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If I don't change my Direct Debit, will OVO stop giving me the self service reward?

  • 9 April 2019
  • 8 replies
  • 142 views

Hi, I've just had an email recommending an £81 per month increase , based on estimated usage of over £1100 between now and October. Last year bills were £400 for this period, so figure is clearly nonsense,

The mail also says: Remember, to qualify for your self service reward you need to do this online.

Does this mean that if I don't change it, they intend to stop giving me the self service reward?

Thanks
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Best answer by Nancy_OVO 16 April 2019, 17:29

Hi @Tml64,

You're right, it does seem like the Direct Debit review tool has been a little over zealous here. There could be a few reasons for this (starting a new plan, an incomplete history of meter readings meaning we don't have accurate enough data), but it's just a recommendation.

The Self-Service Reward is a discount applied as a thank you to customers for managing their accounts themselves online. There are certain things that you may not be able to do online, and sometimes customers may not be able to find the information they need on our website (for example account specific queries like this). In these instances, it's perfectly okay to give us a call or get in touch via email without any risk of losing your reward.

Cheers
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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @Tml64 and welcome to the Forum.

There's a help page on calculating Direct Debits on the main OVO site.

Since the amount you are being requested to pay depends on your personal statements, we can't completely answer your query here on the open Forum. However, you can at least follow the guidance and see if you arrive at the same amount as OVO have just requested you pay.
Thanks,

According to my calculations I am £33 in debt now, am likely to use around £450 worth of fuel over the next six months, by which time I'll have paid an extra £660 via my existing Direct Debit, so I'll be owed money in October rather than needing to up the DD amount by £80 plus a month as requested.

I'm therefore leaving the direct debit as is, and just wondering whether this means they won't knock the £30 self-service award I'm due next month due to the "Remember, to qualify for your self service reward you need to do this online" statement they included in their email.

I'd say it would be unusual customer service if they did, as it would result in me changing provider, but thought it was worth asking just in case it was a known error. I'm assuming these things are computer generated via a badly programmed piece of software, and just wondered whether they would follow through with an effective £30 fine.

Thanks again
£15 not £30
Userlevel 3
Hey @Tml64,

We actively check Direct Debits on a monthly basis to make sure you're paying the right amount, to avoid debts later on in the contract. To qualify for the self service reward we do stipulate that the Direct Debit must be paid on time and at the recommended amount (or more) each month. You can find more information here.

I hope this helps!
Thanks, but the thing is it's not the right amount, it's completely out of kilter with my usage and my payments (as explained in my previous 2 posts).

But thanks for the confirmation that the self-service reward qualification stipulates that I need to increase the DD to the massively inaccurate value in order to receive it.

I'm not going to, and will leave at the end of contract in October instead, as I don't like being messed about.

It seems a very unusual way to run a business. I've been a customer for 3 years, have always paid on time, and will have happily paid OVO around £4000 to supply my electricity and gas in that period by the time I leave.

Kind of bizarre, but there you go.

Thanks for the info.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Erm @Tml64

If you check your usage against the published formula on OVO's own help-page here, and that demonstrates that their assessment is indeed a "massively inaccurate value", then you can handle this as a complaint. Complaints aren't liable to loss of the SSR either, so you have nothing to lose.

The whole point behind OVO deciding to put their formula on that page is to avoid precisely the situation in which you now find yourself.

I always recommend that complaints are best handled by email to hello@ovoenergy.com. That means you retain a date/time stamped copy of what you've said. It also has the advantage that OVO can forward it to the best person to provide the answer.
Erm...

This recommended increase is based on "We think your energy costs this year will be £2,374.35" whereas my actual energy cost for the last 12 months was £1370. A "massively inaccurate value" indeed.

Surely the whole point of OVO putting their formula on the help-page is to demonstrate that it's used correctly, and their recommendations are fair? If they input nonsense estimates of future usage into it, they will produce nonsense recommendations of what the DD should be out of it.

Call me old-fashioned, but I'd say the payment of a self service reward shouldn't require the customer to advise the provider how an important part of their business should work.

Thanks for the information on emailing to complain. It really is a very unusual way to run a business.
Userlevel 5
Badge
Hi @Tml64,

You're right, it does seem like the Direct Debit review tool has been a little over zealous here. There could be a few reasons for this (starting a new plan, an incomplete history of meter readings meaning we don't have accurate enough data), but it's just a recommendation.

The Self-Service Reward is a discount applied as a thank you to customers for managing their accounts themselves online. There are certain things that you may not be able to do online, and sometimes customers may not be able to find the information they need on our website (for example account specific queries like this). In these instances, it's perfectly okay to give us a call or get in touch via email without any risk of losing your reward.

Cheers

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