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To think a meter reader shouldn't just try to walk in my house?

(29 Posts)
YanknCock Tue 02-Jun-09 09:42:35

So I've just sat down and started to pee and there's a knock at the door. I finish quick as I can (6 months pregnant), and just as I'm pulling up my trousers and fighting with my bump band, the door opens! (toilet at top of stairs, and me with door open since I'm in house alone)

I screech 'EXCUSE ME?!' and waddle down the stairs as fast as my SPD allows, to find a guy saying 'oh I've come to read the meter love, it's just right under the cupboard here'.

I said 'Well I don't think you should try the door and just come in' and he said 'oh sometimes there's an inner door so all we can get to is the cupboard'. I gestured to the complete lack of inner door, and said 'well we don't have one, which you can clearly see from the window'.

Then I said, 'I will take the meter reading myself, thanks' to which he said 'ok fine' pleasantly enough and I slammed the door loudly.

Was I being unreasonable, or was this a normal reaction from a startled pregnant woman caught with her pants down?

Leaving for an appointment now, will be interested to see later whether you think I completely overreacted. Keeping the door locked anyway now as DH is always telling me to do!

YanknCock Tue 02-Jun-09 09:44:08

and just to clarify, stairs are right in front of door, so if he'd walked in and looked up he'd be looking right at the open toilet door.

LadyPinkofPinkerton Tue 02-Jun-09 09:45:20

YANBU he should not just open your door. How are you to know from the top of your stairs that he is in fact a meter reading man, it's not like from there you can see his ID

Bramshott Tue 02-Jun-09 09:49:30

YANBU! But OTOH, he was at least making all efforts to read the meter, rather than just knocking on the door and then flinging a card through!

Uriel Tue 02-Jun-09 09:51:10

YANBU. Good job he wasn't a thief, though!

HensMum Tue 02-Jun-09 09:52:54

You definitely did not over-react, I'd be reporting him to the company.

They should knock, show their ID and wait to be invited in. It's basic good manners if nothing else.

They barge into our house and head straight for the under-stairs cupboard, which is not where the meter is anyway!

Nahui Tue 02-Jun-09 10:12:24

Message withdrawn

Stayingsunnygirl Tue 02-Jun-09 10:13:28

That is horrifying. I wonder how many other people he has done this to. Perhaps he is a bit of a voyeur and likes the thought of catching people unaware.

reach4sky Tue 02-Jun-09 11:09:07

Appalling - you need to report him.

summerbird Tue 02-Jun-09 11:15:21

shock my god i actually think that is illegal, he shouldnt be gaining entry into your house regardless of who he is - unless he is a police officer raiding your gaff for drugs that is but holy moly no!

Definitely report him.

SomeGuy Tue 02-Jun-09 11:46:39

don't think it's illegal. Breaking into a house is illegal but if you've left the door unlocked it's only trespass, as he hasn't damaged anything, you can ask to leave but no criminal offence has been committed.

That said he should still get in trouble with his company.

Bramshott Tue 02-Jun-09 13:12:05

Hang on - you'd report him?!? Surely he wasn't to know that you were on the toilet!! What if it had been the postman, popping a parcel on your kitchen table so that you wouldn't have to go to the delivery office another day?

reach4sky Tue 02-Jun-09 13:17:16

I can't imagine any postman doing such a thing. Irrelevant if he knew or didn't know she was on the loo. You don't enter people's houses unless they give you permission.

Bramshott Tue 02-Jun-09 13:19:05

Maybe I am just quite relaxed about people wandering in and out of mine, as long as they shout "hello" or something when they're doing it. I might be in the garden and not able to hear the bell.

lottiejenkins Tue 02-Jun-09 13:34:41

I had an experience last year with an electrician employed by a builder.........My ds is nearly 13 and is profoundly deaf and im now able to leave him for a short while while i nip out etc. I had a flood in the house last year and the builders had been working up until 5 days before christmas. On the Monday after the they had finished the previous Friday, i nipped down to the shop for 5 mins. When I got home there was a white van outside the gate, when i went through the door my ds came hurtling out of the sitting room saying there was a man in the house. My ds has been taught not to open the door when im not there. I went into the kitchen and found the electrician under the cupboard in my kitchen. He had he said knocked on the door (if he had rung the bell the lights would have flashed to alert my son) Getting no response to the knock the builder had found my ds and let him know he was there and carried on. I was not at all happy, mostly because my poor ds kept saying "im sorry mumma i didnt let the man in mumma" cos he thought he was in trouble. I rang the builder after christmas and told him what had happened and asked him to make sure the electrician didnt do it again. If I had known the man was coming i wouldnt have gone out till he had been!!

YanknCock Tue 02-Jun-09 13:36:06

Back now!

reach4sky is right, it was irrelevant that I was on the toilet. Only mentioned it so you could have the full picture of how startled I was. All I could see from the toilet was that there was someone out there wearing a green shirt. I thought it might be someone selling something, so wasn't inclined to shout 'just a minute' or anything because a) it was probably wasn't anyone I wanted to see, so happy not to draw attention to the fact that I'm home and b) I know from recent experience that people can't hear/understand what I'm saying through the door if yelling from upstairs.

I think I would have been nearly as startled if I'd come in from the garden and found him there. There was a bunch of stuff piled in front of the cupboard door too, so it would have all had to be moved and would have taken a few minutes to do.

I did ask where he was from, and he said British Gas (who are our supplier) but he wasn't wearing their uniform/logo--must be a subcontractor or something? He had some sort of ID badge, but don't recall it having a picture or the company being a name I recognised.

I think the thing that scared me most was that it really COULD have been an opportunistic burglar or worse, and I stupidly left the door unlocked, and then when it was opened I rushed down to confront god-knows-who when I'm in no shape to be doing it!

Thank you for all your comments, I think I will ring them to give them my meter reading and complain about this. I was upset enough afterward that I threw up when I got to my appointment. Had lunch with DH after and while he was sympathetic to my being scared, he of course said 'this is why I tell you to lock the door!'

beanieb Tue 02-Jun-09 13:37:17

YANBU to be annoyed but I think slamming the door etc was a bit of an ofer reaction seeing as he was pleasant enough to you.

MadreInglese Tue 02-Jun-09 13:38:43

YANBU but maybe lock your door next time you're home

reach4sky Tue 02-Jun-09 13:42:27

YC, understand completely what a frightening and nasty experience it was. I too have been guilty of leaving our front door open and it's as well to be reminded that (depending on where you live) it's not a good idea. Hope you're feeling better.

onagar Tue 02-Jun-09 14:25:49

Even if he thought there was an inner door (it IS like that here) He should have stepped back out the moment he realised there wasn't one. I'd let it go though as I doubt he meant any harm. It was just thoughtless.

I'm trying to imagine what it's like to live in a place where you don't have to lock the front door anyway. The last place I lived the neighbours all had those metal cages over the door so they could see a visitor and be safe from attack.

womma Tue 02-Jun-09 15:34:28

He can't just walk into someone's house uninvited - report his arse off!!!
And lock your door in future too xx

oldraver Tue 02-Jun-09 16:25:05

I dont think British Gas themselves read the meter they are both of my suppliers. The ones that read the meters here are Accuread. I've never seen one close up so cant say what uniform they wear. Were you due a reading ??

potoftea Tue 02-Jun-09 16:34:10

I often leave the door unlocked, usually because my dc are in and out all day.

But a stranger should never open a door like that. In our house our lively dog would bolt for the door if you didn't close it quickly, and we know that but a meter reader wouldn't.

Or similarly a toddler could do likewise before the mother even realised someone had come in.

I'd also report this.

summerbird Tue 02-Jun-09 16:34:10

YC i am so sorry for you that it scared you so much, i am not surprised that it knocked you sick. What if you had been in the shower?

I think it is a sad state of affairs that we have to lock our doors when in the house just in case some one strolls in.

Agree with womma - report his arse off!!

crokky Tue 02-Jun-09 16:51:23

He should not have just walked in. I think it is a really stupid thing to do - he could have let a dog out or a small child.

Anyway, lock your door or alternatively get the locking mechanism changed - you can make those doors so that you can't open from outside even when it is unlocked - you always need a key.

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