Solved

TMA unannounced calls and calls during lockdown

  • 17 February 2021
  • 11 replies
  • 83 views

Someone feom TMA just called at my house with no appointment or prior notification asking to read my meters. I assumed this was a scam as i have smart meters that provide you with monthly readings and immediately declined. He did not say he was acting on behalf of Pure Plent and did not question me when i declined. On checking your community threads it appears he may have been genuine. however I find it inappropriate to expect people to let people in with no prior notice. In particular during lockdown I would only let anyone into my house if it were to attend to an emergency, and i would certainly not let anyone in without having had time to clear out my cupboard to provide access to meters and sanitise touch points. Why are you even thinking of coming into people's homes to read meters during lockdown? 

icon

Best answer by stephenrand 17 February 2021, 16:02

Hi @Sunshinesea 

Welcome to the Pure Planet community! When you post here you are not talking directly to Pure Planet but to your fellow customers - many of whom do their best to be helpful!!

Suppliers are required to read and inspect your meter(s) at least every two years –although some suppliers may visit more frequently. 

Bear in mind that one of the purposes of a meter reading visit is to check nothing illegal is going on, so giving notice wouldn't help that much!

Stephen

PS Surprised at the lack of clarity on this after a Google search.

 

View original

11 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi @Sunshinesea 

Welcome to the Pure Planet community! When you post here you are not talking directly to Pure Planet but to your fellow customers - many of whom do their best to be helpful!!

Suppliers are required to read and inspect your meter(s) at least every two years –although some suppliers may visit more frequently. 

Bear in mind that one of the purposes of a meter reading visit is to check nothing illegal is going on, so giving notice wouldn't help that much!

Stephen

PS Surprised at the lack of clarity on this after a Google search.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

@Sunshinesea 

Here is an FAQ on the subject

 

Hey @Sunshinesea 

@stephenrand has hit the nail on the head with his reply! 

No problem if you didn’t want to let the reader in to your property at all. It’s always good to make sure your account is up to date with readings by heading to ‘tariff & usage’ > reading history where it sounds like you’ll be able to see ‘smart’ readings:thumbsup:.

Thanks @Duppy for linking to our FAQ explaining which companies read meters for Pure Planet and how to tell they’re official employees :slight_smile:

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

 

Bear in mind that one of the purposes of a meter reading visit is to check nothing illegal is going on, so giving notice wouldn't help that much!

Stephen

 

 

@Sunshinesea @stephenrand I think giving time to remove the meter shunt would be quite useful...:robot:

Actually I shouldn’t joke, this is a serious issue

What would be useful to know is how the approach was made, was it a simple request to read the meters or was there a presentation of ID (I note that good eyes would be needed as you can’t go near the ID, which is probably attached to the person and  that is a security and Covid issue in itself).  Did the reader ask any questions? (apart from will you let me in question  the answers to any other Covid related questions would be none of their business anyway,) I certainly would not enter into such a conversation, it’s a recipe for scammers to operate), or did they just present themselves on the off chance you’d let them in? 

I don’t see this as an essential service and given the circumstances why are the meter reading companies even sending readers out when they could pay them to call first to check if getting a reading is viable.

Sadly the elderly, more compliant and more vulnerable generation look upon the reader as an authority figure and just comply, I know that because it happened to both a relative and a neighbour - both said yes. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

I refuse to answer the door during this pandemic, and told my parents the same. It’s so wrong that carrying on with non essential work, during a strict lockdown, when families cannot even visit one another, is still going on 🤷‍♀️👎

Many thanks Stephen, Duppy, Nataly and Bev. 

I initially posted here, in error, as a way of contacting Pure Planet about this issue and was since able to contact them and get an email reply, although it didnt address all my concerns. However it was really useful to read your views and information.

No, the meter reader didn't ask any questions - he simply asked, "Can I read your meter?" and when I declined (I actually assumed he was a scammer and said "No, I have smart meters so they don't need reading"), he asked no further questions and I closed the door quickly - so I suppose he didn't have much time to ask questions anyway.

I agree it seems inappropriate to be sending meter readers out during lockdown - I wouldnt let anyone in my house unless it was a real emergency. 

Thanks again for all your responses. Stay safe.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi @Sunshinesea 

Really good of you to post back, much appreciated. I'm fascinated at the reaction to a meter reader calling. My wife and I had our first home in 1972, and we've let meter readers in, without question, ever since. In fact we thought they had a statutory right of entry, but research suggests if they did once they certainly don't now - they now have to get a warrant. I'm obviously far too trusting! My internet research does suggest that vast numbers of customers never submit a meter reading at all…

Thanks again

Stephen

Badge +2

...just to add, I had an extremely polite and courteous gentleman call here a couple of months ago, he quickly read the outside meter and was off in a flash. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The big issue, and difference, here tho, is we’re in the middle of a worldwide killer pandemic, where families can’t see other members unless in strict bubbles. Totally irresponsible to have companies thinking it’s essential to continue with this work, and potentially putting their workers and their customers lives in jeopardy. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

The big issue, and difference, here tho, is we’re in the middle of a worldwide killer pandemic, where families can’t see other members unless in strict bubbles. Totally irresponsible to have companies thinking it’s essential to continue with this work, and potentially putting their workers and their customers lives in jeopardy. 

I agree with the issue of strangers entering the home to read the meter, then we have the situation of smart meter engineers entering and fitting new meters albeit by appointments, but it's more than simply shining a torch at the meter, they are there for a couple of hours, so in effect a greater cause for concern

I agree with Bev that it's a real issue during the pandemic/lockdown. Also, Pure Olanet is getting actual meter readings from me whenever they want as I have a smart meter, so I don't expect to see meter readers turning up on the doorstep in the way I used to, and especially not from a different company whose name means nothing to me. (I didn't know till I read Stephen's post that they nevertheless come out every couple of years.)

Also, it takes me a while to take everything out of the cupboard under the stairs that I store in there to get to the meters, so if I knew in advance that someone was coming (outside of a lockdown period!) I'd be able to clear the cupboard in advance.

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. At least now I know that PMA is an authorised company I would be happy to let them in, except during lockdown, as long as they don't mind waiting fie me to clear the cupboard out first! 

Reply