Centerpoint Energy / unauthorized access into yard by meter reader
The Centerpoint meter reader's unauthorized access to our yard caused our older dog injuries. The results of the injuries include multiple trips to the veterinarian, high vet bill, and depression! Another result of the meter reader's unauthorized entry to our yard is that I need therapy to begin feeling safe in my own home again!!!
When we purchased the house five years ago, Centerpoint assured my husband and I that their electric meter readers would never barge into our yard unannounced. Don't they have ways of transmitting homeowner requests or warnings to field workers?? After the first few times someone surprised us in our own yard, however, Centerpoint told us we could read the meter ourselves and promised to send postcards for that purpose. When the postcards stopped coming the reader returned and again barged in without announcing himself! Of course we called Centerpoint to complain and they promised to send cards for us to read the meter ourselves again. Thus, a cycle began. We received cards for a few months and then without warning a reader would be leering at me through the blinds as I stepped out of the shower! Or a reader would run through the gate as the dogs crashed through the back door roaring their displeasure. How many times can a human stand such unpleasant surprises? My blood pressure must have been through the roof at each instance. Several times, I asked my husband to leave work because I was so upset!
The worst occurrence of a Centerpoint meter reader ignoring the requests we've repeatedly made to the office was on March 23, 2009. That was the day I stepped into my backyard with my dogs to find a stranger lurking behind the bushes! The dogs, who came out with me, began barking immediately. Our larger dog thought to protect me (as I was scantily clad!) and performed amazing feats of leaping and posturing that I haven't seen in years. He herded the stranger out of our yard without a single bite! The moment the stranger (I could now see was a Centerpoint meter reader) closed the back yard gate behind him, our poor brave dog collapsed onto the grass and began yelping and crying like I've never seen any dog do before. I was sure the meter reader had kicked him and broken his bones!! I rushed him to our veterinarian! She diagnosed him with severe muscle strain in front and back legs and possible hairline fractures. She put him on medication, crate rest for several weeks, and wanted him back for x-rays when swelling decreased. We have now spent nearly $1000 on meds and testing and the vet says it's time for x-rays but we have already spent much much more than we ever do for our dog's routine vet care.
All of this should have caused the meter reader to notify us before trying to enter our back yard again. My husband and I re-filed the request again on the day of our dog's injury and again a week following it to be absolutely sure no meter reader would barge into our yard unannounced again.
Today, the absolutely most insulting incident occurred, however. I witnessed the meter reader tromping through my yard unannounced again!!! Today is May 22, 2009. The reader is the same one who caused our dog's injuries just three months ago! How could he forget? How could he ignore the Centerpoint office stating in very clear terms that all readers must have permission from these particular homeowners prior to entering the back yard?
The ridiculous thing is that the backyard faces a lightly wooded area and a main neighborhood road. The electric meter could easily be read over the fence and all the unpleasant and hurtful encounters could have been avoided!
My husband and I expect Centerpoint to cover all of the veterinarian bills that occurred as a result of the meter reader's unauthorized entry. We know that our dog was fine before the incident because he was seen by a vet one month before the injuries occurred!
I would love to hear from any other homeowners who had unpleasant experiences with a Centerpoint meter reader ignoring requests to be notified before the reader enters the yard.
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