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  • My Energy Contract Was Renewed And No One Told Me

“I got a complaint for your website. I got a contract with {NAME REMOVED} for gas rates that I signed some years ago. It was supposed to be for 5 years then it ends. It’s been two months after the last month they were going to bill me and Im still getting bills with {NAME REMOVED} all over the prices. I called to cancel and they said it renews unless I write to them. Whats going on with energy bill, please help”

Bill T. Toronto, ON

addressing-consumer-contract-complaintsThanks for writing, Bill. It seems like this company is trying to renew your contract illicitly and without your consent. They are not allowed to do this and you’re right to voice a complaint about it. There’s a number of shady things at work with this company, and a lot of  it flies right in the face of Ontario energy legislation.

By law, renewals must be preceded by what the Ontario Energy Board calls the “Renewal Package”, which has to arrive between 120 days and 60 days before the contract expires. Unless you missed something in your mail, it’s very likely they hoped you would forget about the renewal and continue to pay contract fees.

And even if you did miss a renewal package, any contract created before the start of 2011 still allows you to cancel any automatically renewed or extended contract without paying an exit fee. That customer service with this company didn’t bother to inform you of this is alarming, to say the least.

Part of how illegitimate energy companies operate in the face of consumer complaints is that they do so by misinforming or not informing their clients about their basic rights under the contract. Without evidence that they sent or that you received a renewal package, and that you have been renewed without your written consent suggests you have more than enough on your side to successfully combat these charges.

And, as we’ve discussed with signing an energy contract, even renewals of contracts are subject to a cooling off period. If your contract has been renewed and you wish to cancel it, you have up to 14 days to do so without challenge. Past this, you’ll have to rely on your rights as a consumer and tell them that you were not sent a proper renewal package. Beyond this, you may have to escalate to the Ontario Energy Board if necessary.

Thank you again for writing to us, Bill. We hope to hear back from you if there’s any developments in your challenge, and if there’s any issues with the process that Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch would be able to help you with.

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