herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Fury as meter installers told to take photographs of homes

Lorcan Collins
Lorcan Collins

IRISH Water meter installers are taking photographs of people's houses twice during the installation process the Herald can reveal.

Installers on behalf of the company snap photographs of homes before work begins and also when work is completed the company confirmed.

Initially a spokesperson for the company told the Herald that there would be no reason for any workers to capture images of people's homes. However when presented with details of the practice in a Dublin 6 area the company confirmed that this does, in fact, happen.

A spokesperson said: "Irish Water meter installers take photographs both before commencing work and also once the work is completed as a quality assurance measure, to ensure no damage has been done in the areas where they are working. This also assists Irish Water should there be any queries following on from the completion of work.

Templeogue resident Lorcan Collins confronted a worker who was taking images in his area on Cyprus Grove Drive last week.

The worker was using an iPad to take pictures of his neighbours' houses. Mr Collins approached the man on Thursday morning at around 9am to ask why he was taking the photos.

DISPUTE

"He told me he was taking the pictures for the purpose of any dispute if people accuse them of breaking anything," the dad-of-two said.

Mr Collins was very angry that this level of detail was being collected, without his consent, alongside bank account numbers and PPS numbers also required by the company.

"It's appalling," he commented.

Mr Collins told the Herald that work had not begun to install a meter at his house but in that he expected work to commence soon after meeting with the worker who was taking the pictures.

He was unsure if the worker took a picture of his own house and said that he had considered erecting a sign strictly forbidding anyone from doing so.

The revelation that workers are snapping pictures of individual homes comes after a week of public relations fiascos for the company.

Meanwhile company was also forced to reassure customers that their PPS numbers were not going to be used to pursue unpaid bills.

Irish Water said that only details such as phone numbers and email addresses would be used to chase payments if a person moved out of a house without paying their bill.

hnews@herald.ie

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