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I've been charged £13,000 for 29 days electricity and gas! Is this due to an out of line reading?


My 3 bedroom house was empty for 29 days in October 2023 as there was a change of tenant.  The house is 3 bedroom semi detached.  My estate agent supplied details to OVO for meter readings.  

Electricity use for the period was approximately £50

Gas use for the period was approx £12,800 - that is a bill of around £480/day

OVO were alerted to this by my estate agent in December.

Since then i have spoken on phone and on chat with customer care, sent emails in, sent complaint emails in and had no response.

I have had one debt agency contact me and when i spoke to them about the debt they said “we are sending this back to OVO, its clearly a massive mistake, that bill is ridiculous.’ 

My estate agent said after speaking with OVO that they would stop with the debt collection and investigate.  Then yesterday, 26th March, i was contacted by ANOTHER debt agency chasing me for a £13,000 unpaid bill - for 29 days of gas and electricity.

Why am i getting absolutely nowhere speaking with OVO on the phone and via email?  I am being harassed by debt collectors for a bill that is clearly a screw up - and no-one at OVO seems to want to do anything about it.

I am now looking at Ombudsmen complaint and arranging legal representation because no-one will tell me who i should speak to.  Clearly the £13,000 bill needs erasing and an estimated bill put its in place for the period (29 days).

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?

 

 

 

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Best answer by Abby_OVO 1 April 2024, 17:13

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24 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @MHarley ,

Please bear with me. I’ve flagged this on the forum backstage to figure out how we can best advise on this one.

Go to the energy ombudsman.  OVO customer service are useless.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

You haven’t seen my Joker Card yet. :)

Let’s just say my Joker Card is played only when I absolutely must use it. However, with great responsibility comes great power - I can call in expert assistance from a special team who really know what they’re doing. 

That’s what I’ve done in this case. Please wait until the morning for an update.

Many thanks Blastoise 186.

I would love to get some direction and an end to the anxiety 👍

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Still working on it - I’m waiting for someone to pick up my Joker Card.

However, try 0800 069 9831 in the meantime - that team might be able to fix this. If they don’t please come back here and update this thread.

Thanks Blastoise,  I have tried that number before but I will try again.  Not living in the country I forgot it was Easter so there won't be anyone around until Tuesday.... Let me know if you get any further information and I'll report back on my conversation with them early next week.

Michael

Userlevel 6

Updated by Emmanuelle_OVO:

If you have a sudden large bill, this is likely due to an out of line meter reading, the first thing to do would be to check the meter reading history. If you’re still living in the property please contact the support team with an up to date meter reading.

Out of line meter readings could be submitted incorrectly by an out-going, in-going tenant or owner or letting agency. But can usually be corrected quite easily by the billing team. 

These similar topics may be helpful: 


 

 

Hey @MHarley 

 

Sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been having.

 

Looks like Blastoise186 has left some helpful advice in contacting the Support Team, the team are available to you today if you’ve got time, but you can always take care of things tomorrow.

 

You can contact the team now via social media, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter from 9am - 5pm.

 

 

Let us know how you’re getting on with this, the Support Team will be able to help get this sorted with you.

Thank you Abby_OVO,

 

I contacted the team on facebook and they siad they couldnt do much so i should call collections.  I tried them but couldn’t get through.  I realised today is the day after the 2day bank holiday (i live in Middle East where Easter isnt a thing) so i’ll give it a day or two for the call volume to return to normal and then report back here with what they say.

Regards

 

Michael

Userlevel 6

Hi @MHarley 

 

Apologies for the difficulty getting that sorted yesterday, I know the teams were working at much smaller capacities, but they’re all back to normal now.

 

You can call the collections team on 0800 069 9831. We’re open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am-2pm. You can also get through to the collections team via webchat.

 

 

Keep us updated with how you get on.

Thank you Abby_OVO,

I'm currently position 1 waiting for the webchat team.

I've realised I need to take snip/photos of what is said online so I'll have some record of what they say.

 

Regards

 

Michael

Dear Abby_OVO,

Tha KS for your continued interest in this.

I talked with a collections team agent on the webchat.  They told me to call the phone line.

I called and spoke with a collections team agent said that they could see there was a complaint email sent to me yesterday saying 'we'll be in touch in 2-3 days'. 

They said they couldn't do anything until the complaint was resolved.  I've already complained via email on 29th February and nothing was done about it then, so I'm still in exactly the same position six weeks later.  

To conclude, the collection team didn't do anything for me.  No confirmation that the debt collection has been permanently stopped, no 'this is what's going to happen' or no reassurances it's being dealt with - just 'you need to let complaints deal with it' but I've already tried that route and it's a dead end.

I feel like I am back at square one.

Regards

Michael

Still working on it - I’m waiting for someone to pick up my Joker Card.

However, try 0800 069 9831 in the meantime - that team might be able to fix this. If they don’t please come back here and update this thread.

Good day Blastoise 186,

No luck with the number you provided.  That was the collections team.  

They said a complaint was raised yesterday and I was sent an email asking to wait 2-3 days so they wouldn't do anything.

I pointed out that six weeks ago I complained via email and have had zero response.  In fact I had so little response so what good is waiting a few more days going to do?  They said, again, that they couldn't do anything about it and that my next course of action was to wait to be contacted.

So I'm back to being nowhere further along except being told to trust the OVO system but it doesn't work.  

If you have any  'big guns' I need them!

Regards

Michael

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Ok, let me try the next trick. You won’t see anything obvious right now - but that’s just because this one’s a bit more invisible.

Thank you Blastoise186

Userlevel 6

Hey @MHarley 

 

I’m sorry to hear you’re still having trouble here.

 

I’m going to have our Forum_Support reach out to you to help with this matter. Look out for a private message here soon: https://forum.ovoenergy.com/inbox/overview.

Hey @MHarley 

 

I’m sorry to hear you’re still having trouble here.

 

I’m going to have our Forum_Support reach out to you to help with this matter. Look out for a private message here soon: https://forum.ovoenergy.com/inbox/overview.

Thank you Abby_OVO.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

And that is my Joker Card. :)

And that is my Joker Card. :)

Thank you Blastoise186.  

They have been in touch.  I've sent account details off etc so let's see what happens.

Michael

PROBLEM NOT SOLVED like the forum header says it is...

To recap...i was sent 2 bills for a period of  approx 28 days gas usage in a 3 bedroom semi.  One bill was approx £9,500 (22 days duration approx) and the other bill was approx £3,900 (six days or so).

The forum people who helped me were lovely and a great help - got me where i needed to be and alleviated my stress - much appreciated.

All was going so well.  I got a dedicated complaint handler and a phone call and apologies and assurances that all debts against me were stopped and that a new bill was being calculated.  OVO recognised the meter readings used for the bill were NOT related to the actual meter reading when the property was left vacant by the last tenant.

Today (14th May) I had YET ANOTHER  email from a debt collector (and a telephone conversation with them to make sure they weren’t mistaken), telling me that I owed £3,900 for the very six days i have been disputing since the beginning.  Despite OVO assuring me verbally and in written form that they have stopped all the debts against me whilst they investigate, they have not.    

Yet again, I have debt collectors asking me for payment plans.  After the apologies for the stress caused and for the mistakes I’m still dealing with the same issue - an OVO debt against me that is clearly ridiculous and so infuriating. 

To be told, “Don’t worry we’ll sort it all out, all the debt against you and the property has been suspended” and then to get told a month later, “Hey you owe OVO £3,900 when are you going to pay” is infuriating.

If someone there who helped me on this forum before could give someone else at OVO a heads up and please ask them to give the problem the proper attention it deserves it would be a big help.

Regards

Michael

Userlevel 6

Hey @MHarley 

 

Sorry to hear this is still ongoing, let me check with Forum_Support on this for you.

Userlevel 6

PROBLEM NOT SOLVED

Yet again, I have debt collectors asking me for payment plans.

Hi and sorry to hear you are having problems with Debt Collectors.

Unfortunately it is not uncommon, and I’ve had to deal with a few myself in the past.

When you have Debt Collectors chasing you then you have to stop them, the company who has instructed them to chase the alleged debt can’t or won’t.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the Debt Collectors and the Supplier are working together, they are not and each is doing their own thing.

To deal with a Debt Collector:

Email, or write to, the Debt Collectors telling them the following in your own words and adding dates etc. as necessary, keep things polite but to the point, don’t let them sidetrack you they only do it to try and confuse things:

  •     State that you are making an- Official Complaint of Harassment.
        Put that in bold, underlined, at the top of your email after the addresses, ref numbers, etc.
  •     Thank them nicely for their previous correspondence
  •     Tell them that the alleged debt is in dispute with the supplier.
  •     Tell them that as the alleged debt is disputed with the supplier then you require that the collectors cease action until that dispute is resolved.
  •     Tell them that you will not be making any payments, that you are not their 'customer' and will not be creating or logging into any account on their 'payment portal'.
  •     Tell them that if they fail to cease action then you will make complaints of Harassment to both the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman.

Don’t go into unnecassary details about the alleged debt with the debt collector, (that’s the mistake that most make, I know that I used to), just stick to the fact that the alleged debt is in dispute and so they should back off.

You can add the following if you want to get semi-legal back at them:
"In accordance with the FCA Handbook CONC 7.14 "Settlements, disputed and deadlocked debt" you should now suspend any and all collections activity whilst my dispute with the energy provider is still ongoing.

I am also aware that as I have made this Official Complaint of Harassment to yourselves you now are required to inform the FCA of this complaint."

What will/should happen then:

  •     The collector will reply saying that they have checked with ‘their client’ and there is no dispute.
    (That’s standard practice with all debt collectors but as far as I can tell they don't actually check anything. I doubt that they report your complaint to the FCA either, they should do but no one checks unless you later complain to the FCA yourself).
  •     You reply back saying you are astonished to hear that your supplier told them that, and send them proof of the dispute, eg. a copy of a dispute email from the supplier or something like that.
  •     At that point the collector should then reply saying that they have 'placed your account on hold for 30 days'.

If they come back after 30 days you simply inform them that it's still in dispute and that they should back off again.

I hope that the above advice helps you, it’s always worked for me, and worked for others on here who have followed it.

PROBLEM NOT SOLVED

Yet again, I have debt collectors asking me for payment plans.

Hi and sorry to hear you are having problems with Debt Collectors.

Unfortunately it is not uncommon, and I’ve had to deal with a few myself in the past.

When you have Debt Collectors chasing you then you have to stop them, the company who has instructed them to chase the alleged debt can’t or won’t.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the Debt Collectors and the Supplier are working together, they are not and each is doing their own thing.

To deal with a Debt Collector:

Email, or write to, the Debt Collectors telling them the following in your own words and adding dates etc. as necessary, keep things polite but to the point, don’t let them sidetrack you they do it to try and confuse things:

  •     State that you are making an Official Complaint of Harassment.
  •     Put that in bold, underlined, at the top of your email after the addresses, ref numbers, etc.
  •     Thank them nicely for their previous correspondence
  •     Tell them that the alleged debt is in dispute with the supplier.
  •     Tell them that as the alleged debt is disputed with the supplier then you require that the collectors cease action until that dispute is resolved.
  •     Tell them that if they fail to cease action then you will make complaints of Harassment to both the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman.

You can add the following if you want to get semi-legal back at them:
"In accordance with the FCA Handbook CONC 7.14 "Settlements, disputed and deadlocked debt" you should now suspend any and all collections activity whilst my dispute with the energy provider is still ongoing.

I am also aware that as I have made this Official Complaint of Harassment to yourselves you now are required to inform the FCA of this complaint."

What will/should happen then:

  •     The collector will reply saying that they have checked with ‘their client’ and there is no dispute.
    (That’s standard practice with all debt collectors but as far as I can tell they don't actually check anything. I doubt that they report your complaint to the FCA either, they should do but no one checks unless you later complain to the FCA yourself).
  •     You reply back saying you are astonished to hear that your supplier told them that, and send them proof of the dispute, eg. a copy of a dispute email from the supplier or something like that.
  •     At that point the collector should then reply saying that they have 'placed your account on hold for 30 days'.

If they come back after 30 days you simply inform them that it's still in dispute and that they should back off again.

I hope that the above advice helps you, it’s always worked for me, and worked for others on here who have followed it.

That is awesome...I will get on to that over the next few days.  Thank you Nukecad

Userlevel 6

I have tied that up a bit and added a few things, so you might want to read through it again.

Many thanks 👍.  I did send them some info and correspondence from OVO a couple of days ago, bit now I can format it much more clearly and make it look a lot more 'legal' and also a lot more serious in tone.

 Regards

 

Michael 

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