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zebedee

Original Poster:

4,289 posts

162 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
These people turn up to read gas and elec, both meters being in the house. They are always unannounced and although they have a badge, anyone could make a badge. Do they have a right of entry or can I just tell them that I will provide a reading and if they MUST take one, they can at least tell me what week they intend to call, preferably what day?

In this day and age seems weird that these people expect to be able to get in and can't say I am too happy about it when my wife and young kids are home alone.

Muzzer

3,814 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
That's a bit paranoid TBH.

IINM, they will wait on your doorstep whilst you call the relevant utility company to confirm their identification if it worries you that much.

Engineer1

10,409 posts

93 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
You can ignore them they will go away however unless the meter is read by them with some regularity your estimated usage and hence bills could go stupid in one direction or another leaving either you owing them money or them owing you money.

Steve_W

829 posts

61 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
We get sent estimated bills since they hardly ever turn up when we're around. There's usually an option to call in to an automated line with the correct reading if they're way out in estimating - might work for you?

Laurel Green

17,685 posts

116 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
I think they have to inspect the meter at least once a year for safety purposes.
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GingerWizard

4,691 posts

82 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
zebedee said:
These people turn up to read gas and elec, both meters being in the house. They are always unannounced and although they have a badge, anyone could make a badge. Do they have a right of entry or can I just tell them that I will provide a reading and if they MUST take one, they can at least tell me what week they intend to call, preferably what day?

In this day and age seems weird that these people expect to be able to get in and can't say I am too happy about it when my wife and young kids are home alone.
stop smoking the ganja at home and open the bloody windows! failing that put the arse hammers away.....

zcacogp

10,923 posts

128 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
zebedee said:
These people turn up to read gas and elec, both meters being in the house. They are always unannounced and although they have a badge, anyone could make a badge. Do they have a right of entry or can I just tell them that I will provide a reading and if they MUST take one, they can at least tell me what week they intend to call, preferably what day?

In this day and age seems weird that these people expect to be able to get in and can't say I am too happy about it when my wife and young kids are home alone.
Against the tide here, but I agree with Zebedee. If a meter reader comes 'round I ask whether they have an appointment (no, they never do), and tell them to go away and make one to come back at a convenient time. They never do ...

Perhaps it's a bit of paranoia, but living in London I don't regularly let total strangers into my house unannounced. Particularly when they are the sort of low-rent type usually employed to do such a job. If the electricity/gas company sent me a letter a week or so in advance (or even an eMail - they do all the billing by eMail) telling me the guy was coming on such-and-such a day I may take a different attitude.


Oli.

Milky Bar Kid

137 posts

59 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
Given that I work for Eon changing electricity meters, I can see both sides of this I think. Meter readers are expected to do a few hundred reads a day. They will not know until at best the night before where they are going due to how our systems are run, ie badly, at the moment. Since they don't know where they will be, it's quite hard to book appointments, and given the expense involved, also not worth the company's time or effort to do so. This is also true for updating/changing meters that are positioned outside, as we don't need your presence to work on our own equipment.

However, having folk turn up unannounced is a PITA. We do all carry ID's which can be checked. There will be a freephone number, 08000322409 in my case, that you can ring and confirm a 3 digit pin with the person carrying the card. It is perfectly ok to lock them out whilst you do this. If the code they give is wrong, put the phone down and call the police ASAP, and they will respond as they and the companies get quite upset with people using false ID's.

Oh, the readers are also meant to be doing a quick safety check whilst on site too, although it is often just a case of seeing if wires are hanging out, or if you are obviously fiddling the meter.

If it really bothers you that much, then just do it all on-line yourself, or ring the automated phone system to hand your own readings in.

Edited by Milky Bar Kid on Wednesday 18th August 17:43

Shaid GTB

4,680 posts

61 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
How selfish can someone be to not even allow a meter reader 60 seconds of their day just to read a meter/carry out safety check which will ultimately benefit the end user frown

zebedee

Original Poster:

4,289 posts

162 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
Shaid GTB said:
How selfish can someone be to not even allow a meter reader 60 seconds of their day just to read a meter/carry out safety check which will ultimately benefit the end user frown
If you read the original post, it has nothing to do with selfishness, everything to do with paranoia (admittedly). I don't believe in inviting strangers into the house. Interesting to hear that the readers have no idea about where they are working until the day before, that seems bizarre. In any event, I gave meter readings 2 weeks ago, they sent a bill a week ago, yet they turned up today. No problem with them reading them and checking them, just don't understand why they can't tell you they are coming in advance.

miniman

16,974 posts

146 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
What do the terms and conditions of supply say about it?

poo at Paul's

3,203 posts

59 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
I always tell them to clear off! Well not like that, but my meter is in the garage along with about 80k worth of metal, most of it motorbikes.

On the one occasion I did open up for one of the goons to read the meter, he was gawping about like a kid in a sweetshop. No disrespect at all, but as I dont know him from Adam, and no idea where he came from (I note he was from one of these meter reading companies, not my supplier per se), I just felt uncomfortable.

So I now say its in the garage and I dont have a key, say I am the lodger or the wife has it.

I got a note left saying they needed to do a safety check, I ignored it. Never heard again.

I am with the OP on this one. I am very wary of who I let in my house and property, whether it is paranoia or not, it is my perogative as to whom I let in my gaff. If I need a new workman, I am very careful with my vetting and if I am at all unsure, I just dont use them. Even if they are straight and above board, who is to say all the blokes they hang around the boozer with are! If they start saying how nice a "garage full of toys" this bloke he went to see today has......?

So OP I can see where you are coming from.
One really suspicious looking and acting meter reader turned up to read my meter saying he was from a supplier we dont even have. I told him to clear off! Later that afternoon, a similar looking chap turned up to read my gas meter. We dont have gas!

I am sure this was an attempted scam, I did a check on the galaxy the secong guy was in and it came up as an unkown reg number!

So be careful, the scam men have been known to pose as meter readers.

Z4monster

1,286 posts

144 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
Someone local to me recently got evicted because they wouldn't officials into the property to read their meters. It is classed as a danger to property and the neighbours and in rented accomodation they can evict you.

Seems harsh but if you fiddle with a meter you can take out several houses without trying.(gas obviously)

Ask them for Id and check it. Or ask them to call back at another time. For the 60 seconds it takes to check or let them in it's not much hassle.

Pothole

20,230 posts

166 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
I always let them in. I sometimes make them tea. I have never been molested/attacked/had anything stolen and nor has my wife, or my kids.



















I don't have a wife. or kids.

scenario8

3,766 posts

63 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
They stole your wife and kids?!

Pothole

20,230 posts

166 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
scenario8 said:
They stole your wife and kids?!
no. If I had a wife, we would have children. Goats have kids.

Qcarchoo

325 posts

77 months

[news] 
Wednesday 18th August 2010 quote quote all
I would say that it's more likely that they might get molested/attacked. They must have to visit some pretty grim places.

Reminds me of the Monty Python 'Milkman' sketch.

Milky Bar Kid

137 posts

59 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th August 2010 quote quote all
poo at Paul's said:
One really suspicious looking and acting meter reader turned up to read my meter saying he was from a supplier we dont even have. I told him to clear off! Later that afternoon, a similar looking chap turned up to read my gas meter. We dont have gas!

I am sure this was an attempted scam, I did a check on the galaxy the secong guy was in and it came up as an unkown reg number!

So be careful, the scam men have been known to pose as meter readers.
This is exactly why we all carry photo ID cards. Anyone without it is clearing bogus and trying it on for some reason, quite possibly for a distraction theft.

GreenDog

2,061 posts

76 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th August 2010 quote quote all
Z4monster said:
Someone local to me recently got evicted because they wouldn't officials into the property to read their meters. It is classed as a danger to property and the neighbours and in rented accomodation they can evict you.

Seems harsh but if you fiddle with a meter you can take out several houses without trying.(gas obviously)

Ask them for Id and check it. Or ask them to call back at another time. For the 60 seconds it takes to check or let them in it's not much hassle.
I wonder if it might affect your home insurance too in the event of an electrical fire or gas leak. They might deem that you didn't take adequate precautions to maintain the supply to a safe standard etc.

pugwash4x4

5,865 posts

105 months

[news] 
Thursday 19th August 2010 quote quote all
poo at Paul's said:
lots of stuff
impressive paranoia
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