June 4, 2018 9:48 pm
Updated: June 4, 2018 11:10 pm

Double payment mistake leads to months of frustration for Vancouver woman

A woman who accidentally paid her plumber twice for the same bill came to Consumer Matters after she claimed she was getting nowhere trying to retrieve her money. Anne Drewa has the story.

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A Vancouver woman’s simple mistake of accidentally paying her plumber twice has lead to months of frustration.

“I’m getting bounced from person to person,” said Melissa Hope.

Coverage of Consumer Matters on Globalnews.ca:

Hope was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she said the disease affects her short term memory.

She said it’s likely the reason why she wrote two cheques.

Back in 2017, Melissa needed plumbing work done on a tenant’s suite.

Her contractor recommended the company Vancouver’s Plumbing Connection.

READ MORE: Consumer Matters — B.C. driver fumes after he said he was overcharged at the pump twice at the same station

In March 2017, Melissa paid for the work, writing a cheque for $1,250.

Months later, in November 2017, Melissa said her contractor asked her if she ever received an invoice for the plumbing work.

“I said I don’t think I did. So my contractor re-sent his copy of the same invoice. I printed it and paid it again,” said Hope.


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At tax time in March of this year, Hope found that she had accidentally paid her plumber twice.

“I had kept the invoice marked paid to give to my accountant for taxes and I found one copy and then I found a second copy of exactly the same invoice number but with two different cheque numbers on it,” said Hope.

She said she contacted Vancouver’s Plumbing Connection repeatedly and finally managed to reach them and notify them about the double payment.

READ MORE: Consumer Matters — A Richmond Starbucks charged a woman twice for $120 in gift cards, before reversing it

Hope said even after she showed proof and emailed copies of the cheques to the company, she was ignored.

She eventually filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Vancouver.

“In this case, we failed to get a response from the company and so the case from our point of view is unanswered,” said the BBB’s Evan Kelly.

After two months of unanswered calls and emails, Hope contacted Global BC’s Consumer Matters.

We reached out to Vancouver’s Plumbing Connection repeatedly, including the owner who goes by the name of “Ryan.”

After several weeks, Melissa was e-transferred her $1,250.

“If Consumer Matters hadn’t gone after him, he probably would have continued to ignore me,” said Hope.

The same day that Hope received her funds back, the owner of Vancouver’s Plumbing Connection answered our call.

Consumer Matters asked “Ryan” why it took so long to return Melissa Hope’s money.

“What happened with me is I hired a new guy. I haven’t been happy with the accounting I have been getting. Honestly, I just found out that this wasn’t resolved last night,” he said.

Ryan added, “In truth it rests with me. I f***ed up. I don’t have any better reason than that and I’m going to try to do the best I can and make amends with it.”

He also added, “I apologize for me being an a******. That’s about all I can do.”

As for Hope, she said it’s too little, too late.

“Wish [he] could have responded two months ago because we never would have had to deal with any of this. It could have been that easy,” she said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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