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The Law Has Put You In Pole Position

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2020

I’m doing maintenance on a large telecom network. The equipment I need to get to is in a backyard and six metres up on a pole. It can only be accessed from this one backyard, with a ladder. As per policy, I knock on the front door to inform the homeowner of my presence. Note that utilities — hydro, telecom providers, etc. — have a legal right of way to access the poles and equipment. The homeowner answers and I hold up my company ID badge.

Me: “Hi, I’m with [Telecom Company]. I’m doing some network maintenance in the area and I need to go to the pole in your backyard for about ten minutes.”

Homeowner: “I don’t have service with you. My neighbours don’t, either.”

Me: “This equipment feeds service to the whole area, not just your direct neighbours. There’s something causing issues for two-hundred subscribers in the area.” 

Homeowner: “I don’t care about the other two-hundred people. You need to find another way to do it.” 

Me: “It’s only accessible from your yard. I checked the neighbour’s side first. The pole is five metres from the fence line. For my health and safety, I can’t go from another yard.”

Homeowner: “Well, for my health and safety, I can’t let you into my yard.”

Me: “Actually, we have a legal right of way to access our equipment. It should be detailed in your home ownership papers.”

Homeowner: “Well, my husband is a cop! I’m gonna call him and see what he has to say about it!” 

Me: “By all means, please do.”

Homeowner: *On the phone* “Yeah, I’ve got some guy here pretending to be from [Telecom Company] saying he needs to go to the pole—” *Pauses* “Really?” *Pauses* “Really?” *Pauses* “REALLY?! Ooookay.”

She hangs up.

Homeowner: “He says it’s okay.”

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