Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate was established in 1976 to represent the consumers of Pennsylvania in matters involving their utility services.

View our Social Media Policy: 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

It’s #LifelineAwarenessWeek! This telephone program is designed to assist low income customers afford access to communic...
09/20/2021

It’s #LifelineAwarenessWeek! This telephone program is designed to assist low income customers afford access to communication services. For more tips & information about the program, follow along with us throughout the week!

It’s #LifelineAwarenessWeek! This telephone program is designed to assist low income customers afford access to communication services. For more tips & information about the program, follow along with us throughout the week!

Are you an experienced Attorney looking for work? We are hiring! For additional details & to learn how to apply: https:/...
09/17/2021

Are you an experienced Attorney looking for work? We are hiring! For additional details & to learn how to apply: https://bit.ly/3DWhhlP

Are you an experienced Attorney looking for work? We are hiring! For additional details & to learn how to apply: https://bit.ly/3DWhhlP

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program? This new program is designed to assist households struggling ...
09/16/2021

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program? This new program is designed to assist households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the program & check your eligibility: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program? This new program is designed to assist households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the program & check your eligibility: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

Members of the PA OCA will be traveling throughout Pennsylvania for the remainder of the week to various consumer educat...
09/16/2021

Members of the PA OCA will be traveling throughout Pennsylvania for the remainder of the week to various consumer education events. Find out where we will be by visiting: https://www.oca.pa.gov/events/

Members of the PA OCA will be traveling throughout Pennsylvania for the remainder of the week to various consumer education events. Find out where we will be by visiting: https://www.oca.pa.gov/events/

Timeline Photos
09/15/2021

Timeline Photos

The next telephonic PUC Public Meeting will be held on WEDNESDAY, September 15 at 10 AM. Interested parties can listen to the meeting by calling 1-888-917-8050, and then entering passcode 9570961# Agenda: http://ow.ly/bl5N50G9F62

#TuesdayTip Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go ...
09/14/2021

#TuesdayTip Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate. Visit: www.ready.gov/be-informed.

#TuesdayTip Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate. Visit: www.ready.gov/be-informed.

On August 20, 2021, Aqua filed a proposed rate increase request at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If the re...
09/13/2021

On August 20, 2021, Aqua filed a proposed rate increase request at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If the request is approved as written, the company could collect an additional $98 million per year in operating revenues by both water (approx. 450,000) and wastewater (approx. 40,000) customers in portions of 32 counties across Pennsylvania. Our office has filed a formal complaint (https://bit.ly/3Ec4Q5v). To learn how you can get involved and to be placed on our mailing list, call 1-800-684-6560.

On August 20, 2021, Aqua filed a proposed rate increase request at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If the request is approved as written, the company could collect an additional $98 million per year in operating revenues by both water (approx. 450,000) and wastewater (approx. 40,000) customers in portions of 32 counties across Pennsylvania. Our office has filed a formal complaint (https://bit.ly/3Ec4Q5v). To learn how you can get involved and to be placed on our mailing list, call 1-800-684-6560.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help you cover:🏠 Rent⚠️ Past due and upcoming rent balances🔌 Utility ...
09/09/2021

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help you cover:
🏠 Rent
⚠️ Past due and upcoming rent balances
🔌 Utility and home energy costs
💵 and other expenses related to housing.
Learn more about what’s covered and how to apply at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help you cover:
🏠 Rent
⚠️ Past due and upcoming rent balances
🔌 Utility and home energy costs
💵 and other expenses related to housing.
Learn more about what’s covered and how to apply at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

#TuesdayTip Week 2 of National Preparedness Month is building an emergency survival kit. Need help building yours? Ready...
09/07/2021

#TuesdayTip Week 2 of National Preparedness Month is building an emergency survival kit. Need help building yours? Ready has provided a recommended item checklist for your household to review. https://bit.ly/2XYuAlm

#TuesdayTip Week 2 of National Preparedness Month is building an emergency survival kit. Need help building yours? Ready has provided a recommended item checklist for your household to review. https://bit.ly/2XYuAlm

In observation of Labor Day, The PA OCA will be closed today, September 6. We will reopen tomorrow, September 7.
09/06/2021

In observation of Labor Day, The PA OCA will be closed today, September 6. We will reopen tomorrow, September 7.

In observation of Labor Day, The PA OCA will be closed today, September 6. We will reopen tomorrow, September 7.

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys to serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. To view more information & learn how...
09/03/2021

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys to serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. To view more information & learn how to apply: https://bit.ly/2XYUnd9

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys to serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. To view more information & learn how to apply: https://bit.ly/2XYUnd9

DYK September is National Preparedness Month? Week 1 is dedicated to making a plan. Ready recommends researching what ty...
09/01/2021

DYK September is National Preparedness Month? Week 1 is dedicated to making a plan. Ready recommends researching what type of disaster can impact your area and establishing the proper course of action for each one possible scenario. For more tips: https://www.ready.gov/plan

DYK September is National Preparedness Month? Week 1 is dedicated to making a plan. Ready recommends researching what type of disaster can impact your area and establishing the proper course of action for each one possible scenario. For more tips: https://www.ready.gov/plan

#TuesdayTip Looking for ways to cut your energy costs? Turn off lights when they are not in use! Lighting can account fo...
08/31/2021

#TuesdayTip Looking for ways to cut your energy costs? Turn off lights when they are not in use! Lighting can account for up to 12% on a residential ele#tuesdaytipoftheday

#TuesdayTip Looking for ways to cut your energy costs? Turn off lights when they are not in use! Lighting can account for up to 12% on a residential ele#tuesdaytipoftheday

Timeline Photos
08/31/2021

Timeline Photos

As the remnants of #HurricaneIda move toward Pennsylvania, the Public Utility Commission urges residents to consider these #utility safety tips: http://ow.ly/wCUg50G1DWF

If you are at risk for eviction or loss of utility service or have unstable housing, help is available through the Emerg...
08/26/2021

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 (ERAP). Learn more about how to apply at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

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 (ERAP). Learn more about how to apply at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. To view the job description and learn h...
08/25/2021

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. To view the job description and learn how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3iHXbDv

The PA OCA is seeking full-time attorneys serve as Assistant Consumer Advocates. To view the job description and learn how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3iHXbDv

#TuesdayTip Use big appliances at night. Larger appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers can put out quite a bit o...
08/24/2021

#TuesdayTip Use big appliances at night. Larger appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers can put out quite a bit of heat. Waiting until it gets dark/or waiting until the late evening to run these appliances can save on cooling costs throughout the day.

#TuesdayTip Use big appliances at night. Larger appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers can put out quite a bit of heat. Waiting until it gets dark/or waiting until the late evening to run these appliances can save on cooling costs throughout the day.

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program? This new program is designed to assist households struggling ...
08/23/2021
Emergency Broadband Benefit

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program? This new program is designed to assist households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the program & check your eligibility: https://bit.ly/3z2tLpu

Congress has tasked the FCC with developing a new $3.2 billion program to help U.S. households that are struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. The FCC is mobilizing people and organizations to help share important consumer information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit. To pa...

#TuesdayTip Beat the heat with simple changes you can make at home #withoutbreakingthebank!
08/17/2021

#TuesdayTip Beat the heat with simple changes you can make at home #withoutbreakingthebank!

#TuesdayTip Beat the heat with simple changes you can make at home #withoutbreakingthebank!

Learn more about ERAP, which provides rental and utility assistance to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You...
08/16/2021

Learn more about ERAP, which provides rental and utility assistance to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out if you qualify, how to receive support and learn how to apply by calling 2-1-1 or by visiting dhs.pa.gov/erap.

Learn more about ERAP, which provides rental and utility assistance to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find out if you qualify, how to receive support and learn how to apply by calling 2-1-1 or by visiting dhs.pa.gov/erap.

Pennsylvanians may be eligible for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help with past and future rent/util...
08/13/2021
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Pennsylvanians may be eligible for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to help with past and future rent/utility costs. To apply, you’ll need the following info hand
• Personal identification information for the head of household. This could include a driver's license, state-issued ID card, passport, etc.
• Income information for all household members over the age of 18.
• Your lease and something to show the amount of rent you owe.
• Your landlord's name and contact information.
• Utility expenses like electric, water, oil, natural gas, etc.
• Utility provider information.
Get started on your application at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

A program offering rental and utility assistance to help Pennsylvanians avoid eviction or loss of utility service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is National #811 day.  This is a helpful reminder to always Dial (8-1-1) before you dig to ensure safety for all a...
08/11/2021

Today is National #811 day. This is a helpful reminder to always Dial (8-1-1) before you dig to ensure safety for all at home or business construction projects.

Today is National #811 day. This is a helpful reminder to always Dial (8-1-1) before you dig to ensure safety for all at home or business construction projects.

#TuesdayTip Set your refrigerator and freezer temperature to the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid excessive coolin...
08/10/2021

#TuesdayTip Set your refrigerator and freezer temperature to the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid excessive cooling & wasting energy.

#TuesdayTip Set your refrigerator and freezer temperature to the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid excessive cooling & wasting energy.

The CDC is issuing a new temporary order stopping evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission...
08/10/2021
COVID Data Tracker

The CDC is issuing a new temporary order stopping evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission through October 3. Currently there are 29 counties in PA covered by this extension. To view the impacted counties, visit: https://bit.ly/3jfBCcc. Counties that are NOT experiencing substantial transmission levels for 14 consecutive days will no longer be included in the order.

CDC’s home for COVID-19 data. Visualizations, graphs, and data in one easy-to-use website.

Say Hello to OCA’s new (and improved) website! Our goal is provide helpful information in an easy-to-use format. Check i...
08/09/2021

Say Hello to OCA’s new (and improved) website! Our goal is provide helpful information in an easy-to-use format. Check it out: https://www.oca.pa.gov

Say Hello to OCA’s new (and improved) website! Our goal is provide helpful information in an easy-to-use format. Check it out: https://www.oca.pa.gov

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible fam...
08/06/2021
Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible families and households who are struggling to stay connected during the #COVID19 pandemic. Qualifying households on Tribal lands can receive a discount of up to $75 per month for service. Eligible households can also receive a discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. For more info, please visit: fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit. #DigitalDivide #BroadbandForAll

Congress has tasked the FCC with developing a new $3.2 billion program to help U.S. households that are struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. The FCC is mobilizing people and organizations to help share important consumer information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit. To pa...

Timeline Photos
08/05/2021

Timeline Photos

The next telephonic PUC Public Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 5 at 10 AM. Interested parties can listen to the meeting by calling 1-888-917-8050, and then entering passcode 9570961# Agenda: http://ow.ly/bEjH50FKzut

#TuesdayTip Protect your utility account number! Do not give a door-to-door salesperson your utility bill or account num...
08/03/2021

#TuesdayTip Protect your utility account number! Do not give a door-to-door salesperson your utility bill or account number unless you are choosing to sign-up for their service.

#TuesdayTip Protect your utility account number! Do not give a door-to-door salesperson your utility bill or account number unless you are choosing to sign-up for their service.

Have you lost income due to COVID-19? The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created to help renters dealing...
07/28/2021
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Have you lost income due to COVID-19? The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Pennsylvanians avoid eviction or loss of utility service. Get more info at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

A program offering rental and utility assistance to help Pennsylvanians avoid eviction or loss of utility service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help you cover:🏠 Rent⚠️ Past due and upcoming rent balances🔌 Utility ...
07/16/2021

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help you cover:
🏠 Rent
⚠️ Past due and upcoming rent balances
🔌 Utility and home energy costs
💵 and other expenses related to housing.
Learn more about what’s covered and how to apply at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help you cover:
🏠 Rent
⚠️ Past due and upcoming rent balances
🔌 Utility and home energy costs
💵 and other expenses related to housing.
Learn more about what’s covered and how to apply at dhs.pa.gov/erap.

07/15/2021
www.puc.pa.gov

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission telephonic Public Meeting begins today at 10 am. For call-in information & to view today's agenda, visit: https://bit.ly/3hI6eE0

#TuesdayTip Prepare for possible summer storms by saving your electric utility’s contact information. The OCA recommends...
07/13/2021

#TuesdayTip Prepare for possible summer storms by saving your electric utility’s contact information. The OCA recommends keeping this information in case of weather emergencies a#TuesdayTip

#TuesdayTip Prepare for possible summer storms by saving your electric utility’s contact information. The OCA recommends keeping this information in case of weather emergencies a#TuesdayTip

Looking to for potential resources in your area? Dial 2-1-1. This line connects you with a variety of assistance service...
07/12/2021
PA 211 - Get Connected. Get Help.

Looking to for potential resources in your area? Dial 2-1-1. This line connects you with a variety of assistance service options that may be available to you; including utility, housing, food, counseling & more. https://www.pa211.org/

Need help and don't know where to start? Find resources to help you with your utilities bill, housing, food, employment, and more - all across PA.

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

(800) 684-6560

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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.
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.