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to expect an "appointment slot" to be less than 12 HOURS

(6 Posts)
WebDude Sat 17-Oct-09 14:41:35

Electricity meter is to be "replaced".

United Utilities gives a "appointment slot" of 8AM to 8PM when they will call, and require householder to be prepared for disconnection of any 'sensitive' equipment such as computers etc.

Is it unreasonable to expect something closer to 6 or 4 hours for a "time slot" so one knows that it is possible to go out morning or afternoon if needed, without missing the appointment ?

I don't think it reasonable to have to set aside 12 HOURS for their convenience.

I'm interested to know what sort of appointment times are being offered in other parts of the UK, or are United Utilities "the same" as every other firm dealing with gas/ electricity meters ? Do remember this isn't a visit I'm requesting, it's something they feel the need to do...

FWIW, the meters are accessed via panels on the outside 'side' wall, visible as you walk down the drive, as there is a long gap (20 feet) before garage.

It is a bit academic, in this case, because (unlike for Gas) the letter says that they do not need access to the property if meter is accessed from outside, but that's not the point.

Background - British Gas supplies gas and electricity (though electricity disconnected in 2007 - arrears and so on, chaos in my life, etc, so meter change is particularly academic in my view)

United Utilities have sent me 4 (yes, 4) different dates in the last few days for possible visits to "swap the electricity meter".

Each letter has been sent separately and carries a different date, and the dates suggested are all different too.

Seems like 2 "pairs" of letters sent each time, based on the dates - possibly down to British Gas having been billing first to "Occupier" and then to "Mr WebDude" (and not just transferring credit of past payments to new account they created on April 1st, thus sending threatening letters claiming amount owed was 560 pounds for previous 18 months when payments had been made, wiping out bulk of that 560 quid).

When they wanted to change gas meter, engineer did need access to verify for himself that gas was working in fire and cooker, but for the electricity they don't require access.

DontCallMeBaby Sat 17-Oct-09 15:17:54

I'm pretty sure we had a 12 hour slot for the gas meter being replaced. I called them and asked if there was 'anything in it for me' - would I get billed wrongly if they didn't replace it, or anything like that? No, they said. Okay, if I'm in, I'm in, if I'm not, I'm not. I wasn't in the first time they called, so they set up another slot and that time managed to turn up while I was in.

For electricity I'd make sure the PC was switched off before 8am, and then just do whatever else I'd planned for the day (you know, school run, work, those little indulgencies ...)

WebDude Sat 17-Oct-09 18:48:10

Do you remember which firm it was, just curious you see (and I'm in N Wales, but not familiar with which other companies serve the area for meter readings etc).

Around 16 months ago United Utils changed the gas meter. First time, I was home all day, sat in deck chair waiting for the engineer, so know no-one called, which rather annoyed me. Second time it was only that I spotted a big white van going off to turn at the end of the cul-de-sac that allowed me time to run out and stop engineer from vanishing.

I don't mind them changing the thing - it is that 12 hours of vagueness I detest - actually hope I'll have some funds arrive in the meantime, so instead of just replacing the meter, they can put the electricity back on for me, too!

memorylapse Sat 17-Oct-09 18:53:42

interestingly..Im in N Wales and it was Scottish Power who turned up to change the meter..WITH no prior warning..iirc it took him about half an hour and he did need to switch the supply off

DontCallMeBaby Sat 17-Oct-09 19:23:05

It was Metering Services - had to Google it, I recognised the logo once I saw it!

WebDude Sat 17-Oct-09 19:26:02

Thanks DCMB

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