The one-day wonder

September 16 2008 by Ellen Roseman

I write columns in both the Saturday and Sunday papers. So when I get into work Monday, I find a pile of problems that readers have sent me, waiting to be investigated.

All day, I send emails to different companies, asking them to review complaints and fix them. Smart companies snap to attention, hoping to get a favourable mention. Sometimes, they send me a reply within hours of hearing from me.

Y-S Columbus Leo, for example, wrote to me about a Citi Petro-Points credit card offer. He felt it was deceptive and he offered to fax me the terms and conditions. By the time I got his fax the following day, Citi had already given him back the money he felt he deserved.

I’ll let him tell his story below and I’ll provide some other stories of one-day wonders.


  1. Cynthia

    Sep 21 2008

    Just in response to the Enbridge answer. It amazes me that companies quickly and easily can make errors on customer’s bills, yet they can claim they are not so easy and quick to correct. Why not?

    When you owe them money, they want it NOW. Yet when they owe you money, you can wait.

    I think if an error is not corrected in one billing cycle, if there is at least one week’s lead time, you should get interest — just like you have to pay interest if you are late paying your bill.

  2. Lior

    Sep 22 2008

    I couldn’t have said it any better, Cynthia!

    Companies these days, whenever they make billing errors, want you to pay first and then, if the charge is disputed, patiently wait until they move their arses to resolve it. Why not just take a proactive approach to minimize the errors from happening in the first place?

    I remember once seeing on Silverman Helps on CityTV how Enbridge made a mistake and emptied a woman’s entire bank account, to the tune of $3,000, just because of a meter reading error by Enbridge’s stellar employees.

    The woman called Enbridge and they weren’t quick at all to reverse the money they took out, even though the woman said she needed the funds back in the account urgently for an overseas trip.

    When Peter Silverman got involved, the woman had a refund cheque the next day. If he hadn’t been involved, Enbridge would have taken their sweet time with the matter, just like all the other irresponsible companies out there with screwed up billing systems (hello Bell!).

    Valuable lesson was learned: never give any companies carte blanche access to your banking account!