Maximum Collision owner Carl Jamieson was refunded more than $25

Maximum Collision owner Carl Jamieson was refunded more than $25

Gas supplier forced to repay Abbotsford company $25,000

Business paid three times the market rate for gas after an employee unwittingly signed a five-year contract without authorization.

An Abbotsford businessowner is urging gas customers to check their invoices after winning a protracted battle against a third-party provider who had him paying triple the normal gas rate.

Earlier this month, Maximum Collision owner Carl Jamieson finally received a cheque for more than $25,000 in overpaid gas charges.

Jamieson had unknowingly overpaid for gas for more than three years after an employee had unwittingly – and without authorization – signed a five-year contract in March of 2010.

That contract was brought to Jamieson’s attention a month later, and he thought he had cancelled his contract with the company, Active Energy.

Unbeknownst to Jamieson, though, the company had opened a second account for the business. And unlike the cancelled account, which was to provide gas to an office fireplace, the second heated Jamieson’s entire body shop.

Heating costs immediately tripled, but the additional expenses were masked by the size of the business and went unnoticed by Jamieson’s bookkeeper. The gas invoices still came from Fortis, with only a single line of text suggesting anything had changed.

The ensuing three years saw Active Energy, also known as Active Renewable Marketing Ltd., draw the ire of gas customers around British Columbia.

In 2011 the owner of a Burnaby auto repair shop found that her gas bills had skyrocketed after the company became her supplier. The contract with the company bore an owner’s signature that appeared to have been misspelled.

And in 2012, Cranbrook RCMP launched a fraud investigation that found allegedly forged signatures on contracts between businesses and Active Energy. Around the same time, the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) had established a compliance inquiry into 24 different customer disputes against the company.

Jamieson, though, didn’t know he was a possible victim until last December, when a company called Access Gas wrote to inform him that it had acquired his contract. (Active Energy and Access Gas applied in November to have the latter company acquire the contracts of the former.)

“I said wait a minute, I don’t have any dealings with these people,” Jamieson said.

After learning he actually did have still a contract on the books – and that the contract had him paying three times the normal rate – Jamieson asked the BCUC to force Access Gas to pay him back.

Jamieson argued the contract was invalid as the signing employee lacked the authority to enter into such a contract. .

After dozens of calls, Jamieson offered to drop the issue if Access Gas paid back 90 per cent of what its new acquisition had overcharged. Access offered 25 per cent.

That offer only solidified Jamieson’s resolve. In April, the BCUC ruled in his favour and ordered Access to repay the money. An appeal failed and Jamieson finally received a cheque earlier this month.

Having won his battle, Jamieson wants other businesses who may have been victimized to know it’s not too late to reclaim overpayments.

“I think there are others that don’t know,” he said.

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read