From Water Meters to Internet Caps and Metering – Have Consumers Had Enough? – March 2, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – Why water meters and internet metering isn’t the way to go.   Here in Cornwall Ontario the city is pushing water meters, but what happens when meters go awry?   How do you know whether your meter is working properly and what happens when you know you’re getting gouged?

Does your water get shut off?  Your credit ruined?


Thousands of residents who have seen unusual spikes have appealed their high water bills. Just last year, the city issued credits totaling $466,368 to customers.

The video if you click the link says it all.

And here in Canada Bell is in trouble again after customers are complaining about getting ridiculously high internet usage bills on their Smart Phones.   The problem being the resolution process being a brutal gauntlet of frustration that also tends to lead up to the client either paying the wrongful amount or risking having their credit hurt by having a wrongful bill go into collection.


“Had we been paying these bills blindly without asking any questions we would be out $5,162.80 over a course of about five months,” Daniel said.

Is it time for class action lawsuits?   Is it time for the government to step up and start protecting Canadians from the abusive practices of companies like Bell?

The difference being that our government sanctions what Bell can essentially charge for internet and currently is contemplating allowing the lobbying of Bell and other internet providers to all “Caps” of our internet usage and usurious fees charged for extra usage.

For educational facilities that offer Wi Fi on Campus, hospitals and medical centres that are relying more on the internet, and even everyday folks that are starting to use services like Netflix the potential of paying over $1.00 per GB for something that can cost as little as 2 cents has many consumers upset and scratching their heads.

What do you think?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. I’m right here with you on this article Jamie, as a web hosting company that relies on bandwidth to run our daily growing server traffic are having a hard time understanding what we are to do when/if this bill is passed. We do not want to gouge our customers or have to raise our prices so drastically that we cannot compete with the larger hosting companies. As for water meters and as a home owner/tax payer I cannot fathom a higher bill. If we started paying on a metering system the only people to benefit are the government and single person home owners, I realize that Cornwall has dodged the metering of water because of industry but now that those large industries that paid our water taxes are gone… water meters are inevitable for Cornwall residents.

  2. There was a whole bunch of new water meters, worth millions, for sale in Montreal last year, but did City Council act on it? The answer is no. Those water meters were part of a mafia-inspired contract that got cancelled.

  3. What is the cost of these meters ? What is the cost of installation ? Who pays what ? As a home-owner what will this fabulous change mean to me ? And I don’t mean that my water will be metered ! If the City is paying any of the above costs, at what point does the City start to break even ?

  4. It costs municipalities to provide safe drinking water. Often in the summer months, money is spent on advertising to encourage people to conserve water, but there are no incentives.

    I owned a home in Lancaster, an area that had water meters. I had a small pool in the yard, and used as much water as I wanted, yet always fell below the ‘minimum’ amount. This meant that I paid a flat fee for my water use, because I never went above the usage level that would have resulted in additional charges.

    To put it differently, I paid for water I wasn’t using, yet there was nothing in the system to credit me, or to reward someone who conserves water. If municipalities are metering water to curtail waste, they why are they not rewarding those who are careful with the amount of water they consume?

    I often see people hosing down their driveways or sidewalks, or ever the road in front of their homes as a way of sweeping dirt away. Why not use a broom? I have seen lawns being watered during a rainy day. These are cases where a meter would curtail waste, but for those who are careful and wise in their consumption, there should be a better way than charging the ‘minimum fee’, even if the actual consumption is far below that level.

    I think a system might be workable where,
    1. a household using a very conservative amount of water pays nothing.
    2. a household using an average amount of water pays a fair rate, based on usage.
    3. a household using an excessive amount of water pays a higher fee.

    A system such as this would promote water conservation, resulting in lower costs for the municipality or city.

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