7 March 2011

In praise of ActewAGL

| johnboy
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gas meter

It’s not what you want to hear from a friend on a hungover Sunday morning:

“Mate, I can smell gas… where’s your meter? Oh yeah, it’s definitely leaking”

Never having dealt with this sort of situation it was lucky he also had some advice:

“Just call the number on their website”.

And so I called 13 19 09, waited a few minutes to talk to a human, explained the situation and gave them my address.

“Righto, we’ll have someone out there soon”.

Within the hour a man had arrived in a van, he sprayed the meter with soapy water, and sure enough bubbles started to form on one bit.

More amazingly he had the part which needed replacing right in his van and in 20 minutes it was fixed.

It’s a beautiful thing when the system works.

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I had a similar experience a few years back and it was fixed quick smart. The plumber said it was a bad leak that needed fixing immediately. It didn’t seem that bad but as the leak was before the gas metre it wasn’t clocking up on my bill so the cynic in me says that’s the only reason it was fixed quickly.

I had my gas connected to the house a few months ago for our new gas-boosted solar hot water system. The meter itself had been installed some 15+ years earlier but there have never been any gas appliances. Ever. There was a meter, but no gas plumbing to the house.

Once connected to gas we were also getting the same smell, although it took Actew/AGL five days to get to us. The only gripe I had was that I had to pay $70 to repair a gas meter that had never been used, on top of my connection fee. $70 is not much money to most folks, but my wife and I are both pensioners. One could not help but feel they were ‘double-dipping’ here.

We Canberran’s can be a real bunch of whiners sometimes.

As a complete guess I’d say an O-ring had perished. no visible external problem with the part.

Yay, a good news story.

Out of interest – did the part that needed replacing corrode or was it broken by some other force?

Same thing happened to me earlier this year – but it took 3 days for them to come and do a temporary fix, and another week to do a permanent one. Not that I am complaining – they assured me there was no safety issue, and it was a very slow leak so wasn’t costing me a lot for the 3 days.

Luck of the draw, I guess.

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