Monday, August 26, 2019

CityWest looks to address and clarify concerns over PST overcharge issues

CityWest's financial coffers were a little more flush than they should have been for the last six years and now the Prince Rupert based communications company is working through its account listings, trying to determine just how much of an  overage each customer has been charged.

The accounting error that was not in your favour, came to light after CityWest discovered at the end of January that PST had been charged for some of their additional phone features, products that actually are exempt from provincial taxation.

In letters to customers on the issue, CityWest noted that the features involved  a range of phone services such as voicemail and call waiting to name a few.

The correspondences were sent out to those customers that have been affected, with CityWest noting that the average refund will come to $61 per customer over the course of 4 years which CityWest notes is about .79 cents per month.

As the money has been forwarded to the Provincial government, the process of refunds however will have to come from provincial side; with regulations noting that credit is only available from a four year period back from when residents will submit their paperwork and proof of being overcharged.

That does however leave some of the timeline out of the scope of the provincial rules, as CityWest commenced with their remittance to the provincial treasury in 2013, the provincial guidelines leave a two year gap (2013-2015) where the province will not be providing for any refund for the taxes collected.

Some background on the provincial regulations can be explored here.

CityWest outlined some of the background to the issue in a Facebook post over the weekend, the main element of the post highlighting the inconvenience that it has provided for customers and how they have attempted to make the refund request process as easy as possible for those customers that have been affected.

"We would like to emphasize that the PST we collected on behalf of the government was remitted directly to the government. Since the PST has already been sent to the government, our customers must apply directly to the government to get the money back. 

We known this is an inconvenience for our customers, so we took steps to ensure that the process to get a refund is as convenient as possible; that is why we included a government-approved schedule of payments on the back of the letter we sent out"

Customers can contact CityWest for further guidance on how they can access the Provincial refund program, or if they have further inquiries about the situation.

For the most part, the reaction to the taxation mis-step has been that of understanding, with the majority of those responding to the CityWest Facebook post taking an understanding tone, though a few still suggest that CityWest should attempt to do more to redress the situation, particularly for those years that are out of the scope of the provincial regulations.

You can explore those contributions here.

For more items of interest related to CityWest see our archive page here.

To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

1 comment:

  1. It's great that City West is helping customers claim the refund from The Government, however this is only going back four years. Taxes prior to that City West must refund if Government won't give the money back. City West charged customers in error but it doesn't matter what the government does. City West must refund out of their own own coffers, no if's and's or but's.