Hydro Billing Inserts

Mr. Brian Doxtator
Vice President, Customer Care
Hydro Ottawa Limited
3025 Albion Road North
PO Box 8700
Ottawa, Ontario
K1G 3S4

Mr. Howard Wetston
Ontario Energy Board
P.O. Box 2319
2300 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 1E4

Dear Messrs. Doxtator and Wetston,

After reading the latest batch of billing inserts, which addressed the exact same issue (increased rates), I was able to draw two conclusions. This is a significant improvement over most of your billing inserts, from which I can customarily draw no conclusions whatsoever.

Conclusion number one was that I am receiving altogether too many billing inserts. I suspect that I am in fact paying more for billing inserts than I'm paying for electricity. The next time you are considering sending a billing insert, I recommend that you don't each send one explaining the exact same issue. I also recommend that you not print them on glossy paper, not print in multiple colours, and not use snazzy graphics. All of this adds to the cost of production, and severely detracts from your argument that you need to raise my rates. If it is essential that you hike my rates (a claim I find dubious at best after even a cursory examination of Hydro Ottawa and Ontario Energy Board spending practices) a simple black and white, text-only insert will suffice.

Conclusion number two was that whoever writes your billing inserts is doing a lousy job. Neither insert, both of which were on the subject of increased rates, stated on their first page that rates were increasing. One insert was titled "Electricity Prices are Changing" and the other was "New Rates and Your Bill." This kind of euphemistic delicacy omits the sole bit of useful information I want to get from the insert, namely how much my rates are going up.

In summary, the next time Ontario Hydro and Hydro Ottawa conspire to raise my rates, I would like to see a jointly produced black and white billing insert on plain paper with no graphic design elements. On the front of the page you could print "Hey jackass, your rates are going up" and on the back you could print "from 4.3 to 4.7 cents per kilowatt hour." Not only would more people read it, but more people would understand it.


Adam Scott,
The Last Angry Young Man