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I've made home improvements to reduce my usage - Will my Direct Debit calculations reflect this?

  • 26 March 2022
  • 8 replies
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Our usage in 2021 was X, the DD met this almost on the nail.
We wanted to reduce our draw from the grid so Oct 2021 had solar PV installed - our draw (even through the winter months) dropped c50%, great!
We are now at c15% of our typical draw (been a v.sunny March here) and yet 2 weeks ago OVO suggested increasing our DD by 33% vs last year’s figures.

What can be done about this other than a phone call to explain the matter (this was done 2 weeks ago, the DD set to ‘hold’ for 3 months, nevertheless the figure was this AM forced up to their recommended figure with a DD confirmation sent via email)?

Does anyone else feel like they are just being put over a barrel here to foot OVO’s obvious cashflow problems?

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 28 March 2022, 13:27

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I won’t set up a direct debit because what they charge is disgraceful. I have just paid £600 for my bill . Haven’t even used that amount . They say some transferred over from sse but never had a bill from them when transferred so no proof . Will see how it goes if not happy with next bill I will switch suppliers .I also have solar panels and don’t normally get bills as high as this 😡

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I won’t set up a direct debit because what they charge is disgraceful. I have just paid £600 for my bill . Haven’t even used that amount . They say some transferred over from sse but never had a bill from them when transferred so no proof . Will see how it goes if not happy with next bill I will switch suppliers .I also have solar panels and don’t normally get bills as high as this 😡

It is frustrating - I am on hold as we speak and intend to cancel the DD altogether. Send me a bill and let me pay it, no issues with that whatsoever.
We have a smart meter so I would expect the bills to be somewhat more accurate.
Credit build up is a fantastic idea, but to the extent OVO force on its DD customers amounts to abuse of the system, surely.

I hope you manage to get your issues resolved!

Exactly no one has a problem paying for what they actually use . 

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Hi.

This forum is intended for members to assist each other. As one of the forum volunteers and an OVO member myself, I can't comment on OVO's cash flow and finances.

As for the other questions, I have asked a moderator to stop by. If you disagree with your recommended payments, you have the option to raise a dispute with the Support Team and they'll be able to force the direct debit down if they agree with you.

This comment will be temporarily marked as a best answer. It will be updated when more information is available.

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Hi.

This forum is intended for members to assist each other. As one of the forum volunteers and an OVO member myself, I can't comment on OVO's cash flow and finances.

As for the other questions, I have asked a moderator to stop by. If you disagree with your recommended payments, you have the option to raise a dispute with the Support Team and they'll be able to force the direct debit down if they agree with you.

This comment will be temporarily marked as a best answer. It will be updated when more information is available.

Hi Blastoise186, thank you for your input.
I’ll update per the phone call I just concluded with the Support Team;

  • I updated the Support Team [again] regarding our decreasing usage owing to our solar installation in Oct 2021 which provides us with a reasonable usage forecast for winter 2022, the summer of 2022 is looking to be effectively a standing charge only with zero usage from the grid
  • I explained our forecast of usage in kwh and ran the calcs through with the advisor, they concurred that our payment was too high at the prior DD amount and then fell straight back to sheet reading; the advisor explained the 54% increase due to kick in in a few days and that is why our prior X/month is now X x 54%/month
  • I was then offered a capped 15% reduction in DD amount, this fails to meet the prior amount (had they taken it back to the prior amount that would have sufficed even though that in itself was an overpayment/month of c50% in winter months and c75% in spring months)
  • We had reached impasse so I informed of my wish to cancel the DD and pay manually
    • I was told initially that this was not an option and the only way to pay OVO was via DD or Standing Order, i protested this and cited some legalities I deal in day-to-day
    • I was then told paying manually was not advised albeit was a viable payment option
    • It was confirmed that no additional fees apply for paying manually
    • I was informed that the moment the account falls to arrears the debt will be passed to collections and the matter reported to Experian (I was informed the account is reviewed with each passing day, ergo should the account be balanced with a met payment in month 1, as we roll to month 2 day 1 the account will be in arrears and the above actions will roll out) - to meet this I intend to keep the account in credit

FYI: invoices are sent monthly and cover each calendar month in whole, payment via BACS is not charged a premium unlike many other firms that will typically charge £5/month for failure to pay by DD. Credit is taken into account per invoice cycle so be aware of this should you opt for this payment method as you will inevitably roll into the following month at £0 balance resulting in month 2 day 1 balance of -£?[usage for that day].

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear of the difficulty you’ve had when requesting a pause to your Direct Debit review process, @surferchappie.

 

Great to hear you’ve made planet-saving and usage reducing changes to your home by installing some solar panels. Unfortunately, for the moment, our Direct Debit calculations aren’t able to anticipate any changes to your usage patterns as a result. In which case you should be able to request a temporary pause to any automatic increases, whilst we build up a new picture of your usage via any meter readings you submit or your smart meter sends to us. I’m sorry to hear that this request wasn’t put in place when you originally spoke to the Support Team.

 

As you mention opting for a manual payment approach instead, it’s worth mentioning that this would involve a change to our Simpler Energy On Demand plan, which does differ slightly to the Simpler Energy Direct Debit plan. You’re able to check the unit rates and standing charges of your current plan via the plan page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS). 

 

We’ve got more support and advice on the upcoming Price cap changes over here.

 

 

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I’m so sorry to hear of the difficulty you’ve had when requesting a pause to your Direct Debit review process, @surferchappie.

 

Great to hear you’ve made planet-saving and usage reducing changes to your home by installing some solar panels. Unfortunately, for the moment, our Direct Debit calculations aren’t able to anticipate any changes to your usage patterns as a result. In which case you should be able to request a temporary pause to any automatic increases, whilst we build up a new picture of your usage via any meter readings you submit or your smart meter sends to us. I’m sorry to hear that this request wasn’t put in place when you originally spoke to the Support Team.

 

As you mention opting for a manual payment approach instead, it’s worth mentioning that this would involve a change to our Simpler Energy On Demand plan, which does differ slightly to the Simpler Energy Direct Debit plan. You’re able to check the unit rates and standing charges of your current plan via the plan page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS). 

 

We’ve got more support and advice on the upcoming Price cap changes over here.

 

 

Hi Jess,

Thank you for your feedback it is much appreciated.
In this instance we had to make the move we made owing to the lack of ability on OVO’s part to cater for and allow for inclusion of differing future usage through, in our case, installation of off-grid energy generation hardware; hopefully suppliers will cater to this as we all progress forward.

I queried whether there would be any changes to our tariff and/or plan and was told quite specifically that nothing will change - I now understand why the operator blank-refused to send confirmation of OVO’s acknowledgement of the intended payment process amendments and/or provide a reference number for the chat, clearly OVO are operating a potentially snide way of working during these turbulent times. I will of course be back in touch via legal channels should anything change price-wise; all of [my] outbound calls are recorded under RIPA 2000 for personal use, this is of course notified to every company operator I liaise with.

 

Let’s see what transpires.

Userlevel 7

 

I queried whether there would be any changes to our tariff and/or plan and was told quite specifically that nothing will change 

 

Sorry for any confusion there, @surferchappie - as this isn’t what we’d typically offer, I’m wondering whether the agent you spoke to may have been mistaken when advising this. I’ve already passed on this feedback and requested a reminder is sent out to all the team to make sure this type of mis-advice is avoided in future.

 

Whilst we don’t generate a reference number for each call, we keep a recording and a note is made on your account which we can use to investigate any shortfalls in service which may have occurred. If you do notice an unexpected change to your rates, you may wish to raise this as a formal complaint which would allow us to come to a resolution internally.

 

I hope this helps.

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