As of Jan. 1, 2019, PUC will no longer be accepting your cold, hard, cash.
PUC Customer Engagement and Corporate Communications Manager Giordan Zin told SaultOnline that this decision was made due to the declining number of people who visit the office to pay their bills, less so who pay in cash. Currently, only approximately two per cent of people use this as a form of payment.
“It’s a very, very small percentage and we’ve been seeing that number shrink and shrink over the years,” he said. “So, for us, we saw this as an opportunity to stop offering a service that wasn’t very popular and reallocate those resources to offer different services that, from our engagement with customers, that they’d be interested in seeing.”
Some of those services include rolling out a brand new website in the new year, that includes an online chat portal and an online sign-up portal for PUC services.
“This just seemed like a win-win for us,” he said. “We’re able to expand into areas where we’re hearing from customers that they actually want to improve service, so through web portals, that sort of stuff, to kind of get our website into the 21st century and offer the services that people expect it to other places.”
PUC customers are encouraged to pay their bills via pre-authorized debit through their banks, which Zin explained is what most people already do. If you still want to pay in cash, Zin suggests doing so through the bank as well. Cheques can also be dropped off at PUC’s payment drop boxes, located in front of the Canada Post at 451 Queen St. E., or at the PUC building itself. Payments can also be made over the phone via credit card.
Zin said if people worry about pre-authorized payments due to fluctuation, the best thing to do would be the equal payment plan,so they’re aware of exactly how much is coming out and when.
This change shouldn’t come as a shock to customers, as there have been notices up in the PUC office since October, as well as information pamphlets on each option available to them.
Zin said this change will keep PUC in line with other utilities and businesses, such as Union Gas and Algoma Power, that don’t take cash payments in-office.
“For us, it’s a way that we’ve been able to expand our services without affecting the rate payers,” he said.
For more information on PUC, visit their website here.