A Toronto family on the brink of losing their home heating and hot water with the approach of winter had their issue with an energy company solved, a day after contacting Global News.
The issue had nothing to do with bill payment; their energy bills were fully up to date.
The problem? Four years ago, when the hot water tank was installed by contractors for Enercare, the rental tank wasn’t properly vented and was not up to safety codes.
Recently, a roofer hired by the family for another reason discovered the problem and relayed it to the homeowner, who contacted Enercare.
“It was definitely surprising, I thought they (Enercare) were coming to fix the problem and instead they ended up reporting me and tagging my (hot water tank),” said Jamie, who lives in the home with her husband and son.
Global News has agreed not to report her surname.
“He (a technician) saw that there was no cap and no liner on my chimney and he said that wasn’t safe,” Jamie said in an interview at her home.
The homeowner said Enercare repeatedly reassured her in a series of telephone calls that the company would take responsibility for the installation issue. But in subsequent visits, other technicians said it was her problem, she said.
After the first visit, a technician placed a tag on her hot water tank, which meant that gas to the home would be turned off if the safety issue wasn’t addressed quickly.
“I found out I have 45 days of gas left and I’m rushing trying to figure out what to do, how to fix it,” Jamie said.
She says she repeatedly called the company seeking a solution and sent emails through the Enercare website.
Then, she contacted Global News, which also approached Enercare about the family’s situation.
A day later, a group of three Enercare representatives and a contractor arrived at Jamie’s home to assess the venting issue.
One of those who showed up was Dave Gosling, Enercare’s chief operating officer and a member of the company’s executive leadership team.
“Here I am today…. I came out this morning to make sure things go right,” Gosling told Global News when he agreed to stop for a television interview outside the home.
“I want to make sure we get her product reconfigured so we can remove the tag and make sure she’s off and running without any complications,” said Gosling.
He acknowledged that there needs to be “an improvement experience … for this consumer,” explaining that the company has about one million customers in Ontario and that safety is a number-one priority.
Later in the day, Gosling returned a second time with a contractor and the chimney repair was completed. The violation tag was removed and Jamie’s family is guaranteed to have home heating and hot water through the winter.
Asked whether the resolution should have required multiple phone calls, emails and a call to Global News, Jamie doesn’t hesitate.
“It definitely should not have come to this and the COO (Gosling) said that himself.”
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