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Why have I been sent an estimated final bill from my old supplier when I was assured OVO would take care of the switch?

  • 7 March 2018
  • 2 replies
  • 2060 views

I switched to OVO in late Feb and submitted meter readings as requested. It was my understanding that OVO would close everything with my old supplier, Southern Electric, but we have received a final bill from SE this week (an estimate) for £100 for electricity (last bill was only a month ago so this seems crazy!). What should my next step be?
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Best answer by Transparent 7 March 2018, 13:05

Hi @Judiq17,

The usual/correct procedure is for the new Supplier (OVO) to notify the National Database that they are to take over your supply on a date about 4 weeks hence.

The existing Supplier (SE) have an opportunity to object for a number of reasons which are defined by Ofgem. These include:
  • Incorrect details (name, address, meter number etc)
  • Unpaid debts for energy supplied
  • Another Supplier has also requested to take the account

These are obvious and straightforward. It is always the responsibility of the new Supplier to resolve any anomalies, verify meter numbers etc, even if you have made a mistake in the information you gave them.

On the designated switch-day you are required to submit your meter readings. OVO will send these to the National Database. Once again the existing Supplier can object if it seems that the readings are at considerable variance with what they estimate.

If the switch fails, OVO will notify you, wait a day or two, and then make one further attempt to initiate the switch.

At least a fortnight after the switch-date, the old Supplier will send you a final Bill. They don't do so before then because the Consumer Rights Act gives you 14 days to opt out of any new financial contract without penalty. If you exercised that right, you would effectively remain an SE customer.

So in your case, it is the details on your Final Bill that matter:
  1. Do the meter readings match those you gave to OVO? If so, then there's no real dispute because the bill is effectively correct.
  2. What is the date of that Bill? If it is prior to the switch date, then it's obviously not the Final Bill, whatever it says!
  3. Do the payments you've made to SE all appear on their Bill(s)? If not, then they think you are in arrears. If it had been a large amount, then they would've objected to the switch. So they're trying to adjust a minor amount by applying an "estimate".


Only you know whether the £100 they are asking for is a rough match to what shortfall you might have run up over the entire time of your contract with SE.

I advise that you don't make telephone calls to sort it out because you retain no evidence of what was said or agreed. Email is much better, but you need to clarify what you're disputing before you write.

If you need further help, reply here and we can assist in advising what further steps to take.
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Userlevel 7
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Hi @Judiq17,

The usual/correct procedure is for the new Supplier (OVO) to notify the National Database that they are to take over your supply on a date about 4 weeks hence.

The existing Supplier (SE) have an opportunity to object for a number of reasons which are defined by Ofgem. These include:
  • Incorrect details (name, address, meter number etc)
  • Unpaid debts for energy supplied
  • Another Supplier has also requested to take the account

These are obvious and straightforward. It is always the responsibility of the new Supplier to resolve any anomalies, verify meter numbers etc, even if you have made a mistake in the information you gave them.

On the designated switch-day you are required to submit your meter readings. OVO will send these to the National Database. Once again the existing Supplier can object if it seems that the readings are at considerable variance with what they estimate.

If the switch fails, OVO will notify you, wait a day or two, and then make one further attempt to initiate the switch.

At least a fortnight after the switch-date, the old Supplier will send you a final Bill. They don't do so before then because the Consumer Rights Act gives you 14 days to opt out of any new financial contract without penalty. If you exercised that right, you would effectively remain an SE customer.

So in your case, it is the details on your Final Bill that matter:
  1. Do the meter readings match those you gave to OVO? If so, then there's no real dispute because the bill is effectively correct.
  2. What is the date of that Bill? If it is prior to the switch date, then it's obviously not the Final Bill, whatever it says!
  3. Do the payments you've made to SE all appear on their Bill(s)? If not, then they think you are in arrears. If it had been a large amount, then they would've objected to the switch. So they're trying to adjust a minor amount by applying an "estimate".


Only you know whether the £100 they are asking for is a rough match to what shortfall you might have run up over the entire time of your contract with SE.

I advise that you don't make telephone calls to sort it out because you retain no evidence of what was said or agreed. Email is much better, but you need to clarify what you're disputing before you write.

If you need further help, reply here and we can assist in advising what further steps to take.
Userlevel 6
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Hey @Judiq17,

It's worth adding that some suppliers will produce an estimated final bill before they've received the readings we've sent them. This should definitely be corrected when they've had the validated reads. If it's not, I'd get on to them to get it amended!

Thanks,
Nancy

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