In the following case, a New Zealander relates how a “smart meter” was installed at her mother’s home while her mother was away visiting family who live out of town – despite the fact that both the electricity retailer and the installer having been informed that installing the “smart meter” while she was away would put delicate electronic equipment in her home at risk of being damaged.


“Just before my Mum left [to visit family] she received a letter informing her a smart meter would be installed the following week and that if there was a problem with delicate equipment and power being off, or the box was locked, she should contact Mercury and arrange another time to have the work done. A friend of mine called Mercury on [date] and explained to them there was delicate equipment in the house, my mother was away and could they please delay installation until she returned home [on a specific date] They said she should call and inform the company doing the installation, which our friend did. Vircom EMS told her they would re-contact my mother after [the date when she returned home] to arrange a time to do the installation.


“Unfortunately at that time I was [away from home]  without a good internet or phone connection. I couldn’t get hold of anyone to place a padlock on the box, but we thought our friend had at least delayed the process.


“I subsequently had the meter box padlocked shut and then a few days ago asked another friend to place your notice on the box. He sent back the following email yesterday.




I’m afraid we’re too late because it looks like the new meter is already in. [He specifies the brand and model of meter that was installed.]



“To be honest I am shocked that the company went ahead despite the agreement to wait and installed the meter anyway. I’m not sure what I can do about it now but I am very concerned, the meter box is on the other side of the wall where my Mum sleeps.”


Editor’s comment:  This report (and other reports I have received) emphasises how important it is to put a lock and sign on your meter box if you do not want a “smart meter”even if you have an agreement with your electricity company and/or lines company that a “smart meter” will not be installed.