Installation of new smart meter causes headaches at Broadway Pizza

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "I said, 'Oh Lord, what's going on?' Then the power started flashing on and off, on and off. I started unplugging TVs and computers."

Adrian Ishee, his staff and lunchtime customers at Broadway Pizza were caught in the dark.

It happened when contractors with MLGW came to install a Smart Meter on a neighboring business.

It appears contractors removed the old meter from the pizza place instead.

Ishee said he wanted nothing to do with the new device and he let contractors know.

"Hey, don't come over to Broadway Pizza. We don't want you to change our meter. We want to opt out of the Smart Meter. If we need to sign anything...whatever we need to do," he said.

MLGW said the business never requested a Smart Meter not be installed -- a simple process of notifying the utility company.

But Ishee's problems didn't end there. Workers reportedly had trouble seating the old meter back into its box.

"He is pushing the old meter into the box, and sparks are flying out everywhere. I mean it looked like it was about to catch on fire."

He told WREG the power continued to flicker until an MLGW employee used jumper cables to bypass the meter and provide power to the restaurant.

"They hooked up the jumper cables and all that, and they said, 'Okay this is going to be good for a temporary fix.'"

MLGW said that was a major no no.

"That is not how MLGW operates. And consequently the appropriate -- that employee will be dealt with appropriately," said Gale Jones Carson with MLGW.

Things got even more heated when an MLGW security team accused Ishee of stealing power.

The problem was corrected and in the end Broadway Pizza did get a smart meter. However, Ishee told us he's still adamantly opposed to it.

"My concern about having a Smart Meter is that I've heard...they cause fires. And that's one of my main concerns."

Jones Carson said there are no documented cases in Memphis or Shelby County of any fires as a result of having a smart meter.


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