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Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate Representing PA consumers in matters involving their utility service. Policy: https://bit.ly/2k14sAU The Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) is a state government agency that represents the interests of Pennsylvania utility consumers before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), federal regulatory agencies, and state and federal courts.

The OCA was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1976 and is an independent office within the Office of Attorney General.

Operating as usual

Struggling to pay your water and/or wastewater service? You may be eligible for assistance through LIHWAP. This program ...
03/18/2022

Struggling to pay your water and/or wastewater service? You may be eligible for assistance through LIHWAP. This program is designed to assist low-income families pay outstanding water and/or wastewater bills. Apply by visiting: https://bit.ly/3tOUmoj

A leaky showerhead that drips at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. #FixaLeakWeek Replace your s...
03/17/2022

A leaky showerhead that drips at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. #FixaLeakWeek Replace your showerhead (and add Teflon tape): https://bit.ly/3i1kKpC

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled a telephonic Public Input Hearing to gather information regardi...
03/17/2022

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled a telephonic Public Input Hearing to gather information regarding the proposed acquisition of East Whiteland Township Wastewater System by Aqua Wastewater on March 22 at 6pm. To participate you must register by March 21 at noon. https://bit.ly/3Cxz0jr

03/16/2022
www.epa.gov

One method to discovering water leaks is to check your meter before & after a two-hour period of no water use. If the meter read is not exactly the same, you probably have a leak. For more helpful tips on identifying leaks: https://bit.ly/3KAAhJ5 #FixaLeakWeek

#TuesdayTip Participate this #FixaLeakWeek by taking the EPA WaterSense’s “Detect & Chase Down Leaks” 10 minute WaterSen...
03/15/2022

#TuesdayTip Participate this #FixaLeakWeek by taking the EPA WaterSense’s “Detect & Chase Down Leaks” 10 minute WaterSense Challenge. https://bit.ly/3vZeN4v

DYK the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year? Follow along with us...
03/14/2022
Fix a Leak with WaterSense!

DYK the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year? Follow along with us for #FixaLeakWeek beginning today through March 20 for tips on how you can find leaks & save water all year long.

NOTE: This video only contains music. There are no captions. Every March, during Fix a Leak Week, the EPA’s WaterSense program encourages Americans to check ...

Did you adjust your clocks for #DaylightSavingsTime? Consider also using this as a reminder to change the batteries in t...
03/13/2022

Did you adjust your clocks for #DaylightSavingsTime? Consider also using this as a reminder to change the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home!

As we close out #NCPW2022, we encourage consumers to stay vigilant to potential scams. If you are ever unsure or think y...
03/12/2022

As we close out #NCPW2022, we encourage consumers to stay vigilant to potential scams. If you are ever unsure or think you have been a victim of a scam, contact the OCA (https://bit.ly/342r1xO) or the @PAAttorneyGen’s office (https://bit.ly/3IAlvlc). We are here to assist you!

Keep utility customer service numbers handy. The numbers can be found on your utility bills & should always be used when...
03/11/2022

Keep utility customer service numbers handy. The numbers can be found on your utility bills & should always be used when you call your utilities. A scammer posing as a utility representative may give you a number to call so they can gain your account and/or banking information #NCPW2022

Scammers may try to obtain personal information from you claiming a “system error”. Utilities will never call customers ...
03/10/2022

Scammers may try to obtain personal information from you claiming a “system error”. Utilities will never call customers and ask for personal or financial information #NCPW2022 Utilities United Against Scams

Consumer Alert: As Utility Costs Go Up, Thousands of Pennsylvanians Can Cut Their Bill
03/09/2022
Consumer Alert: As Utility Costs Go Up, Thousands of Pennsylvanians Can Cut Their Bill

Consumer Alert: As Utility Costs Go Up, Thousands of Pennsylvanians Can Cut Their Bill

HARRISBURG – Today, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Acting Consumer Advocate Patrick Cicero urged Pennsylvanians struggling to pay their utility bills to use available programs that can provide relief. They also called on the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to use unspent funds for an ...

Patrick Cicero and Bill Johnston-Walsh: Best defense against home heating bills is a good offense.
03/09/2022
Patrick Cicero and Bill Johnston-Walsh: Best defense against home heating bills is a good offense

Patrick Cicero and Bill Johnston-Walsh: Best defense against home heating bills is a good offense.

With rising oil and gas prices, inflation woes and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, these winter months are proving difficult for many Pennsylvania families, especially the 50-plus community. That’s why AARP Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate recently teamed up for a t...

Is a scammer asking for immediate payment to mobile payment applications like Venmo, CashApp or Zelle to halt terminatio...
03/09/2022

Is a scammer asking for immediate payment to mobile payment applications like Venmo, CashApp or Zelle to halt termination? Your utility company will not do this. Utilities are required to 1) send customers past due balance notices and disconnection notices; 2) they don’t demand immediate payment to stop disconnection; and, 3) they do not request payment by mobile apps. #NCPW2022

#TuesdayTip Watch for important information from your electric company regarding the eligible customer list (ECL). If yo...
03/08/2022

#TuesdayTip Watch for important information from your electric company regarding the eligible customer list (ECL). If you don’t “opt out” of the ECL, your electric company will provide certain account information to electric generation suppliers who request it. If you want more information, contact your electric utility to ask them about how to opt out.

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program has replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit. After March 1 most households wo...
03/07/2022
Affordable Connectivity Program

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program has replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit. After March 1 most households won’t have to take any action to keep receiving the $30 ACP monthly benefit. Your service provider will contact you to let you know if you need to take any additional steps in order to continue receiving the @FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program benefit. Details here: fcc.gov/ACP

Congress recently created the Affordable Connectivity Program, a long-term, $14 billion program, which will replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. This investment in broadband affordability will help ensure we can afford the internet connections we need for work, school, health care and mo...

Is your phone more than a few years old? If the device runs on a 3G network, you may need to upgrade to avoid losing ser...
03/07/2022

Is your phone more than a few years old? If the device runs on a 3G network, you may need to upgrade to avoid losing service. Most 3G phase outs are due to be completed by the end of 2022. Prepare now by educating yourself on if/how this transition will affect you. #NCPW2022

The PA OCA is promoting consumer education during National Consumer Protection Week, (March 6 – March 12). Know your rig...
03/06/2022

The PA OCA is promoting consumer education during National Consumer Protection Week, (March 6 – March 12). Know your rights and avoid scams. Visit consumer.ftc.gov for #ConsumerProtection tips and materials! #NCPW2022

Heating assistance is still available through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)! You do NOT have to...
03/03/2022

Heating assistance is still available through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)! You do NOT have to be behind on bills or shut-off to qualify for financial assistance. For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/3pzxPe7.

ATTN: Met-Ed, PECO, Penelec, Penn Power, Pike County Light & Power, UGI Utilities, Inc. & West Penn Power customers: Did...
03/02/2022

ATTN: Met-Ed, PECO, Penelec, Penn Power, Pike County Light & Power, UGI Utilities, Inc. & West Penn Power customers: Did your Price-To-Compare change March 1?

#TuesdayTip Can you remember the last time you cleaned or replaced your furnace filter? A dirty filter can make your hea...
03/01/2022

#TuesdayTip Can you remember the last time you cleaned or replaced your furnace filter? A dirty filter can make your heating system less efficient which could cost you more money. Find your local weatherization agency who may be able to help.

Are you impacted by the @UGI_Utilities Gas proposed #rateincrease? Call OCA (1-800-684-6540) to learn how you can get in...
02/28/2022

Are you impacted by the @UGI_Utilities Gas proposed #rateincrease? Call OCA (1-800-684-6540) to learn how you can get involved & stay up-to-date on case-related information

The Affordable Connectivity Program is designed to assist households struggling to afford internet service during the CO...
02/25/2022
Emergency Broadband Benefit – What Is It and How Does It Work

The Affordable Connectivity Program is designed to assist households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. #GetConnectedStayConnected Learn more about the program:

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel discusses the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Starting on May 12, 2021, the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit...

The PA PUC is holding a telephonic public meeting today at 10 am. For more information:
02/24/2022

The PA PUC is holding a telephonic public meeting today at 10 am. For more information:

If you are at risk for eviction or loss of utility service or have unstable housing, help is available through the Emerg...
02/23/2022

If you are at risk for eviction or loss of utility service or have unstable housing, help is available through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (http://dhs.pa.gov/erap) and PA Homeowner Assistance Fund (https://pahaf.org/).

#TuesdayTip #WinterStormTip: If you experience a power outage, contact your utility.  Don't assume they know about the o...
02/22/2022

#TuesdayTip #WinterStormTip: If you experience a power outage, contact your utility. Don't assume they know about the outage or that others have already called. If lines are down, stay away from fallen wires or anything that is in contact with the wire such as a tree limb.

In observance of Presidents’ Day, the PA OCA is closed today. We will reopen tomorrow, February 22.
02/21/2022

In observance of Presidents’ Day, the PA OCA is closed today. We will reopen tomorrow, February 22.

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys to serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. For job details & learn how you can ...
02/18/2022

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys to serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. For job details & learn how you can apply, visit: https://t.co/j5oETMszsu

There is still time to apply for LIHEAP! Take advantage of this emergency program designed to assist low-income househol...
02/17/2022

There is still time to apply for LIHEAP! Take advantage of this emergency program designed to assist low-income households pay their heating bills this #winter. Learn more by visiting: https://bit.ly/34CPLNn

DYK you can text 9-1-1? While voice calls are still preferred if you are ever in a situation that calling could be dange...
02/16/2022

DYK you can text 9-1-1? While voice calls are still preferred if you are ever in a situation that calling could be dangerous, use a cell phone to text your name, emergency type, location & individuals involved. Check to see if the program is available in your county: https://bit.ly/3oBWYUS

#TuesdayTip Smell rotten eggs but it isn't coming from your fridge? This could indicate a gas leak. Act fast! Leave the ...
02/15/2022

#TuesdayTip Smell rotten eggs but it isn't coming from your fridge? This could indicate a gas leak. Act fast! Leave the property immediately and call your natural gas company to alert them of the potential risk.

At what point will you love to change your light bulbs most? When sparks fly! #HappyValentinesDay
02/14/2022

At what point will you love to change your light bulbs most? When sparks fly! #HappyValentinesDay

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) can help families with low incomes pay outstanding water & wa...
02/12/2022

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) can help families with low incomes pay outstanding water & wastewater bills. Learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting: http://dhs.pa.gov/LIHWAP

Happy 2-1-1 Day! 2-1-1 is an information and referral service for consumers throughout PA to call, web chat, or text for...
02/11/2022

Happy 2-1-1 Day! 2-1-1 is an information and referral service for consumers throughout PA to call, web chat, or text for assistance 24/7. https://www.211.org/

Overwhelmed by high bills this winter? Take a deep breath and know there are options available to you. #WinterWeather
02/09/2022

Overwhelmed by high bills this winter? Take a deep breath and know there are options available to you. #WinterWeather

Do you have an older device that runs off 3G network services? Prepare now as the phase outs begin!
02/08/2022

Do you have an older device that runs off 3G network services? Prepare now as the phase outs begin!

Address

555 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA
17101

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 5pm
Thursday 8:30am - 5pm
Friday 8:30am - 5pm

Telephone

+18006846560

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Comments

Today the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, an arm of my Office, announced it has filed a Formal Complaint against Aqua Pennsylvania’s proposed water and wastewater rate increase requests. This will be a burden to Pennsylvanians. An investigation is needed to determine how much increase, if any, is justifiable.
John Lewis at the “Door of No Return” in Ghana: “we may have come to America in different ships, but now we are all in the same boat. “ I miss his kindness, his greatness, his love for our country and his staunch defense of our democratic process.
Registration Deadline is JUNE 4 for telephonic hearings scheduled to gather public input from PECO Electric customers. Register by contacting Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate Details at https://www.puc.pa.gov/press-release/2021/puc-reminds-southeastern-pa-consumers-about-public-input-hearings-on-peco-rate-increase-request
Community Utilities of Pennsylvania, Inc. has filed for a rate increase with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. There are approximately 4,000 wastewater Community Utilities of PA customers in West Bradford Township. Please follow along with the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate for how you can get involved and learn more about the requested rate increase below.
Thank you to Rep. Leanne Krueger and Rep. John Lawrence for hosting a joint public hearing on public utility acquisitions this morning. During the hearing, support was shared for my House Bill 144 by the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate. This legislation would ensure ratepayers have a say in the process during a proposed water utility acquisition. View the hearing at the link below. 💧More on HB 144 here: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2021&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=0144 SAVE CWA
We are joining Royersford Borough and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. via a telephonic hearing to hear public input on our recent application to acquire the Royersford Borough wastewater system. Read more details and see how you can participate here: http://ow.ly/xjzY50CSujJ. If you wish to speak at the public input hearing, please contact the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) at 1-800-684-6560 by Jan. 6, 2021 to register as a witness.
At the request of State Senator Judy Schwank (D-11th district), the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate will intercede on behalf of ratepayers in a case involving the Pennsylvania American Water Company’s request to increase its overall water and wastewater rates.
Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell today joined Attorney General Josh Shapiro and others to help kick off National Consumer Protection Week. Secretary Hassell discussed how to avoid common tax scams, particularly those prevalent during tax season. He was joined by officials from the PA Banking and Securities, Pennsylvania Department of Aging, Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate and AARP Pennsylvania Office. Employees from the Revenue Fraud Detection & Analysis Unit were also on hand with information on how to safeguard against identity theft. Learn more about National Consumer Protection Week at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/national-consumer-protection-week Find other helpful tips to protect yourself against identity theft on the Revenue website: https://www.revenue.pa.gov/GetAssistance/IDTheftProtectionAndVictimAssistance/Pages/default.aspx.
WATCH OUT FOR WALMART.COM!!! WALMART.COM REFUSES TO RETURN MY MONEY TO PAYPAL....A LONG UNFINISHED STORY... i wish you would read it...maybe you or someone you know can help resolve it. Friends and Anyone Else, First, WARNING: do not buy anything of value from Walmart.com. If there is any complication, you may have to go thru hell just to never get your money refunded. Walmart.com is run separately from the stores. This complaint is not about a store.... it is SPECIFICALLY ABOUT WALMART.COM. THOUGH STORE 5200 PROBABLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROBLEM IN SOME ADMITTEDLY UNKNOWN WAY. Further, when you need help with Walmart.com purchases you have to communicate with people who are a bit hard to understand. (Apparently, Walmart.com has "off-shored" their customer service. ) The people I have communicated with via email or phone can only handle one aspect of a problem. What they mean to say about the problem in the emails is not always clear. You do not get a person who will look at ALL the evidence and follow-up. You are always dealing with a different person. They owe me about $56 for a defective shaver I returned. Here's the story. On February 27, 2019, I bought online at Walmart.com a shaver (retail $59.97) and a 3-year protection coverage ($7.00) for the shaver. This came to $64.22 because i have to pay Pennsylvania sales tax and then I had a 10% off coupon. A defective shaver was sent to us. I had numerous email chats with employees at Walmart.com. I kept copies of the emails. I could never get an assurance they would send me a replacement, then they were going to send a return shipping label, which i did ultimately get, then they repeatedly asked me if I wanted a replacement,and I said I did! Finally, it turns out they ended up making 3 orders to send me a replacement. (Obviously, one rep there does not check on what another one has don.) I was very unsure about dealing with the Walmart.com people any further so I decided to return the shaver to the store. On March 22, 2019 I returned it to Store 5200 on the Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the Returns counter at the store. Actually, that wasn't easy either. It took three clerical staff almost an hour to finally process the return. Finally, I gave them the defective shaver and the shipping label and they wanted it to be over. I insisted that I wanted proof that I returned the shaver to the store in case Walmart.com said it was never returned..... which they did finally give me. They gave me a very little piece of paper called "Return to Claims Slip" and subtitled "Returned Entry". It was a little piece of that thermal paper (the kind that ink fades) printed with the shaver name and model, store number, some codes i do not know, the list price for the shaver 59.97 and two lines -- one said Refund with hyphens after it and one said Exchange with hyphens after it. There was NO indication that I received any refund or an exchange in that transaction. About a month after this I phoned Walmart.com. The first fellow, "Vince" cancelled an order which Walmart.com set up and then hung up on me. The second fellow, "Chris" tried to be more helpful. Chris did a reorder of the shaver, gave me an $8.95 credit and I paid for a replacement shaver with my Paypal account. I don't think we made any progress with the refund problem but I was glad to complete a real reorder. (That replacement came, the package looks good, but I think my husband is afraid to open it and use it now that we have have this "nightmare" with Walmart.com) A day or so later, I called Walmart.com again because I still want my $64.22 to be returned. I spoke to "Charlie" who after reviewing everything, mentioning the return "receipt" that Store 5200 gave me. "Charlie" said that Walmart.com had no record of receiving the shaver back and that I should email a copy of the receipt to Walmart.com. I did that immediately. Some hours later, I received an email informing me that Walmart.com was returning (only) $7.42 to my Paypal account. I was and still am pretty angry about this extended brouhaha. I reminded them of the difference still owed to me and that if I didn't get the rest of my money back I would complain to the Better Business Bureau or a government agency. No response from Walmart.com. The next day I came to the conclusion that they think the "Return to Claims Slip" means I received $59.97 back. So I emailed them back with sequential details and now requesting $64.22 minus $7.42 or $56.80 to be returned to my Paypal account. No response from Walmart.com. This is where it's at. I feel like I owe a duty to everyone to know about Walmart.com's and Walmart's practices. There is a certain wry humor in reliving and reading this account. You can be sure that I will pursue other avenues. Not sure that the BBB would deal with an international company like Walmart.com so I may have to contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office. If you read this far, thanks and wish me luck. $56 isn't much money in today's world but I sure can use it!
Concerns over Rivercrest water owned by Aqua. We have live here 42 years. 10 years ago my husband developed renal cell carcinoma. Since then I found out 3 other people developed it within a few houses of us. Our dog passed away of kidney failure. I just found out a neighbors dog passed of kidney cancer. This is frightening!
My husband and I are seniors, both with heart conditions. When we bought our appliances from Sears 9 years ago, we also purchased a Warranty Protection Agreement. It covers ten major appliances and we have paid thousands of dollars for the supposed "peace of mind." Our central air-conditioning broke in early June, 2017. A call to Sears required a two-week wait for a technician during a heat wave. He said we needed a new compressor, a two-man job. An additional two and a half week wait through another heat wave (89 degrees in the house) brought the installation of the new compressor. It worked for ten days. Another call to Sears told us it would be a 3 week wait for someone to come and "check" it. They offered us Shop Your Way points for a room air conditioner - we had to pay for installation and delivery. Now at least we can sleep. They also suggested we hire an alternate service provider to come and troubleshoot - we did (two different ones) and the Sears PABA supervisor would not approve the repairs needed, each estimated at close to $5000. We had to pay the providers $409 and $412 respectively - each was kept on the phone by Sears for more than an hour trying to explain and get approval for the repairs, only to be declined. Neither will come back. So now we wait through the latest heat wave, with the news telling elderly people to stay inside in air-conditioning, for August and Sears just to "see" what the problem is. No doubt we will wait some more after they decide what to do. I have made 21 phone calls, mostly to foreign help desk people who say "We understand but we cannot get there until August." When I ask to speak to a supervisor they often hang up and when I call back, I have to start all over again because "Sean"or "Mary" is not reachable. Our Extended Warranty Protection plan has cost us enough to have purchased a new system. I am planning to post this on every website I can find and will contact our local ABC affiliate.