Anybody else getting dodgy texts about a United Energy power surge?

Has anybody else had one of these, possibly dodgy, texts?

Possibly dodgy text from an alleged United Energy contractor

This is the second one I’ve received now. After the first I replied “Wrong number” and got a “Sorry” back, but the guy is persistent.

Something smells fishy. Note the supposed pick-up date, which is last Thursday, three days before the text was received.

When I mentioned it on Twitter last night, Marcus Wong noted that there was a power surge around that day (actually on the 11th if the 3AW article is accurate), on the Mornington Peninsula.

United Energy is a distributor, not a retailer — many people in Melbourne’s south-east are connected via them, even if another company is the one sending them the bills.

Of course, it could just be a wrong number plus poor record-keeping. The number of emails I get for someone, who apparently shares my name but has no idea of their own email address, is amazing.

We lost power last night in the storm

Things I learnt when we lost power:

Take-away pizza by torchlight a bad way to have dinner.

A Smart Meter won’t keep the juice flowing if there’s problems in the local distribution network.

I don’t have enough torches. At least one per person would be good.

The Dolphin mini LED torch I got recently is really good. Will get a couple more of these I think.

Thank goodness for mobile internet, and having a phone that still has a charge in it.

If you’re not sure who your electricity distribution company is, try the list here.

The United Energy Distribution web site is quite good, and accessible via a Smart phone. It shows you maps of the affected area and so on, but is not to be trusted entirely — our area vanished off the list when their estimated recovery time of 8pm passed.

The UED phone service was more candid, with a more up-to-date (?) estimate of after midnight.

The early night didn’t do us any harm. I was glad to get the extra sleep.

Questions I still have:

If the power was off from about 4pm, until sometime overnight (perhaps up to 12 hours)… is the stuff that was in the fridge still okay? The milk seems to be all right (as far as I can smell), but what about frozen food?

PS. Jeremy noticed that some ice that had been loose in a container was still frozen and loose; eg it hadn’t even melted enough to stick together, let alone into water and then frozen again. Which to me suggests all the food should be fine, as (in the freezer especially) the temperature never got very high.