Why does OVO energy review my Direct Debit amount?

Why does OVO energy review my Direct Debit amount?

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Userlevel 5
On January 1st 2016 or there about, I was told by ovo that they I would be paying £67 per month if I joined them; I was very happy. In November 2016 it went up to £75 per month; still not bad but no what I was promised. The very next January 2017 it went up to £109! What is going on? Is it the usual story, tell them a lie and then reel them in, then hit them with the real bill. My "smart meter" tells me that I'm in debt to the tune of : Electricity £205.69 and Gas £415.14 a total of £620.83. I have tried to understand the damned thing but am still confused! How can it save me energy and money, the price is going up and being 70 and born into a house with only gas and no electricity, I have always economised. Who pays for these complex meters, the customer I would think.

Hey cawapiie,

I’ve moved your topic onto this thread as we have a topic about Direct Debits that are full of other users comments which I hope you’ll find helpful.

By the sounds of it, your Direct Debit has increased as your usage has increased. The advantage of having smart meters means we’ll always bill you to accurate readings. If there is a debt amount showing, this is likely to be reflective of your current account balance but double check your bills to make sure you’ve been billed to actual readings.

Lucy
Userlevel 2
About 6 months ago, I rang OVO to say that my home was probably going to be unoccupied for a year. The person I spoke to suggested reducing my payments to £20 per month but I went for £40. Because I wasn't at home, I couldn't give meter readings and so OVO used their own estimates, based on the previous year, rather than those for an empty house. Then, based on their own fictional estimates, they said I wasn't paying enough and upped my monthly direct debits to £67 for a fridge freezer and nothing else.

I am actually back at home now after 6 months but it means that the usage graphs and the month-on-month %s are unusable. Even when you give an actual reading that is much lower than the previous month's estimate, they do not revise the earlier estimate - why not?

I spoke to an OVO advisor about 18 months ago who said the usage graphs were being worked on, but nothing seems to have changed. You either need to revise earlier estimated readings in the light of later actual ones or, if you do not want to amend the earlier estimates, then you need to allow negative usage.
Having only been with OVO for around five months and already £177-87 in credit am somewhat disturbed by OVO's intention to increase my monthly direct debit from £95 per month to £154, an increase of 62%!! how can this be justified, bearing in mind that OVO's estimate of my usage as so far been far in excess of that actually used .
Userlevel 1
Despite always being in credit, last year it ended up over £300, paying at OVOs recommended DD amount. I am now being asked to increase my current DD by 25%.
I cannot find in the contract where it states I must be in a credit of their choosing or any credit for that matter. I am responsible enough to increase my payments if required.
I'm curious about this language of "ending the contract in debt"? If I owe money, demonstrate that I owe you the money and I'll pay it at the end - after you've provided the goods and services, not before?

My DD has suddenly had to increase by 50% also following a sudden £300 mystery debit in July, so I am a little miffed at the moment.
Userlevel 5

Hey @SCR- if the property is vacant, I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do to stop estimate readings being provided if no one is there. These estimated readings are based on historical information so we’re not able to based them on if the property is vacant. As soon as you are able to provide some up to date readings, this will correct any inaccurate estimates that have been used.

If you need me to remove these estimates from your account, I’d be happy to look into this for you. Just drop me a private message with your name, DoB and OVO account number.

 @phillip verhamme- First of all, welcome to OVO! It’s great to hear that you’re already in credit. The proposed increase will be based on what we’ve projected you’ll use over the year, and will work towards leaving you with a £0 credit balance. If you’ve been billed to estimates though, this increase may not be accurate.. The best thing to do is to provide us with readings each month so we can ensure you’re billing is correct.

 @Hellovo- If you’ve calculated that you’ll have a credit balance of £200 at the end of your contract if you increase your Direct Debit, I’d be happy to look into this further for you. Just drop me a private message with your name, DoB and OVO account number. You’re also seeing the readings (either actual or estimates) increase each month as you’re using energy.

 @Rob_ - You may find this OVO answers link helpful: https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/how-do-direct-debits-work but if you’d also like me to take a look at the specifics on your account, feel free to send me a private message with the info I advised @Hellovo.

Lucy

Userlevel 5
Despite always being in credit, last year it ended up over £300, paying at OVOs recommended DD amount. I am now being asked to increase my current DD by 25%.
I cannot find in the contract where it states I must be in a credit of their choosing or any credit for that matter. I am responsible enough to increase my payments if required.


Hey Pat Moore,

In our terms and conditions, for Pay monthly customers, it states that you pay for your supply in advance each month by Direct Debit. This means that we’d expect our customers to have the equivalent to one's months Direct Debit in their account at all times.

If you’re being asked to increase your Direct Debit, there can be a number of different reasons for this. I’ve moved your topic onto this thread so you can check out the other comments for more information.

Hope this helps,
Lucy
Userlevel 1
Is the estimated bill shown on the smart meter the amount estimated for our usage for the current year? If so, it shows less than we will be paying, so why the requested increase in monthly DD?
Userlevel 5
Is the estimated bill shown on the smart meter the amount estimated for our usage for the current year? If so, it shows less than we will be paying, so why the requested increase in monthly DD?

The estimated usage section on the In Home Display (IHD) isn’t the most reliable projection/indicator of your usage. I’d be happy to look over your statements though and get you an estimated annual consumption figure if you’d like? Just pop me a private message with your name, DoB and OVO account number.

Lucy
My direct debit for 2016 was £72.00 a month.(which covered my usage)Then with no warning I'm asked to increase my direct to £96.00 a month for 2017.(Extra £24.00 a month,!!!!).
No information received to say there had been a price increase.Now today I've just received another e-mail saying Ovo recommend I
Increase my direct debit again.Im on my bike.!!
Userlevel 7
@Simon Templer

Welcome to the forum. I have moved your question over here as we have a load of information and customer comments about direct debits and why they change that might help answer your questions.

Have a read through and comment below if you need any other support or have any other questions.

Darran

I have just been asked for a significant increase on my £145 DD. Even thought in credit by £150 and not using gas at all in summer. Very disappointed but even more so that having joined in Jan 2016 I thought my 12 month contract had ended in Jan 2017, but no, I automatically started a 'new' 12 month contract which attracts a £60 early termination fee. Very disappointed in OVO and this DD experience seems to be common. This new contract was imply not clear, so maybe others should check if they are considering leaving.

 


Thanks for commenting @JohnL. We have a handy OVO Answers link here: https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/how-do-direct-debits-work which explains Direct Debit check in’s in much more detail.

When your contract expired, you’ll have rolled onto our Simpler tariff. This is a variable tariff that doesn’t have any leavings fees. We wouldn't have been able to fix you into a new tariff without going through the renewals process with you (either online or over the phone).

If you remain concerned about this, please send me a private message so I can look into this in more detail.

Lucy

 

My direct debit for 2016 was £72.00 a month.(which covered my usage)Then with no warning I'm asked to increase my direct to £96.00 a month for 2017.(Extra £24.00 a month,!!!!).
No information received to say there had been a price increase.Now today I've just received another e-mail saying Ovo recommend I
Increase my direct debit again.Im on my bike.!!

.Thought I'd found a good and honest power company but they are just like the rest pull them in with a cheap tariff and then hit them hard.(What a shower).!!!

I've been receiving requests to increase my direct debit for a few months now, I spoke to customer services in June to explain I have had an entire new heating system and smart meters fitted in February and my bills had been fluctuating massively for the months after they were fitted (e.g. £25 one month then £200 the next). I was told this can happen with the smart meters and to let it run it's course and the estimated level of my direct debit would adjust and OVO wouldn't increase it just yet.

The smart metering seems to have levelled out now which is good. I am still getting requests to increase my direct debit. Is there anyway to explain that I have gone from a 30+yr old heating system (floor standing heat exchanger boiler and hot water tank with no insulation) to the most high tech Vaillant boiler with smart thermostat (Nest) and so my use will be lower this winter?? I'm sure if someone understands this they can model my predicted use better. I have never been anywhere near a £0 balance, for the last 18 months I've always built up more and more credit and even to the point of taking £150 back just to keep the level of credit down a bit.
letter sent to say you were increasing my direct debit without my say so i am £194 in credit you have no right to say you will ajust my payments without my consent.
Userlevel 7

letter sent to say you were increasing my direct debit without my say so i am £194 in credit you have no right to say you will ajust my payments without my consent.

 


Hi @harvey31 @bill Rethink and thanks for posting!

Can any other user who've had a Direct Debit check in, chip in with some advice - @GTurner @certanti :?

Tim

 

I recalculated, based on last year’s usage, and rang customer services - they saw the error in their predictions and wen along with my figures, as I was £359 in credit.
Not a happy customer.

Have receive an email to state that my direct debit is being increased to £210 (from £60). I understand I was £199 in debt (but believe that is due to your low initial quotes to entice customers).

For the past several months I have been paying £60 direct debit and topping up £40 (total £100) My statement are around £80.

I understand that my direct debit amount would need to be amended; however £210 per month seems excessive; I will probably look at changing suppliers at this rate - surely this is the point of smart meters to bill people accurately??
Userlevel 5
Not a happy customer.

Have receive an email to state that my direct debit is being increased to £210 (from £60). I understand I was £199 in debt (but believe that is due to your low initial quotes to entice customers).

For the past several months I have been paying £60 direct debit and topping up £40 (total £100) My statement are around £80.

I understand that my direct debit amount would need to be amended; however £210 per month seems excessive; I will probably look at changing suppliers at this rate - surely this is the point of smart meters to bill people accurately??


Hey 4ll4n,

The quote that you originally got would have been based on the information you provided at the point of sign up. Your unit rates and standing charge won't have changed during your contract. If you’ve built up a debt of £199, this is likely to be due to your usage.

We’d be more than happy to look at this for you to see if we can calculate a more accurate Direct Debit amount. If you’d like us to, please send me a PM with your name, DoB and OVO account number.

Lucy
The debate and angst caused by fixed direct debits, account balances and account reviews should have disappeared with the introduction of smart meters. The only reason it hasn't is because the energy providers don't want to pre-fund 1 month of customers' energy, and allow payment in arrears.

The concept of building credit in summer months to cope with higher winter bills is convenient for the energy providers but makes little sense in a Smart world where real-time data and variably direct debits exist. Yes, many folk like the idea of knowing how much is coming from their bank account each month and that's fine. But there are others, like us, who would much prefer to pay each month for exactly the amount of energy we've used.

Many folk live increasingly complex lives where our energy needs are far from linear or predictable. Weather patterns are changing all the time. To watch OVO and other energy suppliers spending good money trying to predict and graphically display how much gas and electricity we'll be using in the coming months and year is laughable and frankly insulting. We know our life-style and situation better than anyone and are able to budget and manage our finances and energy usage. That should be possible with smart meters, but energy providers don't give you the option, at least not yet.
Userlevel 3
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Hi,
I couldn't agree with you more.
I was told that smart meters would eliminate estimated bills as you only pay for what you use.
OVO have found a way to still estimate bills but not monthly or quarterly as before but yearly and then tell us that it's super complicated to work out.

Why can't we have an option which I would be more than happy with.

I promise to keep 200 pounds in OVO's account (so my bill will always be paid even if my DD gets refused, which it won't) and OVO just bill me for my usage every month via a variable DD.
No more estimated bills so it has to be easier and cheaper from OVO's end.

End of month my readings are taken the charges are calculated as normal, then OVO send me an email telling me my bill is ready, I log on to my account and check that it looks ok and 3 days later you take the money from my account. BILL PAID IN FULL.

I understand that this option won't be for everyone but at least offer it as an option for those who want it.

Please OVO listen to your customers and give us what we want.

For information, First utility do this and I was with them with smart meters since 2009 so it can and is being done.
I left them because of thier awful customer service.

Delboy.
I have had a letter saying they are changing my direct debit, to higher amount each month to cover my usage, how they have estimated my electricity to over £1000 a year I don't understand as I am out at work all day,but apart from that it says to log on to my account to agree change can some one tell me where i find the page to agree?
Hey @godders123

You can find more information about how we calculate your Direct Debit amount here - https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/payments-and-statements/payments/how-do-you-work-out-my-direct-debit-amount.html.

To increase the Direct Debit amount yourself, just visit the Payments section of your online My OVO account.

Cheers,
Emily
Only joined OVO a few months ago and have a fixed price for 2 years but it appears to work the same as other suppliers i have used. During the winter months, you go over your monthly price, but in summer, usage goes right down and balances out and the payment is amended higher or lower when a new term begins. So why have i received an email this soon telling me to up my D.D payments? It's winter! Surely i can wait until the summer and my usage drops below and review it then?
Userlevel 7

@TLJ

Adding your comment here as this topic should help understand why you had a direct debit check in.

Have a read, if you have anymore questions post below.

Darran

Userlevel 2
We joined OVO last year on a 2 year fixed price plan from a recommendation on MSE Energy Club.

We've recently been asked to increase the DD from £81 to £104. I think that is too much as we have solar PV and water heating which will significantly lower our usage during the Spring/Summer/Autumn months. I am prepared to increase the monthly DD a little, but not by 28%.

I went onto the website to change it to £90, but it will not allow anything less than the recommended figure. So, as the only other option is to not change it at all, we'll continue paying £81 and see what the recommended increase is later in the year.

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