Question

Wrongly judged DD increase - Shocking CS


this is a 2-fold complaint/question;

1. my DD amount.  I received a bill worked out on 24.04.2022 saying I was £108 in debit.  However, had you worked this out on 25.04.2022 and received my due DD of £110, my account would be in credit.   On this basis you have seen fit, against current gov advice or so I’m led to believe, to raise my regular DD payment and I do not agree with the way this has been done.  I would like this DD amount reverted back as my payments directly relate to my usage and has done for years with SSE.

2. I tried discussing this on your webchat function this morning, 06.05.2022.  After being passed on to 'someone more appropriate' twice, I am still awaiting a response form the operative who appears to have just disappeared without a single word.  Have now been waiting over an hour and counting.   I find this disgusting customer service.

Since the switch from SSE to OVO the customer service side has been nothing short of second rate every single time.

Has anyone else been seeing the same issues at all?  If so, were they dealt with and rectified?


18 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi @aviatormja !

I’m Blastoise186, one of the forum volunteers around here. I need to let you know that complaints can’t be handled via the OVO Forum because it’s primarily monitored by volunteers like myself and we don’t have permission to access your account. If you wish to pursue a complaint, please see https://ovoenergy.com/feedback .

You do have the option of forcing your payments back down if you feel the latest calculation is incorrect. It may be easier to phone this through on 0330 303 5063. However, the system isn’t able to calculate based on payments that have yet to arrive in the account, but I think there’s possibly scope to improve it a bit. I’ll ask @Jess_OVO to pass that back to the tech team.

Thank you for the reply and info. am new to this and finding every other route leading to a dead end.  So had no idea just where else to go to be honest.

Hanging around being ignored on a chat service for over an hour, and waiting for a phone call to be answered for longer, I simply cannot do while at work.

Feedback has been offered as well - guess how much reply to that I’ve had as well?!

My next port of call is Ofgas (?) or whoever the regulator is as I’ve had nothing bit issues since OVO took over from SSE.

Thanks again, appreciate your time and for forwarding on to Jess.

Userlevel 7
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I think a lot of it right now might just be down to the teams getting absolutely swamped with people attempting to get through. the live chat service only becomes fully “live” once you’re through to an agent, after that they’ll respond promptly.

If you’ve sent in a complaint, you’ll hear back within five working days. If you don’t hear back, you can chase it up by calling in again. If you can’t resolve the problem within eight weeks, you can escalate further. I’m afraid the regulator Ofgem will not accept any complaints though, as they’ve delegated that job to the Energy Ombudsman. If you need to reach them, there’s details at https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy but you’ll need to wait for the eight week timeout first, unless you get a deadlock letter before then.

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear about your experience when using our Live Chat recently, @aviatormja.

 

Just to clarify, did you manage to get connected to an agent? As @Blastoise186 mentioned the opening questions are asked by a bot but you should be connected to an agent if they aren’t able to find an answer for you. As you mentioned wanting to discuss how your Direct Debit is calculated it’s worth checking out the advice in the guide below.
 

 

Our Support Team should be able to check why the latest increase has been recommended and manually adjust this if things don’t seem right. I’m hoping the team should be able to get this resolved internally but you can view our full Complaints procedure here which also explains how this can be escalated to the Energy Ombudsman if things aren’t solved within 8 weeks.

 

I hope this information is helpful.

Hi Jess, thanks for your time.

Yes, I was connected to an agent, I was simply ignored and not answered.  I gave up after just over an hour.   Unfortunately this is a very common occurrence and seems to happen every single time I’ve ever had to speak to CS at OVO.

I am fully aware of how things are calculated, but doing this the precise day before you know a regular monthly payment is being made is simply wrong.  Particularly when all other usages and costs appear to be done over a calendar month period.

It feels like its been done on purpose to charge even more.

I adjusted this payment to match requirements recently and keep a regular eye on the account. I had planned to use the Council tax rebate and October assistance to pay directly into this account to cover any forthcoming needs and create a nice ‘buffer’, however if this recent DD hike practice is going to be commonplace  I’ll keep it and apply it as/if needed.

In the meantime I would appreciate my DD amount being changed back, and in future, work the costs out when all is evenly in place.

Thanks.

Userlevel 1
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I don't agree with my estimate 

And there is no way to select a lower amount

Have looked at how it's calculated and it's… vague, to say the least!

If they are using the previous year's billing/meter readings, then the estimate will not be correct.

We installed PV in February and our consumption has reduced by a third if not more, so at worst our costs will be the same, not 150% higher!

 

I'm not going to try and contact anyone. What I do want to know is whether this estimate can be reviewed after a period of time (three months?) When we can compare 2021 and 2022 consumption.

 

Userlevel 1
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Ok, I tried the messaging method and Molly answered very quickly and saw my point

 

Userlevel 1
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You can see when the solar panels went in (12.02.2022)

Userlevel 7
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Hi @amackayj ,

The calculations do run on a regular basis and I think the system runs a quick update every time a meter reading is submitted, anytime you make a payment, a bill is generated or you request a refund. This isn’t the same as a full review, but it’s usually enough to help the system keep tabs of what it should be doing.

You’ll be able to compare this years (2022) usage against your full 2021 usage starting from around January 2023. OVO can’t provide that any sooner I’m afraid, but you can play with the available data in MyOVO to compare usage based on existing data so far.

Userlevel 7

You can see when the solar panels went in (12.02.2022)

 

What a difference those solar panels are already making, @amackayj!

 

An important question to ask about how this will be reflected in your Direct Debit calculations. Check out the advice given in this related thread.
 

 

You should start to notice your recommended Direct Debit amount catch-up with your newly reduced usage over the coming months. Keep us posted here with the changes you see, this will really help others who might be planning on getting solar panels installed in future too!

Userlevel 1
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Thanks @Jess_OVO that's good to know. 

 

Userlevel 5
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I had exactly the same experience, and now I regularly have to ask for money to be paid back into my account, or I would just accumulate thousands of Pounds with OVO. It does not make any sense, and the service is absolutely shambolic: lots of promises, no action. 

My complaint has been pending and unanswered for 9 weeks, so I can now take it to the regulator. Does anybody have a better idea? Because I seem to have run out of options with OVO. 

Userlevel 7
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Hmm… Before you go to the Ombudsman @MrPuds , would you be OK if I ask @Jess_OVO to stop by? You’re not totally out of options with OVO yet and sometimes I can play a joker. :)

Userlevel 5
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Hmm… Before you go to the Ombudsman @MrPuds , would you be OK if I ask @Jess_OVO to stop by? You’re not totally out of options with OVO yet and sometimes I can play a joker. :)

I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I have really tried everything. Jess, the trial email, support, a support supervisor, a complaint etc. I have been sent from pillar to post, and absolutely nothing has been done. Nobody seems to be able to override the mighty computer when it goes wrong. 

Userlevel 7

I’m really sorry to hear your complaint is still unresolved, @MrPuds.

 

I’ll be following this up with you via a private message here so please check you message inbox by heading to the top right hand corner of any forum page.

 

I hope this helps get things resolved.

Hi @aviatormja,

 

I’ve had roughly the same experience as you. Came over from SSE and they nearly doubled my direct debit for no reason while I had a significant credit on my account.

 

Called their phone number. Spent 30 minutes with the first agent who passed me to collections. I spent more than 1 hour on hold. I had to convince their collections agent that since I have only paid X for the last two years, and am running a credit, there is no reason to double my direct debit. He said it would be reduced and the credit would be returned to me within six business day.

 

I received an email yesterday saying they’re switching my DD back to the amount I did not agree with and I have not had the credit returned (more than six business days).

 

@Jess_OVO told me I should try the web chat. I haven’t been able to access it. @Blastoise186 told me that live chat is only available when the queue isn’t too full. Neither was able to provide any useful support.

 

OVO Energy makes a very bad impression. Their customer support is quite poor. I’m sorry you’re having the same experience.

Userlevel 7
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Actually, in this case it’s more a bug with the live chat provider and I’ve only just managed to pin it down a few seconds ago. I’m sending Tim a message now with the details, but I can’t share them publicly for privacy reasons.

I would also like to mention that as an OVO member myself and an independent forum volunteer, I do not have permission to access your account or make any changes to it, even with your consent. This is part of the agreement I made with Tim back in November 2020 when I first joined the forum and it’s one of the rules I am indefinitely bound by. Likewise, I can’t comment on your interactions with the support teams, because I don’t have access to those records and can’t vouch for either party.

I will always do what I can, but it’s important to remember the distinction between an OVO employee like Tim or Jess and an OVO Forum volunteer like myself.

Userlevel 5
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Hi @aviatormja,

 

@Jess_OVO told me I should try the web chat. I haven’t been able to access it. @Blastoise186 told me that live chat is only available when the queue isn’t too full. Neither was able to provide any useful support.

 

I don’t think you missed anything. I asked the web chat to adjust my direct debit, and they told me to call the support phone line. And the person on the phone flat out refused to acknowledge a problem with the direct debit. 

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