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Moving SSE to OVO - Why has my Direct Debit increased?

  • 23 January 2022
  • 32 replies
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Why has my direct debit gone up by three times the amount I was paying with SSE 

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 24 January 2022, 14:35

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Userlevel 7
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Hiya @Steve m ,

I’m Blastoise186, one of the forum volunteers here. I can only offer general advice as I can’t access your account myself.

Are you only Economy 7 by any chance? If you are, then this is a known issue and it will be resolved soon - a fix is already in progress. As part of the fix, you will receive a full refund of all overpayments, a long bill detailing everything and either a letter or email direct from OVO to explain what happened. It’s expected that this will happen within the next few weeks.

This fix will also put your account balance back to where it should be had this not happened. Please hang in there for now, you’ll be kept informed soon.

It’s also worth noting that if your usage has increased - regardless of Economy 7 - your payments might also have to increase to keep up. The fact you’ve been migrated from SSE to OVO is unrelated as OVO is honouring existing fixed-rate SSE deals for the remainder of the current terms.

If you still can’t figure this out, don’t worry. There’s a dedicated team handling queries from former SSE customers who have recently migrated to OVO. If you’d like to speak to them, the number to call is 0345 071 7972.

Userlevel 7

Hi @Steve m - Welcome to OVO and to our online community here!

 

Our community volunteer, @blablabla  has offered some great advice on this one - It’s worth remembering that when your account is moved from SSE to OVO there’s no change to the price you pay per unit of energy:
 

Will my tariff and prices change when I’m with OVO?

 

Your move to OVO won't affect the prices you currently pay. If you’re on a fixed tariff they’ll stay the same for the rest of your contract. If you’re on a variable tariff, your prices may go up or down in line with the Ofgem Price Cap changes which happen twice a year (April and October). We’ll always let you know in advance if your prices need to change.

If you were on a fixed tariff with SSE your tariff (we call this an energy "plan") name will stay the same - 1 Year Fix V2, 2 Year Fix V2 or Online Smart Saver. If you're on a variable contract, your plan name will be "Simpler Energy" when you move to OVO.

 

That said we’ll continue reviewing your Direct Debit to check it’s the right amount to cover what you’ve been using, find out more on this related thread.

 

If you’re worried that there could be an issue with the meter readings we’ve used on your account since things were moved over this is something our dedicated migration team are on hand to help with, as so expertly directed by @Blastoise186:

 

 

If you still can’t figure this out, don’t worry. There’s a dedicated team handling queries from former SSE customers who have recently migrated to OVO. If you’d like to speak to them, the number to call is 0345 071 7972.

 

Hoping this helps get to the bottom of things - Do pop back and let us know when things are resolved. :ok_hand:

Hi new here. Please be gentle.

I was migrated from SSE. All as I understood it was going well there. Paying my monthly DD of around £150.

Now Ovo have decided that my yearly bill for next year is over £20k!

I am beside myself with worry as you can imagine.

Any help or anybody else in the sameboat? 

Userlevel 7
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Howdy @kaz1234 ,

Whoops, that’s not right. Don’t worry though, you’ll only be charged for what you actually use. I’d definitely suggest calling 0345 0260 712 and explain the situation. Chances are the Support Team that’s handling migrated SSE customers can probably fix that estimate in a jiffy for you. If they can’t, they’ll escalate it to a higher team.

I was previously an SSE customer and brought into OVO over the last months.

 

Despite relatively constant energy usage over the last six years with SSE, OVO has decided to nearly double my direct debit amount. Additionally, I currently have over £260 in credit on my account.

 

My question is as follows, can anyone recommend a better company? I would like to switch as OVO is clearly employing predatory tactics.

 

I’ve been on hold for more than 40 minutes waiting to speak to someone in collections. Not only is OVO unable to appropriately bill me, they’re not able to answer their phones.

 

One month after switching to OVO and they have already made a very bad impression.

 

I would recommend anyone considering OVO to look elsewhere.

 

Totally frustrated !!!!!!!

I am with OVO purely as I was with SSE and OVO took them over.. So far 2 months of direct debits  According to my OVO account dashboard I’m just over £218 pounds in credit and used just over £132 in April… 

I received an email today saying they were increasing my direct debit by £10 a month.. 

When I phoned the number in the email I was on hold for over half an hour… finally got to speak to someone to express my displeasure in them wanting to increase my DD especially since I’m in credit and used less than my DD in April.. She asked if I could hold while she looked into my account.. said yes.. 

Ended up on temporary “hold” for another 15 minutes which then took the time to after six pm.. She NEVER came back on the phone… 

Hung up after a total of 44 min on hold… no resolution  or even an attempt to answer my query… Not  at all impressed at how OVO treats their customers. 

Userlevel 7

Hi @otherEdward,

 

I’m really sorry to hear about the increase to your Direct Debit since your account joined us from SSE. We appreciate that any Direct Debit review can be concerning, particularly following a recent change to your account. We’ve got more details on how our Direct Debit review process works on the guide below.
 

 

Just to clarify, as you mention your energy usage hasn’t changed, it’s worth checking your current energy prices. Whilst your energy plan hasn’t changed due to the move to OVO, you may have been affected by the recent price cap change, which affected the variable plans for all energy suppliers. There’s more information on the Price cap and links to additional support and advice to help here.

 

It’s disappointing to hear about the wait you had to reach our Collections team to discuss this further. Our Support Team are also on hand to help and the quickest way to get in touch is via our webchat which you can access here.

 

I hope this information helps.

Hi @Jess_OVO,

 

Thanks for your reply and thank you for linking to the “tutorial” about how the DD is calculated.

 

After a considerable time on hold yesterday I was able to speak with someone in collections who explained the same principle. You take my yearly estimated usage and divide by 12. This is completely fine. However, your estimated yearly usage is nearly double what I have actually been using for more than two years.

 

In fact, at my previous DD level, I had accumulated a considerable credit meaning I was actually paying for more energy than I was using. If an account has been running a surplus for more than two years, there is no logical explanation for nearly doubling the DD. What appears to be missing from your calculation is consideration of my previous usage history.

 

I understand that energy and infrastructure costs are variable and will change over time. That’s fine. However, I find it very unlikely that they have doubled in the last month.

 

Its also unclear to me why, after a full month on OVO during which my total billable amount was X, I was DDed for 1.5 times X and then your system sent me an email letting me know the DD amount would be increased further to 1.75 times X. And all this while I have a credit on my account that will easily cover my energy cost for more than 4 months.

 

Your reply doesn’t address how you estimate my yearly costs or how your estimate accounts for my usage history. I suspect that you have not taken my usage history into account and are making an estimate based on generic customer data.

 

Overall this experience makes a very bad impression. In a competitive market where consumers can easily switch companies, I’m surprised OVO would be so careless.

Having been moved from SSE i am pleased to say the customer reps have been helpful & understanding given the mess that the management & IT have caused with poorly thought out Implementation of the emails to increase direct debits.

Take todays issue, suprise suprise they want to increase the DD to £88 from £50 as apparently according to the most recent check  we’ll be £447 in debit by this time next year.i could make a one off payment to cover this even though it’s a totally bogus figure based on  recent usage, not to mention the £240 credit on the account & the projected £200 from the govt in October.

I can view my ESTIMATED projected usage NOT in kWh ( not a sign of the standard usage of measurement anywhere) but in £/month,  god only knows where they got this LATEST projected estimate from because if they had looked at the usage from the SMART METER & previous bills they would be able to see i’m averaging around 4kWh per day since Oct 2021 to now. If they looked closely they could see month on month how the usage has dropped & now averaging 3kwh/ day

Checking on their projection chart for this 30 day Apr/May billing period i should be using £78 of electric, they’re not even close as 12 days in we’ve used £13.inc s/c & vat

Hopefully this is the sort of behaviour Ofgem will be clamping down on .

 

 

Userlevel 7

Hi @Amerififer,

 

Firstly I’m really sorry to hear of the disappointing experience you had on the phone yesterday. This isn’t the level of service we aim to offer so I’ll be arranging for us to collect you account details via a Private Message here and will be following this up with the agent you spoke to.

 

We appreciate that any Direct Debit review can be concerning, particularly following a recent move of your account from SSE to OVO. Whilst your energy plan hasn’t changed due to the move to OVO, you may have been affected by the recent price cap change, which affected the variable plans for all energy suppliers. There’s more information on the Price cap and links to additional support and advice to help here.

 

If you had a fixed plan with SSE, we’ll continue the same plan offering the unit rates and standing charges on your new OVO account. However your current account balance, length of contract and projected usage are also factored in to the Direct Debit calculations, which could mean your monthly payments need to increase, even if your prices haven’t changed or your account is currently in credit. 

 

We’ve also got more details on how our Direct Debit review process works on the guide below.

 

 

I hope this helps.

May i suggest taking your reading for the past 12 months , not estimated but actual from the meters , this will give you a far better grasp of what you’re using.

With the 12 months  meter reads you can do the maths with your energy kwh tarrif & calculate the yearly usage, divide by 12 & this will give a good guide to your monthly DD.

Ovo seem to be using inflated estimated usage for some reason

Think i’ve found where they get my recent direct debit check amount  from, no it’s not an individual check based on my recent usage, not even a check on my previous 12 months usage, they seem to be basing it on the upper end of average uaage for  our house size., this is also by far the most expensive of the 3 options.

Guess they don’t have our interests at heart .

 

Userlevel 7

I’m really sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been having with a Direct Debit review on your account since you joined us from SSE, @effician.

 

Just to clarify thing slightly, the projected usage figure that is used in our Direct Debit calculations would be based on your smart meter usage data, which is transferred from your SSE account into your new OVO account. If your smart meters were installed within the last 12 months, or have experienced communication difficulties we may use your Estimated Annual Consumption figure instead. This is calculated by the industry and is based on the past 3 years worth of meter readings submitted at your address.

 

We’d only revert to using average usage at your type of property if we don’t have access to your usage records (so if you’re joining us via a regular switch and don’t know your exact yearly usage). That said if your projected usage figure on your account seems incorrect based on previous readings you’ve recorded, our Support Team would be able to investigate this with full access to your account.

 

I hope this helps explain things slightly.

@Jess_OVO 

Thanks for the reply & I would like to believe what you say but this does not tally with my .records

Over the last 3 yrs with SSE my usage has averaged just over 180 kWh per month so at todays svr that makes just under £50/month + £13.50/month s/c so just over £60/month.

The smart meter was fitted 26/1/22 & apart from a few days blip when Ovo took over has been sending readings without a problem.

Why then do Ovo think it ok to ask for the DD to be upped to £88/month when they should have access to my 3 yr records

 

 

 

Hi @Blastoise186 ,

 

I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. I’m running up-to-date Google Chrome and FireFox on Windows 10. In both browsers the “Message us” button does nothing. I click the button and nothing happens. Nothing.

 

Thanks for the tip about “agent”. This is very good to know.

 

I’ve been on the Help Center page several times over the last week and never seen a “Live Chat” bubble.

 

The last time I called OVO, I spent more than 1 hour on hold before being connected with someone in collections (this was after more than 30 minutes on hold to speak with the person who transferred me to collections). Unfortunately I have a job and can’t spend my time waiting around for OVO to answer the phone.

 

I would currently rate OVO customer service 1 out of 10.

I had posted on these forms with the title “Why is my direct debit nearly doubling for no reason?”

 

My post and the related discussion appears to have been deleted.

 

@Jess_OVO , you had kindly replied to a few of my messages. Now my discussion thread seems to have been deleted and merged into this conversation. This is not helpful and continues to make a bad impression.

 

I’m still waiting for the excess credit to be deposited in my account. I was told that would happen within six business days of 04 May, 2022 by a collections agent on the phone.

 

Perhaps, @Jess_OVO , rather than writing generic replies it would make sense to direct message your customers and setup a time to call them so they don’t have to spend hours on hold. This is the sort of thing that would cause people to have a strong positive feeling about OVO and remain loyal customers for years to come. The current level of support is having the opposite effect.

I’m also surprised that a company valued at over £1 billion has to rely on community volunteers to figure out the “Message us” button on their main support page isn’t working.

Userlevel 7
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Actually, it’s probably worth being aware of the purpose of this forum. It’s not directly intended to compete with or replace the other contact options, but more exist alongside them. The reason your thread was merged was more to help keep things tidy and is pretty common on many forums. It’s not a targeted thing at specific threads - just about everyone does it everywhere. Nothing gets deleted in this process and everything is reversible if a mistake is made.

For reasons I hope you can understand like GDPR, as a forum volunteer I’m not allowed to access any of OVO’s internal systems or personal data about other members and the House Rules enforces that upon myself and the other regulars pretty strictly.

Tim and Jess also prefer to mostly maintain an independent status and try to avoid trampling on the support team. There are cases where they will intervene directly themselves, but it’s at their discretion and they try not to make a habit of it. The purpose of this forum is that it’s mostly community led and the moderators primary role is help to run the show and take care of keeping the place safe.

As for my efforts, bug hunting is just something I enjoy and am pretty good at. OVO’s Tech Team are pretty smart and would have eventually figured out the bug even without my help, but my efforts as an outsider and extra pair of eyes simply helps to speed things up sometimes. There are a LOT of other companies that I do business with that more than happily accept my bug reports and trust me pretty heavily because of it. Ultimately, it’s mutually beneficial because for me, it’s free experience and for OVO, it leads to faster bug fixes.

Userlevel 7

I’m sorry for any confusion, @otherEdward.

 

Whilst this online community is designed for OVO members to share advice and trouble-shooting potential issues, we’re not able to make changes to your account or request a call-back for you here. We try to give as much detail and answer queries as fully as we’re able to without knowing the full details. Whilst this does in it’s nature mean answers may be generic, this avoids speculation and mis-advice and hopefully means the answers will be applicable to others finding this topic thread in future.

 

On a weekly basis we merge similar threads, not only does this keep the forum tidy it also makes it easier for members who might have the same question in future to find this topic and the advice given here. In this case I appreciate that the posts have now been slightly jumbled so will do my best to organise things a bit more.

 

In your case as you mention you’re still waiting for a requested refund to return to your bank account, we’d usually expect this to be received within 5 working days so if it’s been longer than this we’d recommend getting in touch with the Support Team to report this.

 

I hope this helps explain.

Dear @Jess_OVO,

 

Just to let you know. I managed to contact the OVO collections teams again today. The person I spoke with in collections told me that refunds are processed within 10 working days and that the first agent I spoke with, and you, are wrong.

 

It makes a pretty bad impression when three people from OVO can’t agree on how long it takes to process a refund. I’m still waiting for the refund that was promised within six days of 04 May.

 

After the first agent I spoke with told me that my DD would be reduced to £50 a month your automated system put it back to £86. Thus, I had to spend more than an hour on the phone again to simply repeat the conversation I had at the beginning of the month.

 

I would also appreciate it if you would un-mark this thread as “Solved”. My issues have not been solved. You’ve merged my discussion with several others and marked it as solved. I suspect this has been done to consolidate unhappy customers and give the appearance things are being “solved”. However, this is the opposite of reality. I respectfully request you leave my original discussion intact as a stand alone item or un-mark this as “solved”.

 

Overall, OVO Energy continues to make a bad impression.

Userlevel 7

I’m really sorry to hear that you’re still waiting to receive the refund you requested, @otherEdward .

 

Whilst it can take up to 10 days for this to be processed in the vast majority of cases we find that you’ll receive the returned funds a lot quicker than this, usually within 5 days.

 

As a public forum we aim to provide general advice here which can help you to get things sorted, but sometimes we’re limited in our ability to fully resolve your issue without having full access to your account. That said I appreciate you’ve now been waiting far longer than expected for your refund so would like to investigate this one further for you. I’ve arranged for us to collect some account details via a private message. You can respond to this message by heading to the top right-hand corner of any forum page.

 

I hope we can help get to the bottom of this for you.

I spoke with SSE who were always very good and never a problem my direct debit was set and when they once increased it I called and they amended it properly

 

These OVO people whom I never asked to join, were dumped on me by SSE and all they do is bully me with direct debit increases

 

I have attempted to speak with them via telephone but after 3 hours on hold being told my call will be answered within 10 minutes they hung up on me

 

They won't allow me to change my direct debit back to where it was online, EVEN THOUGH I have a large credit on my account

 

I am disabled and have limited income they are aware of this and are aware that I watch every payment carefully so as to make everything correctly

 

Hopefully on here they may reply to me, and sort it out, if they don't I will cancel the direct debit and set up a standing order which they cannot amend 

 

Otherwise I will leave and find an alternative provider 

 

Any advice or recommendations please will not have a smart meter which they are also continuously harassing me for, calling me at various times pretending it is a legal requirement

 

OVO are not my company of choice, SSE dumped this nonsense on me

Dear @Jess_OVO ,

 

Thanks for your reply and thank you for reaching out in a private message with the promise of looking into this. However, I am disappointed that it has taken nearly a month and several posts before anyone felt compelled to take action. The evidence, to date, makes clear that OVO is not interesting in helping customers.

 

There is still the issue of this discussion thread being marked as “Solved” As I have already said, my issues have not been solved. Once again,  I respectfully request you leave my original discussion intact as a stand alone item or un-mark this as “solved”.

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear of your experience since your account was transferred from SSE to OVO, @sse-set -me-up.

 

Just to clarify whilst this forum offers a great place to seek advice from fellow OVO members and has some detailed Direct Debit guides which you might find helpful, it’s not intended as a direct contact channel to our Support Team. If you’re looking to adjust your monthly payment amount or method we’d recommend getting in touch with the Support Team directly. You can find the contact details and opening hours here.

 

I hope the Support Team are able to get things back on track.

@Jess_OVO 

 

thank you for your reply

 

Whilst i am smart enough to realise this forum is not an intentional place to make contact with your staff, it appears to be the only way people are able to make contact

 

I have spent over 3 hours on the phone and then an additional 2 hours only to be hung up on

Your support staff are NOT answering their phone lines neither are they responding to emails

 

Now, as you are a member of OVO staff perhaps you can request one of them to contact me? i am very happy to post my details here

 

I am far from satisfied that SSE sent me over to your company, although i am pretty confident it is the same people just a different name, to justify the enormous tariff increases you are putting on people whilst holding their moneys n your accounts

 

Someone needs to remedy this and soon

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