Read this report by Potomac Edison Customer Danny Lutz:
At about 0840 hours this morning, I observed a white SUV with a Virginia Vanity plate OHAPY DZ in my front yard. The vehicle had a portable orange flashing light affixed to the right front rain gutter.
Upon checking, the individual, clad in a black pullover shirt, and black knee top Speedo type shorts, waived an electronic device at me. He stated he was from the power company and was there to read the meters. (This is the "uniform" of street thugs, burglars, muggers, MS 13.... keep picking them.)
The gentleman showed nothing to confirm his position with Potomac Edison, nor did he identify himself.
I allowed him to complete his errand. Then I asked him if Potomac Edison is requiring meter readers to use their personal vehicles when making their rounds.
He stated that "Since the merger, everything is all screwed up, and I have to use my vehicle."
Imagine the scams that could be perpetrated upon the unknowing of all ages by people posing as meter readers. I do not know if my premises were cased for a later visit for less than legal purposes.
I very much should like to know what explanation Potomac Edison has for this modus operandi. Could not Potomac Edison hire someone from West Virginia to read West Virginia meters?
I politely suggest that in addition to being more vigilant over your own properties, you should watch for and warn your neighbors, especially those living alone, elderly, or incapacitated.
After an interminable number of attempts, I finally breached FORTRESS FIRST ENERGY and reached TODD MEYERS, in house apologist.
I gave him the same description of the events of 0840 hours yesterday morning.
He offered the explanation that some meter reading personnel hired since 1 April 2013 may not have Potomac Edison Vehicles.
Meyers stated that those using personal vehicles "should" have a magnetic door sign identifying the vehicle as representing Potomac Edison. (This vehicle had no such signage.) He further asked if any ID BADGE was displayed. (None was) Meyers stated that the reader should have been wearing a lime green safety vest.(He was not.)
He kept repeating "You've given me good enough information. I can investigate this. I will call the meter reader and find out what is going on."
It took me eight calls plus a boat load of web searches to finally get to Meyers.
The last two individuals who came here to read the meter, months ago, drove pick ups and wore white helmets and lime green safety vests.
I will be curious to see what comes from this belated effort.
If Potomac Edison would use local people from the areas to be served, some of these issues might need never arise. Though local people cannot know everyone, they are able to be more easily identified.
Just had an enlightening conversation with Todd Meyers "Public Relations Specialist with FIRST ENERGY." (That is how Mr. Meyers described his capacity with FIRST ENERGY in our conversation a few minutes ago.)
I was able to contact the gentleman on the first call, and he doubtless saw who I am from the caller ID. He clearly did not want to talk to me.
I had to give him another synopsis of the issues of 7 August 2013.
In a stumbling, hesitating voice, Mr. Meyer stated that he had checked with the Supervisor of the meter reading and found that, indeed, the vehicle and the person are engaged in reading meters for Potomac Edison. He stated that this was determined by conversing with that supervisor from "the information which you supplied, that is the white vehicle with the O HAPPY DAYS (sic) Virginia plate." (Actual plate is OHAPY DZ.).
Meyers further stated that he had learned that the individual in question had displayed an ID, was wearing a green vest, and had magnetic signs on the door of the vehicle.
I asked who was the source of his information, and he was reluctant to tell me, giving a rambling and convoluted answer which I shall not try to duplicate here.
Meyers went on "That's what I was told happened."
I asked "Might I ask who is the supervisor of the meter reading for this area?"
Meyers replied "That is Charity Emmert in the Williamsport office."
I said "Could you provide me with an email for you and Ms. Emmert that I may inform you, Ms. Emmert, and Potomac Edison that that person is not welcome on my property again for any reason? It appears that person has been less than truthful in this matter."
MEYERS "You can send the email to me at tmeyer1energy.com, I will see that she gets it. I will forward it to where it needs to go,"
I suspect that TOADIE MEYERS did not do anything with my complaint, and was surprised to have his bluff called in this manner.
Why aren't Potomac Edison's meter readers wearing uniforms and driving company trucks? Because those things cost money! FirstEnergy's cost cutting now allows any person to pretend to be a meter reader, even those with ulterior motives. How easy would it be to buy a lime green vest, a blinking light and a fake magnetic sign in order to go door-to-door to see who's home... or not?
Danny is not a liar. FirstEnergy needs to provide a staff of professional meter readers, not unidentified people driving anonymous vehicles and waving electronic devices. If you have a question about an unidentified person trespassing on your property that you suspect may be a Potomac Edison meter reader (or someone posing as one), do not approach. Call Todd and ask him to identify the person 724 838 6650.