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posted by casmo | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

Hi casmo,

Jonnel (High Voltage) mentioned you in a post!
Join the conversation below:

Re: Why use Data Services?

@casmo First of all, it's in your contract with Scottish Power that they can give your details to any of their 'agents' they like. Secondly, they have given them to MDS because as already explained, SP have contracted the work out to MDS as it's cheaper than having their own meter readers.
To comply with SP's licence to supply energy under The Gas Act 1986, SP have to have a validated meter reading done by their agents (not you) at least once a year, so the need for them to see your meters might be that. It also might be that they dont trust your submitted readings or just want an authenticated reading because they havn't had one for a while.
The 'urgent' part of MDS's card is because thet don't get paid unless the reading is done and the only way they can provide a reading SP don't have is if you give it directly to them. That's why SP always say 'ignore the letter' when you ask them about it - it doesn't matter to them how long it takes MDS to get the reading. As long as SP have tried to fulfill the licence obligations they feel covered.
So you don't have to use MDS's website but you should let the guy in to read the meter and get it over with. Check his ID first though, or there's a password system you can use to check he is who he says he is.

hi Jonnel,

think you didn't actually read what I wrote, I can't just let the guy in to read my meter as there was no guy .Morrison Data just sent a card for ME to fill in , hence the reason I didn't bother with it and sent my readings direct to SP  as I would normally. I always submit my readings as soon as SP request them 

Morrison Data are meant to visit and make an actual reading not just send a card so I can just do another one myself.

regards ,



posted by Jonnel | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?
@casmo Ah, that makes sense now. I figured it was one of those 'sorry we missed you' cards they like to put through your door when you're out. That's what I got off them - when they realised they weren't ever getting in until they'd told me who they were they sent me a letter...
It's the same principle though, and the same answer really - MDS want a reading from you that SP don't have so they can say they read your meter and get paid. They only get paid when they submit readings SP don't have apparently....

posted by gazza7251 | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

Actually if you don’t supply a reading to MDS as an independent read your meter read can be escalated to a Must Read situation which means that MDS are instructed by Scottish Power to read your meter.

That is why MDS then contact you to say they need access or a current meter reading to complete the job.

It can actually become messy and frustrating for you as under the Gas act they do need access to read your meter or a current meter reading.

As a last resort they can actually go to court to obtain a warrant to access your property to inspect and read your meter.

No one but the very obstructive customers need to be taken to court and really it is just common sense to allow them to carry out your meter read.

Failing to allow them to obtain your meter read can also result in you being black listed and gives the impression there may be a reason why you don’t want your meter read.

In my experience there are people who do supply false readings to reduce their bills and tamper with their meters to reduce their supposed usage .

SP can also in extreme circumstances apply to cut off your supply or insist on fitting a pay as you go meter.

Really not worth the hassle unless you are determined to prevent them reading your meter and stop the guy doing his job which is just to obtain a meter reading.

We also get stroppy customers who think it is their God given right to stop you reading their meter and insist on having an argument on their doorstep.

I personally just smile and walk away as I don’t have the time to argue but obviously some Meter Readers take the bait and may be having a bad day react to being abused as they are only human.

They are few and far between but do exist  and  considering they are only paid a pittance to read read each meter sometimes attract people who think they can become a millionaire by reading meters.

The majority of Meter Readers just accept that they are providing a required service and try to be as courteous  as possible which also helps them to gain access to your meter as easy as possible.

posted by YDE | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

Why, having just submitted meter readings to SP on this website, do I then get a rude letter pushed through my letter box demanding I send MDS my meter readings within 48 hours?

posted by Davc | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

You can ignore the MDS letter, some people cannot help being rude.

posted by Jonnel | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

@YDE  From the number of people that keep asking this, I'm beginning to think it's a trickier question to answer than at first seems. And I'm gonna put this down to the medium of text - in that there is no verbal emphasis or inflection in the written word, so a reader can't know exactly where the issue lies unless it's spelled out...

So I suppose the correct answer depends on where the emphasis on your question lies - is it that you've just submitted readings, or is it that MDS put a letter through your door? Perhaps it's that the letter was rude, or that you have to send your readings again after just having done so.... It might even be the 48hr timescale you're questioning....

So I'm going to take a shot in the dark and asume you know who MDS are, and that what's bothering you is that you're having to supply meter readings a second time after having just submitted them to your provider. In which case, the best answer I've seenlately  is the one immediately above your post, that gazza7251 supplied to casmo.

In my case, it was that I had absolutely no idea who this firm MDS were or why they wanted information on my personal energy use. What made matters worse for me was that they were continually evasive over the course of 2 months as to exacty who they were, what their involvement was and what they wanted me to subscribe to an unknown website for.

Took them 2 months... TWO MONTHS... to explain.

posted by casmo | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

It appears to me that there have been lots of different experiences.

mine was that MD posted a letter to me requesting my meter readings.They had never ( to my knowledge ) attempted to actually read my meter in person., they had never put a " sorry we missed you card " through my letter box and  I never refused entry. 

My understanding of this company was that they are the ones who are supposed to do the readings not me, in order to get an exact reading. I ignored the letter as there was no point in sending readings to them when I could send readings to SP direct ( which I did at the time )  this was almost a year ago now. I've had no other contact with MD, they've not demanded readings , they've not claimed I've refused them entry .....nothing

Quite simply they are contracted to read meters in person, that is their role ,, if they didn't get paid for not reading my meter then it was their own fault as they didn't complete their role. 

posted by Jonnel | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

@casmo I think you're absolutely right - there are lots of different experiences with MDS and as many different reactions from different people to the SAME experiences. I've read messages on here from people who say they're quite happy to let into their home anyone who turns up on their doorstep saying they're a meter reader, without even checking up on them. Personally, I wouldn't (first episode of tv show 'Baptiste' notwithstanding) and that's not to say I want to be awkward or dislike meter readers (and I'm going to say that again in capitals in case any meter readers happen to be reading this) I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST METER READERS. THEY ARE ARE GENUINE PEOPLE DOING AN AWKWARD JOB TO PAY THEIR OWN BILLS... I just have more respect for security and personal safety. I want to know WHO wants to come in and WHY. (Years working in compliance taught me that)

But, I DO have a problem with a company that clearly shows so little respect for its cstomers they think it not worthy of their time or responsibility to actually TELL those customers WHICH company they expect people to allow entry to their homes. It doesn't help when the company in question comes to the door unprepared, unexplaining, unhelpful, downright evasive or just plain wrong, either.

Rant over.

To answer your question. Gazza7251 sums it up pretty succintly above. It appears to me (tho I may be wrong) that Scottish Power has taken a business decision years ago to not employ their own staff to read meters as they knew the job would be slowly phased out to the occasional visit with the introduction of smart meters - that and the now widespread use of online and telephone reading submission. Maybe that decision was taken when the government wanted to make smart meters compulsory, I don't know - even so, SP now outsource meter reading/checking and all those other things Gazza7251 mentioned BECAUSE meters are not read monthly/quarterly or in some instances hardly ever at all anymore. I suppose it would save having a huge workforce of staff doing next to nothing - maybe redundancies too, which are no good for anyone - so it was probably a business decision...

So, to my mind, the answer to your question is: Yes, MDS read Scottish Power's meters now but MDS only read those meters for the occasional reason, even though it should be annually (Gas Act 1986). And I believe, MDS will put cards/letters through customers doors asking the customer to give the reading to MDS because then it appears the reading has come from MDS thus triggering a reading quota to be reached, and probably a payment too.

The reason MDS demand readings urgently like their lives depend on it, then don't get all flustered and angsty when they don't appear is probably down to the fact it's Scottish Power's licence as energy provider that's at stake, so it's them who decide whether or not to go down that road. I can believe that at the stage SP get involved, the customer invariably says: 'Oh, right... that's who these guys are! Why didn't they just say so in the first place? Tell them to come back!'

If only people were told in the beginning....

posted by walkebb | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

I think that the issue mainly relates to a couple of points:-

1. Scottish Power did not advise their customers that they were outsourcing the meter reading and customers, wary about providing information and access to their home  (or both) to an organisation they do have an association with, are reluctant to respond favourably.  There are many fraudulent schemes in existance and this could have been just another one them.  Many will now realise that this is the arrangement and provided they are satisfied with the meter reader's credentials should permit reading(s).

2. Those providing readings direct to Scottish Power will question why they need a third party to do so again whether this is in person, online or by phone.  It seems a waste of time and money.  We now know that this is required as an independent check of the reading at least annually by Scottish Power and that they employ a third party as their agents to carry out the reading - presumably in person to have any credibility.

Scottish Power would have been better to communicate this effectively in the first place to their customers.




posted by gazza7251 | 3 years ago
Re: Why use Data Services?


just to put this into perspective Meter Readers work 8 hrs during the day so obviously there are times when people are out or working which is when they leave their sorry I missed you cards.

It is easy to leave the readings in the window on the card if you are not in and saves being hassled for a reading later and the Meter Reader does not need to access your property to read the meters and the Meter Reader gets paid for the job.

There only a couple of hours each day after 5pm when they are able to call back on the jobs they have not got access to.As stated they need readings at least every 12 months so only send out the jobs not accessed in the interim periods but still require 75% access from the Meter Reader or the company may have to pay penalties to Scottish Power.There are loads of empty properties that are difficult to acces which makes the job even harder.

Scottish Power and the Meter Readers are only paid for jobs that are accessed so don’t advertise the fact that MDS  are reading their meters because it costs them less and still require a 75% access rate which is why pressure is put on Meter Readers to obtain  the reads and  access rate.

It is totally in the customers hands whether they allow people into their home but is easily solved by leaving the card in the window when the Meter Reader calls back.

Customhers also complain that they still get estimated bills even though they have submitted readings but that is totally due to the Scottish Power system and not because the Meter Reader has not submitted them.