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Thread: Gas meter reader attacked by dog - ignored warnings.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Default Gas meter reader attacked by dog - ignored warnings.

    Hi all

    It didn't really happen but it could have.

    Every time the meter readers come - they boldly march into the back yard to read the meter. They ignore the sign on the gate that they have to put their hand past to open the gate...

    And if evil hound happened to be in the yard when they arrived I'm sure they would get bitten.

    One got away with it - she just kept barking at him but didn't touch - but she's been getting more and more assertive since then and given how she's dealt the lawnmower man - I'm pretty sure she'd bite any stranger and a few friends that invaded the back yard these days.

    I don't think she'd try to tear them apart but she'd definitely "heel" them or nip - and she might latch hold and refuse to let go - but that's less likely.

    And she'd nip anywhere from ankle to butt or slightly higher. And it would hurt.

    So I'm pissed that they ignore the company policy which is - knock on the door. They don't have to check the warning on the machine - there's one on the gate. Sigh.

    I'm thinking my best option now might be to lock the gate with a combo lock that the lawn mower man can open - he knows to check she's locked up or at least call her to see if she's in the yard... and not go in if she's there.

    But it would force the meter readers to knock first or stay out.

    Looking for opinions and stories of how others have dealt with this problem. I know Sean lives it from the meter reader's point of view. But he's not quite as silly as these guys.

  2. #2

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    Yeah we just moved into a new house and the first thing we did was change the gates and padlock them. I can't risk it, there is just no way Sammy would let a stranger onto the property without me being there, except for maybe a child and yet I know that even if you put up signs and warn the suppliers it's your fault and your dog will be in trouble.

    We have it now so that all meters are on the other side of the gate. Before I moved the gate, I did ask our electric company whether they could let me know what day they're coming but they said they couldn't. I see it as an extra cost/thing you need to watch out for if you have a dog, and any dog at that. I hear stories of how the ones that aren't protective and territorial try to escape if the gate is opened.

    The only advantage we've probably got over you is that I'm yet to meet anyone game to even approach my house when Sammy is going off, let alone open the gate. I just get angry phone calls and notes left about how they could not enter the property.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    We used to live on a few acres with horses and we had all the gates padlocked but signs on the gate with our phone numbers. There was a powerline and gas pipe easement that ran through the property. I was out of home from about 7am to 6pm one day and got home to the padlocks cut and a very sick horse. Turns out either power or gas (I'm 95% sure it was power) workers had been sent to slash the easement and poision the weeds and they couldn't get in so just cut the locks, didn't bother calling the numbers. Long story short, my horse died from severe colic due to eating the poisoned weeds and slashed (fermenting) grass, just because the idiot workers didn't phone my number. It ended up costing me thousands in calling an after hours vet and getting someone out on Anzac Day long weekend to bury him. Plus the horse was advertised for sale for $9000 and I had received a few enquiries that day. He passed away on Friday night and I couldn't get anyone out to bury him until the Sunday so we just had his body lying in the front yard. It was awful. It was the first time I'd ever lost a loved pet and I still get teary 4yrs on.
    If only they called then I could've been home within 5 minutes and moved the horses into a different paddock. The padlocks didn't worry them at all.

    Ever since, we've always made sure that we only live in houses where the gas and power meters are outside the fenced area.

  4. #4

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    That is a horrible story Did you ever speak to the energy companies about what happened?

  5. #5
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    I spent weeks and weeks on the phone trying to get answers. First the electricity company admitted to it and then they started blaming the gas company once they found out I wanted compensation. It was way too upsetting having to repeat my story to a different person everytime I was on the phone and I wasn't getting anywhere so just ended up giving up on it for my own sanity

  6. #6
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    Yeah that is horrible, poor you and poor horse. I think I would have gone to the papers or local MP to try and make sure it didnt happen to someone else. But I can understand that it would have been really upsetting.

    I am in a similar situation as they need to check power poles that run through my farm. They cut my locked chain on the front gate and installed their own padlock so they can come and go as they please. No contact with me at all. I just hope that they shut the gate when they are on my property as I have a lot of sheep.

    As to the meter. I am fortunate that I read my own and enter the readings on line. You could possibly investigate that possibility. It is really simple to do.

  7. #7
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    That's exactly what happen to us, they then chained and padlocked with their own locks. The only gate we could open after that was the one across the driveway. We had issues with them leaving the gates open before the spraying and slashing incident which is why we padlocked them, so I wouldn't totally trust them to shut yours either.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    WOW KM !!! Thats full on. If that was my horse someone would be paying dearly ....blood or money ....or both even !!!!

    I dont actually read meters as such ...very rarely on apartment blocks but thats like twice a year. I actually deliver LPG gas as in swap the bottles over or fill them from a gas tanker. I'm guessing you guys are using natural gas thats plumbed into your properties through a gas main ????

    (BTW .. natural gas is cheaper but you use alot more to get the heat that LPG produces...so LPG is usually cheaper in the long run)

    With our company we will (if the office girl does her job properly) get as much info from you when you open your account. That includes locked gate access, best time for delivery, etc etc ....including any info on your dog/s. We have to do every job wether we like it or not through our computer system so before we even get out of the truck we have all that info right in front of us. A driver/meter reader who does his job properly should be going through all this info the day/night before so he can plan his run accordingly. So with some property owners we have to ring them the on the morning of delivery or even the day before and give them a fair idea of when we will be there. It's impossible to give them an exact time ...traffic, road works, etc etc but we try our best.

    Most dog owners who have aggressive dogs will tie or lock up their dogs for us when they know we are coming. Others (if they dont get our messages till its too late) let us make the call. This was part of the job i was nervous with when i first started. My mate doesnt give a rats how big the dog is...he'll charge in and dominate them. I've learnt a few tricks of him now and its once in a blue moon a dog dosent let us do the job.

    I love it when the gas bottles are outside the fence line ...makes the most sense to me. Not just because of the dog but i dont have to worry about accidently damaging anything from dragging hoses or bottles around. I've knocked over a few garden nomes and pot plants in my time LOL. Even stumbled across some funny looking plants if you get my drift. I dont have to worry about Fido sneaking out the gate the second i open it either. There's some bloody sneaky buggers out there that know a open gate means freedom. Touchwood all escapee's have been taken back into custody so far.

    We dont cut locks either ...i cant believe some companys do that. Thats just asking to be sued. If we dont have access we dont do the job. If you dont pay the bill you dont get gas. If you run out of gas after we try to deliver it they smash you with ridiculous fee's to have it delivered straight away or you wait till your next scheduled delivery.

    If i get bitten by someones dog i will not bother making any sort of complaint. I look at it as the dog doing his job. But i'll do my best to defend myself if i really need to ...and a high pressure LPG hose can do some serious damage. I can freeze my gloved hand solid in a few seconds. And it burns like a bitch or bare skin.


    But for me getting harrased or even bitten by dogs is part of the job. I actually love my job and have met some awesome dogs.


    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    Education is important, but big biceps are more importanter ...
    DONT SIC YOUR DOGMA ON ME !

  9. #9
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    Forgot to add too ....

    We will use our padlocks if both parties agree ...but you do get your own key for our lock. Failing that we can link our padlock to your padlock so we both get acess but no key sharing. Only works on chained fences usually. Mainly farms or factorys will do this.


    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    Education is important, but big biceps are more importanter ...
    DONT SIC YOUR DOGMA ON ME !

  10. #10
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    Stupid gas meter man - read the warning in his machine after he'd met Frosty (on lead). I couldn't even have a conversation with him she was going off so much. So I shoved her back inside.

    She's quite slow sometimes - noticing the gate. She used to be instant - gate squeaks - she's up and at it.

    I don't think I'd have to worry about bolt cutters - there's no easement for them - tho they did come in one time and replace the whole meter. Fortunately dog did not have access to the yard at the time.

    Our council "gardeners" sometimes spray the street and the lane with weed killer and often kill quite a few plants in people's front yards. I keep the path to the meter quite short with as few hazards as possible. I've sent my gas retailer a note - tho they're not responsible for the meter readers - that's another company.

    Meter readers are paid on the assumption they can read and record a meter every 30 seconds. It's 40 meters + from my front gate to my back yard. and then about 30 meters to the neighbours gate and then another 40m from their gate to their meter... etc. So I'm not surprised they don't check the warnings on their machine and they don't knock but they must cop it.

    Frosty is the master ambush dog... Cattle dogs are famous for allowing strangers on to the property but not off. She doesn't always announce herself. My neighbour is very good at picking when I'm not home (but the dog is) to come and visit to ask me something. I catch the bus into town - so car is there... but I'm not - and the dog doesn't bark when I'm not home... she figures there's no point. So neighbour thinks the dog is out too... wrong.

    So just because you can't hear a dog - doesn't mean there isn't one... just waiting... with evil grin on its face...

    I think a padlock might work for me - because most meter readers do not carry bolt cutters.

    KM - I think I would have given all the notes I had on what happened plus the value of the horse and something for pain and suffering to a lawyer to write a demand for compensation. An amount sufficiently big to make them rethink hiring brainless thugs to do the job. And the lawyer would be more emotionally detached hopefully. You probably could have reported them to the RSPCA too.

    But if I knew they sent people in with weed killer to slash and burn etc - I would make sure there was nothing for them to do when they got there. I don't get how some people can allow their trees to grow into the power lines... (my neighbour...).

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