Every Friday, Consumer Reporter Lynda Steele dips into the mailbag to answer your questions. This week, Steele on Your Side investigates BC Hydro reconnection fees and a bill payment on a Telus account that doesn’t exist.

Reconnection fees

Kyle wants to know why BC Hydro still charges a $130 reconnection fee if the system is now fully automated with smart meters.

BC Hydro says costs associated with reconnection and disconnection fees are changing. They're going from primarily labour and vehicle costs to I.T. infrastructure costs. 

The company says it is reviewing the reconnection fee as part of its upcoming "rate design application" with the B.C. Utilities Commission. It's ultimately up to the Utilities Commission to determine if the proposed fees are fair.

Bill payment on non-existent account

George wrote Steele on Your Side after he made an error paying his cell phone bill. Instead of paying Bell, he paid Telus, despite the fact he hasn't had an account there for two years. He says Telus then told him it couldn't refund the money.

He wants to know how Telus could accept a payment from him without him having an account.

Telus says when the payment came in it was placed into a holding account because there was no active account for George.

The company says it tried to get in touch with the customer but did not have any contact information for him.

When Telus heard from George's bank it says it arranged to refund the money.