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Where's my final refund?


 


since last November been trying to get refund since switching . and DESPITE UMPTEEN PHONE CALLS no one has sorted out my rebate. you were happy to take my money but not happy to payback whats owed.
I would like some extra compensation now.
you have 7 days to respond otherwise I will have to take legal action

 

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Best answer by Darran_OVO 31 May 2017, 12:15

Updated on 20/04/2021:


When you switch away, your new energy supplier sends us your final meter readings so we can send your final statements. If your OVO account is in credit, we’ll send a refund straight to the bank account your Direct Debit used to come from within 7 working days of receiving your final bills. This process usually takes up to 6 weeks which is an industry time-frame. See our guide on switching suppliers or watch the video below for more info. 

 


If we’re outside of this time frame now, pop the team a message on FacebookTwitter and or our Help centre has online chat.


Darran

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This seems to be a common occurrence when leaving OVO for a new supplier,I left on the 1st October to change suppliers in which I was told 6 weeks was the time frame for the transfer over here I am now 12 weeks down the line after being fobbed off on numerous occasions saying we are still waiting on the final electric reading but in meantime we will be issuing with a partial refund 1st time 12 days and then 7 still no refund! I rang new energy company they had already sent them the readings to my surprise in November! In the meantime I have also been charged with 2 monthly bills on top of my new suppliers bill ! Seems to me you hold onto people’s credit to gather interest of customers money if it isn’t sorted in the 3-5 days from yesterday off I goes to ofgem to properly complain  I’ve had enough of being fobbed off and lied to 😡😡😡😡

Userlevel 6

I’m sorry to hear that this is an ongoing issue, @Kev73, I’ve moved your post here, the thread may hold some handy info for you. 

Please feel free to cancel your Direct Debit, we will still be able to issue your final refund, but it will ensure no further payment is take whilst your account is still live. 

I hope this is resolved soon. 

Userlevel 7
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Those are understandable comments @Kev73. But may I please clarify the actual process.

Your New Supplier sends the meter reference number(s) and readings to ECOES (electricity) and Xoserve (gas) because these are the relevant National Meter Databases.

It is they who send a set of Notifications to the Old Supplier (OVO in this case).

Any failure in the system can be addressed by following the Complaints Procedure of the New Supplier because that’s where you now have a legal contract.

If they cannot resolve it within 8 weeks, they must issue a Deadlock Letter, and you can refer the matter to the Office of the Energy Ombudsman.

You don’t take it to Ofgem because they’re the industry regulator, and you’re a consumer.

The Ombudsman can investigate and take action against any of the parties involved, including failings by ECOES or Xoserve. It’s important to remember that there are at least four parties involved, not just two.

Where is my money?!

Userlevel 7
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I think you’ll need to give us a bit more information than that @mario1mario1 .

You’ve previously posted to the Forum solely concerning the recovery of the outstanding credit balance you had with Economy Energy (now in Administration),

Are you still referring to that refund?

Or is your latest message related to you switching away from OVO?

[I sent an email a few days ago and got a reply that has nothing to do with my query, but just told me to go to the forum, so here it is.]

This is the second email (13 April 2020) to query about my account.  The first one was sent on 9 February 2020.

I switched from OVO to another supplier, taking effect on 15 December 2019.  This is more than 17 weeks ago which is way more than the 4-6 weeks you indicated.  I have a credit in my OVO account of more than GBP 200, and I am yet to receive a refund.

I am still waiting for your "final statement".  The most recent statement was dated 12 November 2019.  I received a confusing document titled "Your OVO contract" dated 10 March 2020, by email, and want to make sure that was not issued in error.

I would be grateful to hear from you as soon as possible.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @mattovo - sorry to hear of your situation.

Firstly, please read my explanation above about how the switch process works.

Until OVO receive the relevant Notification from ECOES and Xoserve they cannot generate your Final Bill. The refund of credit from your account will obviously only occur after that Final Bill is calculated.

It is entirely the responsibility of your New Supplier to ensure that they are satisfied that the switch is complete and to inform ECOES and Xoserve to Notify OVO. If they have not yet done so, then you need to use their Complaints Procedure.

If that hasn’t been resolved within 8 weeks, then you have reached a state of Deadlock and can take the matter to the Office of the Energy Ombudsman.

It would seem to me that the 8-week period would by now have long expired had your New Supplier been aware that they should be treating your issue as a complaint. The delay indicates that they think otherwise.

Hi @mattovo - sorry to hear of your situation.

Firstly, please read my explanation above about how the switch process works.

Until OVO receive the relevant Notification from ECOES and Xoserve they cannot generate your Final Bill. The refund of credit from your account will obviously only occur after that Final Bill is calculated.

It is entirely the responsibility of your New Supplier to ensure that they are satisfied that the switch is complete and to inform ECOES and Xoserve to Notify OVO. If they have not yet done so, then you need to use their Complaints Procedure.

If that hasn’t been resolved within 8 weeks, then you have reached a state of Deadlock and can take the matter to the Office of the Energy Ombudsman.

It would seem to me that the 8-week period would by now have long expired had your New Supplier been aware that they should be treating your issue as a complaint. The delay indicates that they think otherwise.

 

Dear @Transparent 

Thank you for your reply.

I’ve now contacted my new energy provider, So Energy, about my account. 

They have informed me that after they took over my electricity supply on 15 December 2019, the D86 (electricity opening reading) was validated and received by OVO on 28 December 2019.  The file identifier for this is 0004663412 for reference.

I have also been provided with a screenshot of the national database ECOES, which confirms my switch to So Energy was complete on 15 December 2019.  I can forward this to you if necessary.

My flat does not have gas, so I believe there is no need to involve Xoserve.

I’d be grateful if you could check with your colleagues about my account status regarding the above info, and I look forward to receiving a final statement as soon as possible.  My account number is ** edited by mod **

Thank you.

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Good morning @mattovo - Wow, that was a late night (early morning) post.

May I first point out that I’m a fellow customer. I don’t work for OVO and this Forum isn’t monitored by Customer Services. Here we try to help each other and discuss energy-related matters.

 

Secondly, I have been through a remarkably similar set of circumstances to you a few years back, and took the case to the Office of the Energy Ombudsman. This was a very useful experience, and the Ombudsman’s staff were helpful in explaining how the system worked.

In my case the Ombudsman ruled against the Receiving Supplier and stipulated eight “outcomes” including a fine, a small compensation payment to me and reporting them to Ofgem, the industry regulator.

That ruling was primarily because the new Supplier had failed to follow through the entire switch process. Instead, they provided me (the customer) with evidence, leaving me to chase the Relinquishing Supplier. That is against the rules.

The reason that the switch hadn’t completed transpired to be that they had technically “taken over the wrong meter”. The MPAN (Meter number) didn’t match my postcode. That fine but important detail, was picked up my my Old Supplier and a proper Notification was returned to ECOES.

The Receiving Supplier took no action on this. After all, they were now being paid by me. In the ensuing months, they couldn’t even find the “Notification” from ECOES which had informed them of the anomaly!

That is why I am very clear that you must pursue this case with So Energy.

Until OVO have received the full, final Notifications, they may not (and cannot) issue your Final Bill.

If So Energy fail to resolve this, and you have correctly followed their published Complaints Procedure, then you may take your case to the Office of the Energy Ombudsman. You cannot do so if you have instead chased up OVO because that action operates outside of the Receiving Supplier’s Complaints Process.

 

I’m sorry that may not be the response you hoped for. But if you want any further clarification or help, please do ask again here. I wish you well.

Userlevel 3

Having an Engelbert moment here. 

 

Now two whole months since I left OVO and you have still failed to produce my final bill and refund my remaining credit. I see on the forums I am not the only one. My emails to OVO have not resulted in anything other than 'will be passed on to the relevant department'. My new supplier has my account fully set up and doesn't see what the hold up is. Under the Energy Switching Guarantee I should not have to be chasing you for my money OVO. 

 

Please release me, let me go,
For I don't love OVO anymore.
To keep my money would be a sin.
Release me and let me be happy again.…

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Barnabee There’s another whole Topic about this matter. I specifically commented about the situation in which you find yourself over here.

… and no - you should not be chasing OVO

There’s a kind of hush all OVO the bills tonight…

Userlevel 3

Thanks Transparent. 

My new supplier are adamant (Prince Charming) that OVO have been given my final meter readings and a they should have generated a final bill by now. 

I am now waiting for my new supplier to send me the dates and reference numbers  as confirmation. 

For anyone else switching away from OVO I suggest you do the following in advance:

1. Remove as much credit as you can from your account. 

2. Cancel your direct debit with your bank before you leave but ensure your balance will cover your final bill. If you  do have a credit balance OVO can refund you without a direct debit. 

Hanging on to customers monies seems to be the in thing for UK businesses at the moment. 

 

Userlevel 6

I’ve moved your post to this thread, @Barnabee, as @Transparent pointed out there is more info on this thread. You shouldn’t have to chase us, but I would recommend reaching out (Four Tops) to the team so that we can chase this up. 

You can send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or webchat via the Help Centre. You can reach our team on: 0330 303 5063. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday to Friday.

Thanks! 

Userlevel 7
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Just to clarify, @Barnabee and others who read this is future:

It is not sufficient for the New Supplier to send meter readings to the Relinquishing Supplier and assume that completes the process. It doesn’t.

The whole point of having the National Meter Databases, ECOES and Xoserve is that it is they who handle the notifications of final meter readings.

The meter readings are only part of the data that must be confirmed within these Notifications. Serial numbers are checked against MPRN/MPAN numbers, and those in turn are checked against the site address.

It is important for the correct procedures to be followed. This enables errors to be corrected within the records, and prevents fraud (mainly by means of Identity Theft).

Without such systems being in place we would end up with both landlords and tenants trying to claim remaining credit from an account, for example.

Meters could be tampered with when properties change hands, and fraudsters could take over an account, using it for money laundering.

I’m obviously not going to explain here on the open Forum how this is done! But I have twice had personal experience of just such attempted frauds.

That’s why the Office of the Energy Ombudsman will rule against a Receiving Supplier who merely passes meter readings across. The system is there to protect all of us.

I arranged to switch supplier on the 25 February after finding a better deal. OVO sent an email to confirm and explained the process. Early March I switched supplier and expected OVO to finalise my bills and refund me the outstanding balance as I was in credit. As i have a smart meter, this is instantly confirmed. Two months later nothing appears to have happened - I do not have my final bills and the OVO are still taking direct debit payments from my account. I cannot adjust these on the app or get for a refund of the hundreds of pounds taken as the app won't let me. I spoke to an OVO advisor who couldn't really explain why my account hasn't been finalised  and suggested I contact my new supplier. When I spoke to my new supplier they said there was no problem and the transfer had completed as expected- there was nothing for me to do. I have left a compliant about the service via OVO over a week ago, but have not received response. This delay is distressing and adding unnecessary financial burden in a time when you should be supporting people.

Please can you help!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hi @Bishop_P † and welcome to the Forum.

There’s lots of people who have experienced lack of clarity during the switch process. It’s one of the most common questions that I respond to here.

Have a look at this Topic “Where’s my final refund?” for help.

… and then post back here again if you’d like further assistance.

Oh my lord! Just read all the posts... i've been a consumer for 20 years and used lots of different suppliers- none have given me this sort of issue. Seems to me that OVO are not proactive in resolving these issues and are happy to hold on to customers money as long as possible. This feels ethically wrong and this experience will lead me not to select or recommend OVO in future. I despair!

Userlevel 7
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Well indeed. Oh my Lord, dear @Bishop_P !

But I don’t see how the other posts conclude that fault lies at the door of OVO.

I have discussed this matter with a senior staff member at the Office of the Energy Ombudsman, and I am quite clear that OVO may not issue a Final Bill until the necessary Notifications have been received from ECOES, and possibly Xoserve too.

If you were in the situation where you had received a Final Bill, but no refund, then I would be inclined to believe that OVO were indeed holding onto funds. But you stated that you had not yet received any Final Bill.

Your recourse to complaint is against the New Supplier. That is how Ofgem’s regulatory system has defined the rules. Until you are able to demonstrate that you have followed all 2 or 3 stages of the published Complaints Procedure from the New Supplier, your case can’t even be heard by the Ombudsman.

You have no route to the Ombudsman by raising a complaint against the Relinquishing Supplier. All that generates is frustration :cry:

We may be able to offer further support here. But we can’t advise a strategy which is contrary to Ofgem’s guidance.

Userlevel 6

Seems to me that OVO are not proactive in resolving these issues and are happy to hold on to customers money as long as possible. This feels ethically wrong and this experience will lead me not to select or recommend OVO in future.

 

Hi @Bishop_P,

It’s disappointing to hear you feel this way, but it’s certainly not the case.

As @Transparent has explained, and as indicated in the Best Answer on the post above, we can’t issue a final bill until we’ve received official confirmation of the starting readings you gave to your new energy company. This ensures there’s no overlap in the energy you’ve paid for across both companies.

This process is called Validation. If you’d like a bit more detail, the chain of agents through whom the readings must pass are: customer -> new supplier -> data collector of new supplier -> OVO data collector -> OVO

Once it reaches us we can final bill and refund. This process happens separately for both gas and electricity.

The official time frame is 6 weeks. If it exceeds this time frame and we still haven’t got the info we need, we can chase it up.

If we’re outside of this time frame now, pop the team a message on Facebook with your account number (or address and post code), full name and DoB and we can chase it up.

Hope this helps!

Hi Nancy

Thanks for the additional information. Following Transparents advice i have contacted my new supplier for evidence proving they have provided OVO with the necessary information to complete the transfer in March.  Hopefully this will be forthcoming soon and then i will decide on further action.

As an update though I have still not received a response to my direct email complaint lodged with OVO 2 weeks ago.

Userlevel 7
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Hi again @Bishop_P . I think your email complaint to OVO a fortnight ago falls between two stools.

If the complaint was regarding only the matter of you switching to another Supplier, then it couldn’t be resolved by Customer Services. It lies outside of the complaints procedure because your recourse to a remedy is via the New Supplier. (Although you might have expected an acknowledgement).

If the complaint was regarding a different matter, then you would normally expect a reply within 5 days. However if this is not forthcoming, then it is your right to escalate it to the second level within OVO’s Complaints Procedure.

There’s nothing to prevent you following through a complaint with a Supplier you have just left, but it obviously restricts their ability to offer a remedy. If your complaint was raised after the designated switch-date, then it’s also less likely to be capable of referral to the Energy Ombudsman.

Userlevel 3

Just a quick update on my situation. Well over 3 months since switching from OVO and still not had a final bill or credit balance refunded. 

I have now followed @Transparent advice and opened a complaint against my new supplier with the Energy Ombudsman. Simple to do online. My new supplier keep insisting I contact OVO so hopefully they will now take responsibility.

If you are thinking of leaving OVO to save a few pound the grass isn't greener on the other side. Very often its dying, unwelcoming and full of you know what. 

Userlevel 7
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I’ll be interested to hear of your experience of the Ombudsman is as favourable as mine, @Barnabee. Considering the amount of flak they must receive from irate customers, I think they have the most amazing patience.

The key point in what you have just written is “My new supplier keep insisting I contact OVO” because that’s a no-no!

It is very important that a customer can leave a Supplier with whom they have fallen out. For that reason they should never be expected to undertake negotiation with that Supplier.

Userlevel 3

As promised, and to @Transparent , I have had a resolution to my switching woes from the Ombudsman.

I finally have an apology from my new supplier for the poor customer service and an award of compensation. I have accepted this on condition that the incorrect meter reading still on my account is corrected and a readjusted bill issued.

OVO have after nearly 5 months just issued my final bill and I have been promised my credit balance will be refunded within 10 working days. 

Neither OVO or the new supplier have come out of this smelling of Roses and if it had not for going through the Ombudsman I do not believe it would have been sorted.

One strange thing is that my new supplier are adamant they had contacted OVO to try to sort it out. I had a phone call from OVO last week and they denied this had happened. As part of my new suppliers evidence to the ombudsman below is a copy of their statement which intrigues me

"on the 2nd July 2020 (name of my current supplier) spoke directly to Sophie at OVO who confirmed they have the correct readings and details to final bill your account"

Sophie, whoever you are, you owe me a pint!

The ombudsman process is simple and I recommend using it to anyone struggling with any energy supplier signed up to it. 

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Barnabee - and I’m particularly pleased to read your last sentence. That concurs with my experience of using the Office of the Energy Ombudsman. They are excellent at their job. :slight_smile:

As for the conversation with the mystery Sophie, she may well have got all the necessary figures on 2nd July. However, I don’t think that is enough to trigger the all-important Final Bill.

It’s the records at the National Meter Databases (ECOES and Xoserve) which have to trigger the release of a customer from one Energy Supplier to another. If the new Supplier has failed to stick to the regulated system of Notifications with those National Databases, then the Final Bill doesn’t get generated.

Let’s hope that others will read this Topic in the months and years to come, and thence be saved from the same wrangles that beset Barnabee.

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