Every month, I receive an email from BC Hydro. Here it is.
- Make a payment (from your bank account by entering transit number, instituion number, and account number — essentially paying by cheque, in 2022 … but, okay)
- See my payment options (Online banking, direct withdrawal, pre-authorized payments, equal payment plan, credit card, by mail, at a Service BC location (outside the Lower Mainland), Electronic Funds Transfer — fair enough, but I have never used any of these; I just want to see the bill, get the amount, and pay via my bank’s site)
- View your detailed bill — yes, please! I mean, can’t you just attach it to the email? Thanks.
- View your electricity use — this would, presumably, be on my bill
- Join Team Power Smart. Um, what?
- Set up pre-authorized payments — fair enough
- Phone scam info. Okay, but you sent me an email
- Payment options for my bill (again?)
- Move or cancel account
- How to read my detailed bill — well, if I had the bill I’d be able to follow along, right?
- Get help. I feel I need it at this point. But probably not the kind of help they have in mind
I want to view my bill — I don’t care so much how “detailed” it is, and wish they’d just attached it to the email, but I click or tap the button. This is what I see, after signing in:
Keep in mind that I clicked/tapped a button in the email that said “View your detailed bill”. I kind of expect that I might, you know, see my bill. But no. I won’t bother to inventory the absolute mess of information that is irrelevant to my task here. Here is what I have to scan to find, every month:
Question: How is “View my bill” distinct from the original “View your detailed bill”? Where along the way did I lose the detail? What detail? Is it important? Okay, well, I guess I’ll settle for my dumbed-down bill: remember, all I really want is the amount so I can … oh yeah, pay the bill.
So I click/tap the teensy little button that BC Hydro apparently does not want me to see — for reasons I can’t guess. Don’t they want my money? Why is “Starting a Challenge” or “Joining the Team” (is this the Electricity Olympics?), or contests, or consumption — only the last 7 days, mind you; is this a teaser for the “detail” initially mentioned … why are any of these things and more, more important than what I was initially promised? Wait, what was that? Oh yeah, my bill. So, the microscopic button leads here:
This is only the content that fits on my 5K display. But once again, I’ve been sold a false promise: “View my bill” actually should read “Display yet another messy page of crap that really has nothing to do with your bill or anything else you might be interested in” — but maybe that (a) didn’t fit in the button; and (b) would have been too large a target, distracting from the truly important information on the page, like kWh and the projected cost of my next bill.
It seems that a once-a-month task provides just enough time to forget exactly where the thing I was looking might be located on the page (as far as I recall, this mess hasn’t changed in years; the incompetent consultants who put this together may have long-since retired to a tropical isle). But oh yeah, there it is!
Recall: I have been offered:
- “View your detailed bill” (email)
- “View my bill” (after authentication … also, why has “your” changed to “my”?)
- “View PDF bill”
So clicking/tapping the link, will I see my/your detailed/not-detailed/summary bill? It’s a mystery but at last I have reached my destination.
Dear BC Hydro: Just Attach My (Your?) Fucking Bill To The Email, OK?