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Living in Quebec we were customers of Hydro-Quebec, the state monopoly electricity utility.  Unsurprisingly for a monopoly, Hydro-Quebec does not know how to deal respectfully with customers, particularly with privacy:  you can’t opt-out from their spam – the dead tree as well as the electronic varieties.

They had a web-based “personal page” with information about your electricity consumption, electricity saving tips, and a few transactional functionalities.  However the service came with a string attached:  the registered email address ended up on their spamming list.  No opt-out possible.  After trying with customer service I had no choice but to edit an invalid email address into my profile.  That was five years ago.

Fast-forward today.  To disconnect service before moving I logged on to the “personal page”.  I re-instated a valid email address to get notifications regarding the disconnection.  I assumed that disconnection / closing of the account would also close the “personal page” and the spam problem.  I paid my last bill, moved out of province and forgot about Hydro-Quebec.

Until today their spam landed in my inbox again.  Five years later, still no way to opt-out.  Worse: because I am disconnected and don’t have a contract anymore, I can’t edit nor delete my “personal page”, even if it is empty.  Lucky me the valid email address I gave them is just an alias that is now diverted to /dev/nul at the server.

I wrote this post while waiting on the phone for one of their customer service representative.  The post was finished long before I could speak with somebody there.  What a spammer, Hydro-Quebec!

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