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Cooling off within 14 days - Why can't I cancel an accidental renewal on my online account?

  • 25 January 2022
  • 29 replies
  • 670 views

why is it there isn't any where on the website to cancel  a switch to a 2 year rate by accident ? . i wanted to look at the tariff as i was on a variable rate and by accident i pressed the switch my tariff button . i have 14 days to cool off but the website doesn't facilitate that , why not ?

 

A cynic would say that you do this on purpose .

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 26 January 2022, 11:43

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Hi @mike f ,

You can indeed break contract within the cooling-off period, however this is considered a very powerful change of contract, which requires verbal consent. For security reasons, you can’t make this kind of change via MyOVO but the Support Team can help you out with it.

Please give them a call on 0330 303 5063 in the morning and someone in the team can reverse this change for you. It’ll put you back on Simpler Energy with the currently active rates. You may still be charged for the days you were on the two year fix at those rates, but otherwise you’ll be back to variable.

Now might not be a good time to do that however - the variable rates are likely to rise very, very soon so you may want to consider keeping the two year deal for now and see what happens.

how come it doesn't need verbal consent the other way .ie from variable to fix . one gives me freedom to move any time . the other gives me an immediate price increase and ties me in for 2 years , sorry still cynical !!!

I have emailed in as well saying it was a mistake , that's better than verbal consent , its on the record . don't you agree ? 

sorry still cynical 

 

regards 

 

Mike 

 

 

 

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Changing from Variable to Fixed means you’re entering a contract, not modifying an existing one. This is possible to do self-service as a convenience thing, so that you don’t have to get held up in a queue. There’s different rules that apply there - and cancelling mid-term is also not as commonly performed. I’m afraid emailing in this request isn’t practical either - it might take too long to be handled and you’d run the risk of the cooling-off period expiring in the meantime. If you try to do it this way, there’s no guarantee that the request can be completed successfully.

OVO isn’t alone here though. Pretty much all energy, mobile phone and broadband providers have similar rules surrounding breaking the contract early. You almost always have to do it by phone.

I can’t change the rules myself as I’m only a forum volunteer rather than an OVO employee. If you think they should be changed, please feel free to suggest this via https://ovoenergy.com/feedback.

I will ring them tomorrow ,i expect ill sit a queue , but legally i have cooled off by email .if its not cancelled i will complain to the regulator . 

emails are recognised in court and Ovo have acknowledged they have it . although it may take 5 days to look at it , this is unreasonable 

 

the whole point that there is a 14 day cooling off period is so that companies cant tie you into a contract by default . its the regulator that insists on this , why does ovo make me jump through hoops , I'm not going to change my mind , i want to stay on the variable tariff 

 

no gripe with you , but company is making it difficult to cool off , without good reason.

it was a mistake i pressed the wrong button for goodness sake !!!

why not provide me with am email giving me the right to cool off automatically or put a cancel button somewhere ,? 

 

got a response saying it takes 5 days to respond to emails !!! . obviously not employing enough people i guess . 

 

thanks for your assistance thus far , I'm still a cynic 

regards 

 

Mike 

 

Userlevel 7

Hi @mike f and thanks for this feedback. I’ve passed on your suggestion of the online account allowing a self serving way to cancel this renewal within the cool off period. 

 

For now, Blastoise is correct that it’s best to contact the Support team by phone to request that this gets cancelled. Hopefully that gets sorted for you this week without too much hassle!

thanks 

i have been working away today with no time to call . 

Glad you've taken it onboard , perhaps also put a verification step on the switch option as well , ie are you sure you want to opt for this product etc etc .

 

that would be treating your customers fairly and protecting them .

 

what do you think ?  

Userlevel 7

Our Support Team can also be reached via webchat here, @mike f.

 

If you’ve already sent an email which is dated within the cooling-off period, we’d still be able to make sure that accidental renewal is cancelled without any exit fees applied, so not to worry if you’re not able to give us a call. 

 

As @Tim_OVO mentions we’ve passed on your feedback about making this a self-serve option and hope you can get this one sorted ASAP. :slight_smile:

Our Support Team can also be reached via webchat here, @mike f.

 

If you’ve already sent an email which is dated within the cooling-off period, we’d still be able to make sure that accidental renewal is cancelled without any exit fees applied, so not to worry if you’re not able to give us a call. 

 

As @Tim_OVO mentions we’ve passed on your feedback about making this a self-serve option and hope you can get this one sorted ASAP. :slight_smile:

Hello, looking at this thread because I am wanting to cancel a fixed plan started 18th May and have had to escalate to complaint because (a) I was misled on the phone to understand the rate on a fixed plan could come down during the term of the contract, just couldn’t increase, i.e. fixed price was maximum amount payable, and (b) that a cancellation charge couldn’t be waived today with the operator I was speaking to - despite it being only 7 days since the started. I have been a loyal supporter of Ovo for many years, but am disappointed and stressed by the situation I find myself in at the moment (plus facing a direct debit increase of something near 150%.) Any advice would be much appreciated. thank you.

Userlevel 7

I’m really sorry to hear about the confusion surrounding your fixed plan, @Peterfan.

 

Just to help clear things up, on a fixed plan it’s price you pay per unit of energy as well as your daily standing charges that are guaranteed. These won’t change for the length of your contract. As your monthly charges will still be based on how many units of energy you use, we can’t confirm a maximum or minimum amount you’ll pay - it all depends on how much energy you use. Whilst a variable plan might be cheaper at the moment, it’s worth bearing in mind that the unit rates and standing charges on a variable plan may change over time so your charges may change even if you’re using the same amount of energy. You can read more about the Variable Price Cap which controls the prices on this type on plan over here.

 

I’m really sorry to hear that the differences between your renewal options weren’t made clear when speaking to a member of the Support Team. As you’re still in the first 14 days of your new plan you can still cancel this renewal without incurring any exit fees. We’d recommend getting in touch with the team via our Live Chat (which you can find here) to request this cancellation.

 

I hope this helps explain. Do let us know if you’ve got any more questions.

Thanks, Jess. Your explanations are very helpful and much appreciated. I have since spoken to an operator and cancelled the fixed plan without being charged any exit fees. I have gone with a variable plan and will keep an eye on the rates and direct debit charge. The original “mis-selling” of the fixed rate plan has been escalated and I would like this investigated if only to ensure no one else is similarly misled when trying to understand what the best plan is and how they ‘work’. Again thank you for your advice.

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There has been some talk of the next price cap being around £800 higher apparently, but at the moment I’ve not been able to verify it through official or truly reliable sources. Either way, sometime in the next month or two may be a good time to consider whether to fix again before things start to creep up again.

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There has been some talk of the next price cap being around £800 higher apparently, but at the moment I’ve not been able to verify it through official or truly reliable sources. Either way, sometime in the next month or two may be a good time to consider whether to fix again before things start to creep up again.

Here is the official announcement from Ofgem on the £2800 current estimate for the price cap in Oct 2022

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/letter-jonathan-brearley-chancellor-and-secretary-state-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy-default-tariff-cap

This also aligns with the latest estimate from Cornwall Insight £2790

I’ve just done exactly the same while browsing and because OVO can’t be bothered to open on a Saturday afternoon i now have to wait until Monday to speak to someone.It shouldn’t be a one touch upgrade and you should be able to cancel it.You have one very unhappy customer 

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Hi,

Some of the discussions in this thread seem like things that may come in-scope of the newly added Ideas section of this forum. Please feel free to post a suggestion at https://forum.ovoenergy.com/ideas, use the Ask our members button and set the Topic Type to Idea, or use this direct link.

I think the idea is already being considered, but posting an Idea may allow for things to be more visible on the forum.

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It’s all to easy to accidentally click on a.new plan while browsing on a mobile device, 

with no confirmation / are you happy to proceed check box,

I’ve been caught out myself,

I do hope things have moved on since then👀 but if not!

 the good news is, customer service is well prepared to cancel any inadvertent change & roll you back to your previous tariff!

 

from customer service “you aren’t the first & I doubt you will be the last as this happens all the time”

 

So customer service are aware that this happens all to often,

 

so why oh why doesn’t ovo just add a confirmation check box to confirm this tariff change was / is, intentional 👍

 

I’m loathed to visit the new tariff’s pages in case I inadvertently sign up to something I didn’t want.

 

Tom…

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If you’d like to see this kind of thing be changed, please feel free to check out this Idea post and consider Upvoting it.

Upvoting will result in you getting notified of any updates and may cause OVO to prioritise it.

I’m sorry to say I have done the same as The customers above- seems to be a recurring theme here. As a customer who has been switched by SSE I was looking around at tariffs and without knowing it I’ve got a new two year tariff - twice!.  I didn’t accept or consent to any T&Cs nor was I given any details of my right to cool off - legal requirements under the applicable 2013 regulation and OFGEM guidance. No idea how it happened so perhaps a glitch in the system although from the above it seems not and in 8 months it hasn’t changed but in any event far too easy regardless and no real legal basis for forming a new contract. I then receive an email (actually two identical ones although one is gas and one elec so not a combined deal?) welcoming me to my unwanted rate and giving a 14 day cooling off to allow cancellation and it seems from some of the chat you will charge £30 per service despite being within 14 days. Again not legally correct as no charges should be made and could be seen as a penalty at law.  Finally it says the service starts the next day ie before the cooling period has finished again contrary to legal advice and means I really need to be on the phone first thing so …. I will call tomorrow and see where I get to but someone needs to look at this as its not inline with consumer rights/regulations and as shown above and on other chat headings seems to cause unnecessary distress to consumers. I look forward to a response ie confirmation that this process will be changed. 

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear that you were also affected by our current online renewal journey, @ICT.

 

We appreciate the concern this accidental renewal has caused and want to reassure you that no exit fees would be applied for cancelling this renewal within the first 14 days of signing up. We ‘ve taken on board the feedback we’ve had relating to the lack of an additional confirmation step when viewing renewal options online and have been assured that this is something our developers will be working on in the coming months.

 

I hope you’ve since been in touch with the Support Team to get this unwanted plan cancelled. Let us know if you need any further help or advice here.

Many thanks for the update and I fully appreciate It developments take time but by the looks of things this has been going on for months and as I say legally it’s not compliant. Yes I was on the phone at 8 and assured that it has reverted without consequence to the original plan but as yet it hasn’t happens. If you could check as I don’t want to have to keep calling and holding again! Thanks 

Hello and it would be good to get some help. The contract changed within seconds but 12 hours later it’s still not changed back despite being told it had been this morning at 8am. 

So I’m moved back. I’ve been charged two days at the higher rate! And £60 exit fee!!! I guess it’s get more calls. 

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear an exit fee has been applied in error, @ICT.

 

Our Support Team should be able to get that reversed for you. Please let us know if you have any further issues getting this one resolved.

Thanks but no joy ye and run out of time this am holding on!

Hello and can anyone help me as I’m still being charge £60 and despite trying several times no joy on a refund and no contact as regards the complaint. It’s amazing how quickly the money is taken but not refunded despite being incorrect. 

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry this mistaken exit fee hasn’t yet been refunded, @ICT.

 

I’ll be arranging for us to collect some account details from you via a Private Message here so we can chase this up for you.

 

I hope this helps get things back on track.

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