that by no means has this credit rating been reported to the credit bureau under Toby's name and if it has, what actions will Enmax be pursuing to rectify this error
  • Indicate that as of September 7, 2007, our balance is $0.00 (we have caught up) and that there will be no disconnect
  • Kevin Brown replied via email and advised that he has forwarded the email to the Executive Vice President’s Office
  • Shelly Wolfe (403-219-2077) from Enmax Customer Advocacy called to advise that she had received the email which was forwarded to her by Rob Mackin and Maria Gonzaga. Shelly will look into it and reply via email tomorrow (September 19, 2007) morning

Monday, September 17, 2007

Spoke too soon... Final Notice???

September 17, 2007:

  • Received Final Notice Prior to Disconnection letter in mail
  • Toby called Enmax and talked to Sabrina in Calgary to discuss
  • Letter indicated that we are 60 days in arrears in our payments and last payment was made on July 31, 2007.
  • Sabrina indicated the 60 days in arrears is on the basis that we didn’t make any payments in April 2007.
  • Our records however indicated:
  • April 24/07 – billing issue has already been escalated and we were in contact with Ed Isidro about why we haven’t received our April bill which was supposed to be printed on April 10, 2007
  • Since January 2007, we have made payments:
    February 15, 2007 - $300
    March 22, 2007 - $400
    April – no payment as we were having issues of receiving bills and Ed Isidro was working on it
    May 1, 2007 - $300
    June 5, 2007 - $400
    July 30, 2007 - $400
    September 7, 2007 - $422.09 (full payment of bill as it caught us up to date).
  • Asked that a manager call us back AFTER he/she reads our file
  • Sabrina advised that a manager will contact him within 24-48 hours