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ActewAGL to impose Dog Owner Charge

By PsydFX - 6 November 2008 37

I have two dogs, but am also the unfortunate owner of a gas meter residing in my back yard (which ActewAGL put there a few years ago).

Speaking with ActewAGL today, I have found out that with the billing system upgrade currently underway there will no longer be the facility for customers to ring up to submit their own gas meter readings, and that bills will be estimated where a Meter Reader is unable to take a reading. The lady I was speaking to then went on to say that I would be able to schedule someone to come out to take a reading, however this would incur a charge should the actual reading vary from their estimate.

Now, this would almost be acceptable, but I have also found out that ActewAGL’s definition of “estimate” is more inline with the definition of “wild guess”.

My last bill was an “estimate”, it came in estimating around 3300MJ consumed which is in keeping with all of my other bills, however for my upcoming bill I took a reading so that everything would be accurate and was a little surprised to find consumption had risen to 39,485MJ – nearly 12 times that of the previous reading.

Now I’m pretty sure I didn’t use 12 times the gas in that billing cycle, or 6 times the gas over 2 billing cycles for that matter, but I am suspicious that ActewAGL may have been “estimating” my bills for longer than I was aware of, especially seeing as I’ve had dogs in that yard ever since I’ve lived there.

Anyway, I’m a little lost as to which path I should take, do I regularly pay a fee to have accurate readings, or do I rely on estimates that are way off only to pay a fortune when a reading is eventually taken?

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
ActewAGL to impose Dog Owner Charge
1
PBO 2:51 pm
06 Nov 08
#

ActewAGL always get this wrong, we have had the meter person give a wrong reading three times in a row all because he was too lazy to look properly.

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2
jake555 2:58 pm
06 Nov 08
#

PsydFX, I have had the same issue in the past, although not quite to that extent. As I recall the actual reading was over the estimate by about $250 – still annoying though.

Since that happened, I worked out my fortnightly average & now I pay slightly over that amount each fortnight via Bpay.

A pain if you pay your bills differently & it may not work for everyone with bank fees and such, but it’s nice to receive the bill each quarter & find I’m in credit for a few dollars.

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3
stray 3:14 pm
06 Nov 08
#

ummm…whats the dog reference sorry? and before i get blasted for asking, excuse my ignorance.

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4
stray 3:16 pm
06 Nov 08
#

oh..sorry. that was dumb. i got it now. never mind.

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5
p1 3:19 pm
06 Nov 08
#

I am curious to know how I find out if and when ACTEW has been either reading or estimating my gas meter? Because I have no idea, and am also interested in what they do if they discover they have been charging extra for the last couple of years…?

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6
Holden Caulfield 3:24 pm
06 Nov 08
#

Get cats, or contract mdme workalot to train your dogs. :)

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7
PsydFX 3:34 pm
06 Nov 08
#

p1 said :

I am curious to know how I find out if and when ACTEW has been either reading or estimating my gas meter? Because I have no idea, and am also interested in what they do if they discover they have been charging extra for the last couple of years…?

There should be a line on your bill that says meter reading as of – or something similar, I would check, but they’ve taken down access to online invoices, even though they were still supposed to be available until the 13th of November.

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8
Davo111 3:35 pm
06 Nov 08
#

stray said :

ummm…whats the dog reference sorry? and before i get blasted for asking, excuse my ignorance.

oh dw dude, it wasn’t very clear.

Usually the AGL bloke just walks around the side of the house and reads your meter. If you have a dog, the guy isn’t prepared to get bitten/attacked etc. So instead they “estimate” your bill. To be honest, i think it’s tough luck for the OP.

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9
mdme workalot 3:36 pm
06 Nov 08
#

Back in your box Holden – I’d hate to have to sic the dog onto you 😛

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10
Deano 3:40 pm
06 Nov 08
#

There are a couple of more features in this “upgrade”. They will no longer issue electronic gas bills and you will no longer be able to access gas consumption or transaction data.

It’s almost as though the AGL part is about to break off from ActewAGL.

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11
tylersmayhem 3:47 pm
06 Nov 08
#

Get cats, or contract mdme workalot to train your dogs. :)

…I also hear that she’s superb at training cats…AND humans.

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12
Granny 3:51 pm
06 Nov 08
#

Well, that sucks! Basically what I would expect from ACTEWAGL however.

Did you know they sued me? Except I was never served so I knew nothing about the debt. It seems my husband was served, and they thought that would do since I’m his chattel and all.

Of course, if I’d known, I’d have said, “Pay it! For God’s sake, pay the usurous bloodsucking scumbags!” (and other things that I might have come up with if I’d really had some time to be creative).

That was nearly the cause for a good divorce. The worst fight we’ve ever had that he hadn’t told me. Although in fairness he did think it related to an earlier bill which had been sorted out.

I guess I should be grateful they didn’t serve the neighbour down the road or my three year old on my behalf.

It still makes my blood boil to think about it. If we were partners who weren’t married they’d have had to do me the courtesy of giving me the opportunity to defend myself.

I really feel that I was discriminated against due to my marital status. I am still contemplating a complaint to the Human Rights Commissioner.

In the meantime, we hates them precious.

*chuckle*

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13
PsydFX 3:52 pm
06 Nov 08
#

Davo111 said :

stray said :

ummm…whats the dog reference sorry? and before i get blasted for asking, excuse my ignorance.

oh dw dude, it wasn’t very clear.

Usually the AGL bloke just walks around the side of the house and reads your meter. If you have a dog, the guy isn’t prepared to get bitten/attacked etc. So instead they “estimate” your bill. To be honest, i think it’s tough luck for the OP.

I understand why they estimate bills, what I don’t understand is why they are taking away the ability for me to report my meter reading, seeing as the guy who is supposed to do it will never be able to.

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14
mdme workalot 3:54 pm
06 Nov 08
#

I sincerely hope that is said in jest tylers – as I said on the previous thread, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that issue.

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15
Davo111 4:02 pm
06 Nov 08
#

PsydFX said :

I understand why they estimate bills, what I don’t understand is why they are taking away the ability for me to report my meter reading, seeing as the guy who is supposed to do it will never be able to.

I bet people have been abusing it. As usual these days, a few people stuff it up for the rest of society.

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