Website editor’s note: The account below was contributed by a business person who has chosen to remain anonymous.
The events described below show how a calm and assertive manner can result in a successful outcome – even if a smart meter installer acts in an unprofessional and unpleasant manner.
I am a retailer who opposes smart meters. I have a sign on the shop’s power meter stating: “NO SMART METER!”
I share the meter with an individual who lives above the shop. Unfortunately, he gave consent to his power provider to install a smart meter, and consequently, a contractor arrived looking very official and somewhat self important, ready to install one. He showed me his name tag and announced that he was installing a smart meter. I asked him if he had read my: “NO SMART METER!” sign and then I informed him that he would not be installing a smart meter. He replied: “It’s for the household upstairs” and I replied: “Give me a minute to talk to him and I promise that when I have finished he also will not want a smart meter”.
The contractor then became aggressive and said: “You don’t own the meter!” and I answered: “Neither do you!”
The contractor demanded explanations and told me that I represented .02% of the population and asked why don’t I just go along with everything and why do I have to be difficult. He then said that the amount of the emissions from the smart meter was no more than what comes off one cell phone.
His manner was aggressive and threatening.
I asked him why he was raising his voice and getting upset and told him that I was not obliged to give him any reasons as to why I did not want a smart meter. He once again mentioned that I was in the .02% of the population.
I reminded him that it is not a law to have a smart meter installed, that we are still allowed to think for ourselves in New Zealand and if I represent .02%, my thoughts and opinions still count. I asked him to change his tone and attitude and asked him to please leave my premises. As he was leaving I called out to him and said “Excuse me mister, just thought I’d let you know that I don’t care what you think.”
I did not enjoy my experience and phoned Northpower to complain about the aggressive man trying to bully people into having a smart meter. Northpower did a track for me and were able to verify that he was not one of their employees, as their employees are instructed to respect the wishes of the householder. They realized that this particular man was a contractor and suggested to me that he would be upset because each meter was worth money to him. Northpower suggested I ring Genesis Energy, as this was the company that had a contract with him. This I did and I filed my complaint and asked for an explanation concerning the bullying behavior of the contractor. I asked that the contractor never come into my shop again, because next time I would ring the police.
I later received a letter of apology from Genesis.
I would also like to mention the resident upstairs from my shop has changed power companies and now fully supports my stand against smart meters.
Editor’s note: Some of the many reasons why increasing numbers of New Zealanders are refusing for smart meters to be installed may be read at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/why-people-are-saying-no-to-smart-meters/
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NB: If you wish to report a smart meter related problem (for example new symptoms after a smart meter installation or a fire or bullying behaviour on the part of a smart meter installer or staff in any electricity company, you may do this through the contact form at this link: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/contact-us/
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