February 23, 2016 9:09 pm

A FortisBC mistake cost Kaleden woman $3,000

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KALEDEN — A foul stench welcomed Diane Persoon home when she returned after working in Fort McMurray last October.

“All you could smell was something dead. It was rancid. It was awful,” she says.

Power to the home had been out for a week because FortisBC accidentally cut her service, allowing everything in her fridge and freezer to rot.

A spokesperson admits the energy company made a mistake.

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“Obviously we recognize what an impact it has on people when things do go wrong. And we certainly apologize for that,” says Nicole Bogdanovic.

Despite the company’s error, Persoon was left to clean up the mess but she couldn’t get rid of the smell in her fridge or freezer.

She says a Fortis employee told her she could replace them.

The power fiasco left Persoon with quite a bill: she ended up paying $3,138.88 for the new appliances, groceries, hotel for a night, meal and time.

FortisBC offered to pay her hotel and meal in full and 90 per cent of the $347.39 grocery bill. However, it is only paying half of the cost of appliances and half of her estimated cost of time.

“There are established standards for deprecation and market value, and we do follow those,” explains Bogdanovic.

In total, the energy company has agreed to paying $1,929.45, about two-thirds of Persoon’s bill.

“Nobody mentioned depreciation, nobody mentioned nothing. I was told to go ahead and buy what I needed to — I did.”

Persoon says she picked a less expensive version of her fridge and a smaller freezer. She says even though her former appliances were 10 years old, they were in immaculate condition.

Just like a utility, she wants to ensure the energy company pays its bill in full.

“I think Fortis, having acknowledged this was their blunder, should take full responsibility financially and that’s my bottom line. If I have to go to court, I’m willing to go to court.”

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