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Who should I contact to help sort out an incorrect estimated reading on my SSE bill?


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Hi Everyone,

I moved my gas and electric from British Gas to SSE last summer and am having massive issues with their customer service department and despite raising a formal complaint they continue to hound me for a bill that is five times bigger than it should be. At no time has anyone said I'm dealing with OVO and not SSE and I haven't received any mail from OVO. Am I an OVO customer now and should I be dealing with another department? The current number I call is 0345 071 9710. Thanks in advance.

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 9 March 2022, 13:07

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Userlevel 7
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Hey there @Dazza66 ,

Just wanted to give you a quick heads up before I get started. I’m an OVO member rather than an employee, and as a forum volunteer I can’t access your account at all.

If you switched to SSE and have called that particular number, you’re still an SSE customer for now but you will be migrated to OVO automatically soon. Keep an eye out for that letter or email with more details. In the meantime, all contact you get will be from SSE, not from OVO.

If you're in the process of a formal complaint, there’s not much anyone outside the complaints department can do right now. However, I can recommend the Energy Ombudsman if you think the matter is getting nowhere. Please either let the eight week timeout period expire, or for your complaint to reach deadlock with SSE. The deadlock letter will then allow you to escalate it further with the Energy Ombudsman.

OVO’s customer service is also UK based, while SSE currently relies on offshore call centres pretty heavily. Once you migrate, you shouldn’t have this problem again, hopefully.

Userlevel 1

Thanks Blatoise186.

It staggers me that I'm being made to jump through hoops to sort a problem that SSE should be solving. Only a few years ago the energy companies came and read meters or sent estimates if you weren't in. Since smart meters they have completely put the onus on the customer to prove them wrong in any assumption or incorrect information they have. I tried twice to get a smart meter installed but was told that the meter was too far from the electric meter and couldn't be installed.

Meanwhile my complaint is being 'processed' and my credit rating stands to be trashed so if I wait the 8 weeks to contact the regulator I could well be sitting with a county court judgement and increasing charges on my account. You seem very favourable in regards to Ovo but I'm afraid that remains to be seen in my mind. The replies I've seen from OVO to one of this forum's members who is having the same problem as me seems to put the onus on their new customer to sort out differences between SSE readings and the customers meter. That is simply not acceptable and I would go so far to suggest that it is criminal. Yes I may sound angry and you'd be right, I'm angry, frustrated and full of disgust that customers of any big corporation can be treated this way. I won't rest until this is sorted and then I will be pursuing for damages.

By the way I moved from the flat at the end of January and have not continued to allow them to supply me in my new property. I'm now dealing with EON and they have been incredibly helpful. The customer service advisor rang me at pre-arranged times until everything was sorted. Now that is Customer Service how it should be.

Userlevel 7
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The experience the other forum member here has or had isn’t necessarily the same as the other five million or so SSE customers being migrated to OVO. The ones most likely to run into issues during migration are probably those with a pre-existing issue with SSE somehow, whether it was already know about or not. There are industry wide processes to resolve most of them, including a read dispute process to fix bad meter readings where the opening reading with the new supplier and closing reading for the old supplier get disputed, a D86 if you will. In those cases, the onus is on both suppliers to figure out the solution.

I do what I can to help out here, but I have boundaries that I have to stay within. That’s why I can’t fully resolve issues like that myself, but trust me. I would if I was allowed to.

Your only course of action is the Energy Ombudsman, you cannot easily take the matter to court until after the Ombudsman process is complete. At which point, you would be able to take it to court to enforce the outcome from the Ombudsman if needs be. Other than that, I don’t comment on legal matters beyond giving you a heads up about this: once you head to the Energy Ombudsman or go to court, I step out of the way as I don’t like to tread on those processes.

As for E.On Next? I’m not so sure. You should check their forum and you’ll soon see why. And while you’re at it, the Scottish Power community is completely shredded. Feel free to explore if you wish.

Userlevel 1

Sorry I wasn't asking you to help me directly or for any assistance except to vent my frustration at what is currently happening to me and others. I'm being charged over £500 for a period of 73 days for heating a one bedroom flat and using around 110 m3 of gas according to the meter readings, does that sound right to any human with logic and a list of standing charges and cost per m3?

  Whenever there are ombudsmen and regulators to appeal to this only serves to lengthen a process and that of course benefits the corporation and not the individual concerned.

I'm sure we've all had different experiences with companies at most points in our lives and I am simply stating mine with SSE and my own comparison to EON. I'm not batting for either side as of course we will experience different outcomes. As far as I know OVO have not yet come into my equation and quite frankly I'd rather fight one energy supplier and not two. 

Again from your reply I summise that the onus is for me to prove them wrong and take part in other levels of investigation, appointments and phone calls rather than the giant simply taking ownership and sorting it out. I've offered to pay what I think the bill should be and provided them with evidentiary photographs of the opening and closing readings which is backed up by my ex landlord so what more can I do?

Their collections department who called me today, from whichever call center in Asia, said that even though I'd raised a complaint the legal recovery action will still go ahead as they have a process to follow. Well my process is to defend my reputation, credit score and self esteem and I will consider my options to do exactly that. 

Thanks for your reply.

Userlevel 1

Update for anyone reading this.

My SSE phone app account has been closed by them and directs me to my account on the website which says SSE is part of the OVO group so it would appear that despite receiving nothing from either SSE or OVO I have been transferred.

From here I can see that my electricity account is over £8 in credit despite me paying the full final balance to the agent over the phone in early February. No explanation on why I have overpaid. My gas account remains over £400 in the red.

For anyone from OVO reading this you can see the problem from the attached shot of my current gas account reading on your site and a photo of the closing reading taken by me, confirmed by my landlord and supplied to SSE/OVO customer complaints. Should I get a rocket scientist to explain the obvious problem to them? And when can I have my 8 quid back please?

 

Userlevel 7
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Hmm… Something doesn’t look right about your gas meter, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Would you be up for a Burns Test by any chance? It’s a type of meter accuracy test designed to help identify potentially faulty meters.

Userlevel 1

Thanks again for your reply. Sadly again I feel I have to make the point that if there's a fault then the company should sort it out and not the customer. If I charged them for my time spent on this so far then they actually owe me money. The owner or agent of the property is certainly contactable to do this test and they will find another 7 flats across the property with the same type of meter. I moved out at the end of January and no longer have access to the meter.

It's such a simple thing really... The result of the two readings taken as they are displayed shows that I used 109 M3 and not 1088 M3 as they seem to think from my account. It just needs a human being to look at the two figures and compare them to the photo to work out that a one bed flat with gas central heating does not use that much in just over 2 months unless I was taking in laundry and washing it in the bath. Sorry to be blunt but this has been in my life now for far too long and I'm very tired of it.

Now I can see that I'm apparently an OVO customer I will try and speak to them tomorrow one final time before I start making lots of noise and fuss that will be aimed at exposing the attitude of the supplier/s towards its customers and the stress and strain this has caused me.

Userlevel 7

As advised in another thread - 

 

I’m so sorry to hear of the stress that’s been caused when trying to get your meter readings corrected by SSE, @Dazza66.

 

As you mentioned not receiving any notification of the migration of your account from SSE to OVO, I’m wondering if this is a slightly different issue to that described by @440rb above. Whilst we’re gradually moving all SSE account over to OVO, if yours it yet to join us, we’d be unable to investigate the meter reading issue you mention.

 

We’d recommend getting in touch with the SSE Support Team if you’re yet to hear back from their complaints team.

 

I’m really hoping they’re able to get things sorted quickly for you.

Userlevel 1

Ok so now I have a dedicated person looking after my case who updates me every 7 days!!!.

This is a ”Senior complaints person”.

Quote:- we are trying our best and will move your dispute to the “Migration Team”, another dept. but cannot guarantee anything as many issues in front of yours but will try and get your issue put near the top.

We need to get SSE to change your old gas meter reading and need information.

SSE told me they are no longer in control of my meters and cannot do anything, so how is that going to work?…..catch22?

All info of our previous readings are actually shown in my ovo account if they were to actually look and clearly shows the error we made on the July SUMMER 2021 reading given where the previous SUMMER reading in April was was 600 units less, no way anyone uses 600 units of gas in the summer and we certainly didn’t.

All the info they need is there to correct, stands out like a soar thumb! they confirm all this on the phone and understand where the error was made yet still do not correct, its not rocket science, nobody can or will do anything or has the authority to do so it seems, what sort of company is this.

 Was told I can go to the Ombudsman if I wish…….thanks for that, very helpful.

Re the meter reader from MDS that was supposed to come out twice and didn’t, I was told it actually probably helped my case as apparently they can take anything up to 3 weeks for that reading to be uploaded to ovo and could’ve prolonged the time period. Thats helpful!!.

In the next street to me there’s a guy with a car who works for and has Morrison Data Systems on it!!!!! but never mind eh.

So there seems to be no end to this as its now been 3 months>>>

 

Userlevel 1

440rb I very much think that OVO are going to regret the day someone suggested buying SSE. It would appear until now they have had a very good reputation but that's about to change.

 

"out like a soar thumb! they confirm all this on the phone and understand where the error was made yet still do not correct, its not rocket science, nobody can or will do anything or has the authority to do so it seems, what sort of company is this."

 

Seems so logical doesn't it? Pretty much what I've been saying. It just needs someone with a little common sense and the authority to change things. I'm feeling that Martin Lewis and OVO CEO may be a way to proceed. And if said CEO won't help a little protest outside his golf club may make a difference

Userlevel 1

I am using M. Lewis and his “Resolver” system for complaints as well just to see what happens. I don’t know about ovo in the past but never had any issues with SSE.

Gotta give all Co’s a chance to put things right but their processes just cannot cope. OR its set up not to. I did see online that ovo has had to pay back near 9m £’s to customers in the past, not very awe inspiring.

Anyhow just got a call from my “personal senior assistant” to say its all in hand they know whats got to be done but not sure how long it may take, watch this space and I’ll call you again 7 days time.

Userlevel 1

Thanks I've just been chatting to someone else with major problems and suggested alerting the Martin Lewis site as I'm going to do myself.

Good luck with your account manager I expect they're extremely busy!

I look forward to hearing your news.

Best wishes

Darran

Userlevel 1

Thanks everyone for all your advice and comments. It turns out that I am still a customer of SSE and by leaving negative comments on Trustpilot and getting my complaint escalated SSE eventually woke up and sorted it out admitting their mistake. In fact it turns out I've paid them almost £100 too much and don't owe them £500 as they insisted throughout. 

They are an impossible organisation to try and deal with because of so many departments spread across different call centres in different countries, a case of ar*e and elbow or p*as up in a brewery.

My advice is go onto Google and find different phone numbers call them and insist they escalate your complaint. Then go straight onto trustpilot and give them what for.

Good luck 🤞

Userlevel 1

Glad you got it sorted, I’ve just given OVO a review on T/pilot not thats its going to do much I doubt after being fobbed off AGAIN by top advisor even after they have new bill from SSE, said they have to check it out, what so they don’t even believe SSE and my readings or what?, what they got to checkout, just stalling again. 

Don’t know where my one is going to end. But starting to really pee me off now especially with APR 1st looming and even more hikes in costs.

cheers.

Userlevel 1

Just put my review up on boost as well for the little good that will do as most others are 5 star as usual.

Userlevel 1

Make sure you keep a note of absolutely everything that is said, how many calls you make and how much time you're spending on this and remind them of all of this every time you speak or email them.

Ironically after the Scottish call telling me how much I'm due to be refunded I get another from a different country from a lady who said she was responding to my trustpilot review. I wasn't able to speak to her and she promised to call back. That was 3 days ago!

Userlevel 1

Trustpilot, Fed of Master builders all the good logos agencies et.c etc. been all tosh for years just orgs for people to belong to for money that have some sort of cred so you have some cred in the eyes of a customer. Baloney the lot.

Userlevel 7

I'd like to step in here to address speculation about the TrustPilot reviews for our sister PAYG company Boost. Please know that the reviews posted are from genuine Boost customers. Suggestions that positive reviews are fake is incorrect and a breach of our Forum’s house rules regarding misinformation. We’ll continue to take action against any forum members breaching these guidelines including, if necessary, removing posts and/or banning members. 

 

In addition, we don’t condone using Boost TrustPilot as a channel to raise complaints about OVO Energy or SSE. In line with TrustPilot’s own guidelines any reviews posted which do not relate to a Boost customer account will be removed.

 

As originally advised in the ‘Best Answer’ above, an issue with an SSE account which is yet to be moved to OVO should be directed to the SSE Support Team, who can fully investigate the issue and raise a complaint if necessary. As we’re not able to help further with SSE complaints, we’ll be closing this topic for further comments.