Last month, the provincial government said ICBC customers will receive a one-time rebate averaging $190.
Sherri O’Neill says she was surprised when she received a rebate cheque worth much less than that.
“Here’s the cheque for the $1 amount,” she said. “Here’s the letter that came along with it.”
“It’s just a waste. It’s two pieces of paper. It’s an envelope. It’s the ink. It’s the time that took to prepare it. I’d rather just have $1 credit when I go to renew my insurance.”
When O’Neill took to Twitter to call the cheque a “colossal waste of money,” ICBC responded by saying:
“We’re committed to ensuring customers receive all the savings owed to them. As part of this commitment, we will be issuing refund cheques for any amount of $1 or more. This approach is a change from our historical practice of not issuing cheques for $5 or less.”
Kris Sims of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation called the practice “absurd.”
“We’d be really surprised to see if this happened anywhere else in Canada, but unfortunately it’s happening here with ICBC and it’s kind of embarrassing.”
ICBC did not say how many cheques under $5 are being mailed out, but did say it estimates that 0.2 per cent of cheques will have a value of $1.
“It is more efficient for ICBC to issue a cheque as part of a proactive refund process than to have customers call us to request a low-dollar cheque,” the public insurer added.
The rebates were offered after ICBC saved $600 million due to a major decrease in crashes and costs linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
O’Neill said she doubts she’ll even cash the cheque.
“It’s a huge waste of resources that could go someplace else,” she said.