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Old June 14, 2005, 07:00 PM   #26
spacemanspiff
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well if you're gonna get all math-y on us i'll just take my marbles and go play in my sandbox.

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Old June 14, 2005, 07:03 PM   #27
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you lost all your marbles in his sandbox long ago..
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Old June 14, 2005, 07:50 PM   #28
USP45usp
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I don't know if this is law in Oregon or just common sense with the utilities/cable companys but all employees of such groups have to have a marked vehicle, a badge that is showing, and will have on a "uniform" of some type that is well recongized by the people.

Also, if they have to enter your yard, for any reason, they must first contact the home owner. If the home owner is not in then they, if not an emergency or just checking out the water/electric meter must go away until the home owner can be contacted.

Any deviation from the above rules can, and will, result in a trespassing charge and termination from employment.

Since all meters have to be out in the open and easy to get to (not under houses, in the back of houses, but in plain view of anyone), anyone here that is "pulling on a locked door to get under the house and claiming to be from a utility company", is not who they say.

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Old June 15, 2005, 04:09 PM   #29
wayneinFL
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Not around here. FPL meter reader just walks in the backyard and looks at the meter on the back of the house, although they do less of that as time goes on. They try to use binoculars. Lake Worth utility does this and just "guesses" if they can't see the meter. I've had surveyors walk into the backyard before. Plenty of trades service people walk up and try doors, as a plumber mentioned in a previous post.

Our company (telephone contractor) never had company shirts or company vehicles until a few years ago. And we only get 2 shirts a year, so I still find myself walking into backyards in a tshirt and shorts. I have I.D. somewhere, but it's a company no one has heard of, it's not BellSouth I.D.

I still think if I saw someone in my yard I'd just ask who they were. 99% of the time I would suspect they were the exterminator or cable guy at the wrong address. As far as getting a gun when I go out there- I'm usually armed anyway.
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Old June 15, 2005, 05:57 PM   #30
Edward429451
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Meters are commonly in the back of houses here in CO, or along the side. Almost never in the front unless its in a pit for water only. Our meter readers usually have yellow polo shirts on. More easily recognized by the contraption they carry. No badges or visible ID.

Not all utility companies are true utility companies either, meaning the providing source of your utilitys. We have a couple companies in town who bill themselves as utilities companies with a play of words, but are in actuality service companies.
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Old June 15, 2005, 06:06 PM   #31
USP45usp
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I think the reason that they changed the meters from the back to the front is due to people either locked their gates or had big dogs in the yard (or both).

My place, if the meter was in the back they can't even go behind the house because there is no road and they would be in a marsh land not to also mention that they would have to jump the gates and fences to get there.

Wayne
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Old June 15, 2005, 06:14 PM   #32
Edward429451
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I think you're right Wayne. My GS dog gave a meterman quite a scare awhile back. He was chained up and couldn't get close enough to him but with a big dog bearing down on you in full snarl, you don't see the chain.

Now we get a nice recorded message a few days before meterman day saying they care about the safety of our pet so have him inside on suchnsuch date for the meterman.

Heck, when I was a kid they used to have the meters in the house and the meterman would tap & walk right in "Meterman!!". Mom was downstairs doing laundry and didn't hear him and the GS dog had him on the floor when she came up.
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Old June 15, 2005, 06:17 PM   #33
dasmi
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Quote:
Now we get a nice recorded message a few days before meterman day saying they care about the safety of our pet so have him inside on suchnsuch date for the meterman.
Right, the safety of your pet. What they really mean is "we don't want our meterman to get torn in two, so will you please keep your assault dog inside?"
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Old June 15, 2005, 06:33 PM   #34
Edward429451
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I took it as a warning that he might get sprayed with OC if the guy was scared of him. At least I hope thats all they'd do. Not sure how'd I react if a meterman shot my dog in my yard. Reflexes may get the better of me.

Doubt it would come to that. One tennis shoe on the driveway and he goes nuts and alerts us. I do try to keep him inside on meterday but a dogs gotta go outside a few times a day regardless. Metermen have no set times to come. So far so good.
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Old June 15, 2005, 06:39 PM   #35
USP45usp
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If the utilities trust you some will allow you to call in your meter and then come once a quarter or some even twice a year and ensure that you were reading it correctly. That is something that can be asked. Also, many times (they do it here) they will take the reading for about two years and then just average it out and then come once a year to check it in person. If it's above their average estimates then your bill will raise a little bit (they won't put it all on at once) and then check it normally (the people may have gotten an HVAC system, new freezer, etc.. that can raise the electric consumption).

Personally I think that the poster did fine.

Wayne
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