When is an appointment not an appointment

  segul111 09:16 01 Sep 2006

My local Gas supplier (BG) wishes, no demands by law to inspect my gas meter. It's an inny rather than an outy (that's inside rather than outside...)

BG no longer read meters, they use a company called MSL who as far as I can tell are ghosts, they turn up linger for a few seconds then evaporate into the ether without being able to press bells or rap knockers. They do however leave cards marked 'Urgent' with a number on to ring to make and Appointment.

Ring the number get a reply after being queued for 10 minutes to find out that the appointment is in fact, a time slot not just a 2 hour time slot but rather a 5 hour one, so that's Saturday morning wiped out then because I'm booked for a 0800 to 1300 appointment.

An appointment to me is a specific time, when did this change and is it for our convenience or theirs?

  €dstowe 11:09 01 Sep 2006

Could be worse. More than once I've had these cards pushed through my door just because the meter reader couldn't be bothered to go to the side of my house where my outside meter is situated.

If you ignore that cards you then get a snotty letter from the utility concerned stating that under some Act of Parliament they can gain access to my premises.

If you ignore that letter, eventually the heavies turn up accompanied by an officer of the law, prepared to break the door down to read the meter.

Then is the time to make a response and tell them where the outside meter is located.

That happened to me shortly after I moved here. The house is fairly newly built and I believe that most, if not all new properties have outside meters so why did they show such a display of foolishness?

  Stuartli 12:35 01 Sep 2006

This is really a Speaker's Corner subject...:-)

  rickf 16:03 01 Sep 2006

Its not just BG though. All public services are going to the dogs really. Was reading some article, can't remember where now but it pointed out bad service in the UK in general as compared to America. The reason apparently was that the British are too complacent and just couldn't be bothered to fight for a better service. I buy and sell a lot of guitars and noticed amongst others that those for the UK as opposed to the US are generally of a lower quality build.

  spuds 17:32 01 Sep 2006

segul111-- I use British Gas,if the meter reader was unable to gain access,and leaves a card, then I just telephone the meter reading through to BG. Works a treat and a very simple process, but BG do like to inspect the meter from time to time, so as to check that correct meter readings have been given, and all is upto date.

Would mention, that you may have two companies interested in your meter. British Gas and Transco, who both require access from time to time so as to inspect the meter. Tranco do not bill you, British Gas do.

  Mike D 18:46 01 Sep 2006

The answer to your question is "when its made by Gritish Bas".
On my last dealings with them they tried the between 8 and 1 approach and I told them that, until they gave me a proper definite appointment, they would have to risk my being out. They said that I would be charged for any missed appointments, and I reciprocated, stating that my charge for a missed appointment would be £50. They gave me an eight o'clock appointment, and the man turned up at the appointed time.

Stick to your guns, they want the access, you control the access.


  Fellsider 20:17 02 Sep 2006

In the north East BG use 'Accu-read' to read their meters.

Must be the worst thought out company name going!!

  rdave13 21:34 02 Sep 2006

Must have been a very good feeling when you pointed out where the meter was on that day!

Wonder how the utility gentlemen felt when the Law looked upon them as idiots. Excellent.

  NORFOLK SPARKY 21:50 02 Sep 2006

A friend of mine was recently told that the gas meter needed to be replaced and gave an apointment time of between 8am 8pm nice and convinant!

  g0nvs 21:56 02 Sep 2006

My meters were read two weeks ago, but got an estimated bill today.

  silverous 23:48 02 Sep 2006

Think yourself lucky....we've just found out that we've been paying our neighbours electricty bill and vice versa for the past 8 months. Only found out as we tried to switch both fuels to save money and because BG had been so bad customer-service wise.

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