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posted by Jonnel | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

@gazza7251 You're missing the point. Apart from the fact that putting a card in your window advertises to every opportunist burglar out there that no-one's home, your post doesn't say why people should give a firm they've never heard of their data, only that they can. And as far as I'm concerned, the issue is: why should I?

I say, if the accountancy firm Grabbit & Skarpa call unannounced at my door saying they've been sent by the DWP to have a gander at my financials, they should be made to explain under what authority they should be allowed to see them. I'll do it, once I know, but until I know, I'm not going to divulge anything.

This might be relevant though:

Gazza7251: "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."

What exactly does that mean?

posted by gazza7251 | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

It means that Scottish Power only pay MDS and the Meter Readers for the jobs where they obtain a reading.Also there are penalties to pay if the 75% access rate is not achieved.So Scottish Power don’t really want MDS to achieve the access rate so that it saves them paying out for jobs not accessed plus they can reclaim penalties for not achieving the 75% access so it’s win win for them.

If MDS  don’t read your meter in one quarter they automatically send it out again the next quarter to obtain a read.As you can imagine this makes the job even harder and difficult to achieve targets set by Scottish Power.

If you object to MDS reading your meter I suggest you ask for a smart meter to be fitted to your property and you won’t be pestered by Meter Readers trying to read your meter.


Dont believe them when they say your meter will not need to be read after you have a smart meter fitted because they still need a safety check which requires a reading to prove access and we still get jobs out to read smart meters after a smart meter has been fitted..

As already stated it’s completely up to the customer if they allow access  and your comment that it advertises the fact that the property is unoccupied  does not make sense as lots of people do it even if they are in the property..Providing a reading yourself by leaving a reading in the window is accepted by Scottish Power as a means to obtain your reading  but you may get constant requests to read your meter on a regular basis .

posted by Jonnel | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?
@gazza2751 You're still not getting the point... but I dont know how to get through to you that this isn't about meter readers. Most people complaining via this thread (including me) are not even complaining about having their meter read (once, anyway) - MDS or A. N. Other - they're complaining about NOT BEING TOLD THE PEOPLE WHO COME TO THEIR DOOR TRYING TO GET IN OR POST THEM LETTERS ASKING FOR PERSONAL DATA ARE WORKING ON BEHALF OF SCOTTISH POWER.

That's what this is about gazza2751.... being told stuff. (That's why I was so interested in what you meant by SP and MDS not 'advertising' the arrangement. You haven't elaborated on that, I see.)
What's so difficult to understand about that?
By the way, just because lots of people leave cards in their window doesn't mean it's safe to do.... Lots of people speed on the motorway too and that's neither safe nor right.

posted by gazza7251 | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

I think if you actually read your terms and conditions with Scottish Power you will find that it states that your meters will be read by their agent.(in this case MDS).

You will also find that the card supplied by MDS says your supplier is Scottish Power although there are cards that just state your supplier.

I suggest you take the problem up with Scottish Power if you aren’t satisfied with what I have tried to explain .

posted by Jonnel | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?
@gazza2751 I know about the small-print in the contract and I've pointed it out to people several times in this very thread that customers (including me) have contractually agreed to let their meters be read by Scottish Power's "agents". People accept that, I certainly do. It's a traditional thing, meter reading, like the milkman leaving a pinta.... But the point is: Scottish Power don't tell people WHO the "agent" that's gonna be calling on them IS ! So how do we know the stranger who turns up and wants to come into our homes is legit?
Neither do MDS always put Scottish Power's logo on their cards and letters. I've got one to prove it. And at least one poster on here claims the MDS reader who called on him didn't even know the supplier he was reading for was SP. It's just so hit and miss it smacks of trickery. That or incompetence...
When you raise the issue with SP (as I have) at first they just say 'ignore them' and when you press for an answer as to "why, is it a scam?" SP don't answer. If you raise things with MDS they keep (in my case) you waiting for two months with evasive replies and obfuscation until begrudginly explaining themselves. Since I got my explanation I have no issue letting the guy in - I believe he is who he says he is. Now...

The solution is simple - that's the most annoying thing. Scottish Power send MDS a list of meters that need reading, right? At the same time all they need to do is send out an e-mail to the same customers saying something like: "Our records show an annual cyclic reading is required of your meter(s) for safety and/or licence compliance purposes. This is required in addition to your usual reading submissions/reading pattern/smartmeter connexion, but will not generate an additional bill. Please note, a Morrison Data Services meter reader will be calling at your property in the next 4 to 6 weeks for a physical reading, please make every effort to allow him/her access to your meter(s) when he/she calls, or follow the instructions he/she leaves if you cannot. Thank you for your co-operation."

There. I've even written the thing for them....

posted by Davc | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?
MDS list 36 companies that they read meters for, we should exclude EE now so only 35, but 5 out of the big 6 energy companies and many water utilities and minor power companies. Maybe this explains why they don’t seem to be that integrated with SP, it is only a small part of their operations.

posted by Jonnel | 10 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?
@Davc It appears so, but I doubt integration of that kind is possible. I should think with today's data protection regs SP would be hard pressed to find a loophole big enough to excuse passing enough information to MDS for them to contact customers themselves. They just seem to find MDS a handy scapegoat.
And I seriously doubt notifying those customers of an impending meter reader call would fall within the remit of MDS's contract anyway.

No. SP hold the cards, they should play them. I may be wrong, but I feel the above constraints place the responsibility of procurement squarely at Scottish Power's door.
One would expect MDS to reply to customer queries clearly and timely IF ASKED, but not to pre-empt problem solving. Shame they can't absolve themselves of responsibility by doing even that.

posted by Fpalmar | 9 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?
I a didn't give Scottish power permission to hand over my details, b I gave Scottish Power my readings less than a fortnight ago, c if Scottish Power needs any official readings (fair enough every now and then), they can email me personally and arrange a time that is mutually agreed, so I can be in waiting for an on time ID wearing official Scottish Power member of staff.. Nuff said

posted by Davc | 9 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

Trouble is there aren’t any meter readers left at SP and it’s up to you to send in readings. SP use MDS as an agent and you have agreed to it in the terms and conditions of your contract. The days of personalised service and emails have gone now. 

posted by gazza7251 | 9 months ago
Re: Why use Data Services?

You will be waiting a long time because Scottish Power have no Meter Readers.

How do you expect Scottish Power to arrange for every customer to have their meters read by appointment? It’s an impossible task and the cost would push your bills up tremendously.

Each postcode is issued on a 3 month cycle so that the meters Scottish Power require a read for are condensed down to a small area  for density of reads in that area which makes it cheaper and more convenient to read keeping costs down for you and Scottish Power.

If you are not happy with the service and terms with Scottish Power I suggest you change to another more expensive supplier like British Gas who also have no Meter Readers and use MDS.

That is your choice.