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Warm Home Discount is late- Got a letter saying it would be paid in November?

  • 1 December 2023
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I'm at the end of my tether with OVO. I applied for the Warm Home Discount on 04 Oct 23, and I received an e-mail on the same day saying I had qualified for it and I would receive it by 15 Nov 23. I still haven't received it. I've spent the last 2 weeks phoning, e-mailing and having web chats with OVO. I've been given excuse after excuse why I haven't received it, all of them different. I thought I was getting somewhere about 1 week ago when I spoke with an OVO staff member who went through my application with me and told me everything was in order and that I should have received it. He said he'd look into it and get back to me, but I never heard from again. I've tried to complain, but I get generic replies. One staff member from the complaints team e-mailed me yesterday saying she has tried to call me but can't get through. She tried to call me once and she left a voicemail. The number she left to call her back was a general number and when I phoned it, they had no idea who she was or how to get in touch with her. I've been getting the WHD for 3 years now and SSE always paid it within 2-3 weeks of applying for it, but here I am 2 months later and OVO don't even know what they are doing. OVO have really dropped the ball on this.

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Best answer by Emmanuelle_OVO 1 December 2023, 11:22

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Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @BennyM 

Sorry to hear that.

I am just a customer like you

If you haven't already you might want to consider leaving a review on trustpilot for ovo

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.ovoenergy.com

 

Userlevel 7

Hey @BennyM,

 

Sorry for the issues you’re having,

 

We’ve temporarily paused payments but aim to re-start payments over the next few days:

 

We’re pausing Warm Home Discount (WHD) payments for now
 
What’s happened?

We’ve noticed an issue with the VAT applied to WHD transactions, so we’ve made a change to make sure VAT is being applied correctly.

What have we done to fix this?

We’ve temporarily paused WHD payments while we fix the issue. We’ve also created two new transactions which will replace the existing WHD transactions, which clearly describe how VAT is calculated. 
 
The payments will be applied at £142.86 with VAT calculated at 5%, which is an additional £7.14. The total payment customers will receive is £150
 
For Core Group (customers notified to us by the Department of Work and Pension as eligible) customers we’ll use the following transaction:

  • £150 Warm Home Discount CG13 (£142.86 + £7.14 VAT)

For Broader Group (customers in Scotland who have applied to OVO for WHD) customers, we’ll use this transaction:

  • £150 Warm Home Discount BG13 (£142.86 + £7.14 VAT)


The payment is applied prior to VAT being added to the bill, so the amount is added as £142.86 and then the VAT attributed is 5% at £7.14. 

We’ll give another update soon and will aim to restart payments over the next few days. 

Hi Emmanuelle,

Thanks for replying. You've given me more information about this in one answer than I've had in the last 2 weeks of phone calls, e-mails and webchats with OVO Energy! I'll wait another few days or a week to see if I hear anything.

Thanks again!

Hi Jeffus,

Thanks for the tip. As a customer of OVO, I just don't understand how they can be so much worse than SSE, the very company OVO took over! It gets really frustrating at times when you are just looking for simple answer but can't get it.

Hi Emmanuelle,

I have just had a chat with someone from the Warm Home Discount team, and I am yet again being told to ‘wait a few days’. It seems hard to believe that an organisation the size of yours can take so long to sort out what seems like a fairly straightforward admin/accounting issue.

Seems much more like being fobbed off with feeble excuses.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi Emmanuelle,

I have just had a chat with someone from the Warm Home Discount team, and I am yet again being told to ‘wait a few days’. It seems hard to believe that an organisation the size of yours can take so long to sort out what seems like a fairly straightforward admin/accounting issue.

Seems much more like being fobbed off with feeble excuses.

You could try putting in a complaint if you feel really strongly.

https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

Then if you are not happy with the response after 8 weeks or ovo issue a deadlock letter you can ask the Ombudsman for assistance. They can order compensation payments if they uphold complaints.

The average award for ovo complaints in the last quarter are:

Billing £206

Customer Service £126

96% of awards against ovo had a financial element.

https://www.energyombudsman.org/

You could also ask citizens advice 

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue-energy/

I’d like to let everyone know of an update I’ve had today. I’ve spent weeks on phone calls and on web chats to OVO Energy, and I’ev excuse after excuse about why my WHD payment is late, each one a different reason. 

Yesterday I managed to speak to someone in the OVO complaints team. I was told that the DWP hadn’t yet paid OVO the money to pay my WHD yet and that I had to contact the DWP. However, I couldn’t even speak to anyone at the DWP because their automated system didn’t ive me the option to do so. 

I phoned the OVO complaints team back today and I found out some very insteresting information. I was told that the DWP had in fact paid my WHD to OVO on 27 October 2023, and there is no  reason at all why I wasn’t paid by 15 November 2023. The person I spoke to today did say OVO had a back log to work through and only said that “computer problems” caused the back log. 

Although I suspected all the different excuses were just made up, incuding the one given by Emmanuelle on this thread, I now have confirmation that they were all just lies told to me to get me off the phone call or web chat. It is disgusting that OVO is treating it’s vulnerable customers in this way, especially when SSE (who OVO bought over) could pay the WHD every single year within 2 weeks of applying for it. 

If OVO are going to lie to customers, perhaps they should tell all their staff the same lie and stick to it. By giving me one excuse after another, it wasn’t hard to work out that OVO are just holding on to the WHD money that the government has paid them. I’m sure it’s building up plenty of interest in OVO’s bank account.

Hi BennyM,

Thanks for the update.

They are indeed making it up as they go.

In one webchat that I had, I specifically asked if they were waiting for the money to come from government, only to be told that they DON’T get the money from government !

I just hope that they are all suitably embarrassed by their ridiculous attempts to hide the truth.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Actually, OVO has until March 2024 to get all the WHD payments out, so arguably yours isn’t “late” yet. It’s only if they don’t get them out by then that it’s “late”.

There was a recent delay caused by a VAT issue. This has been fixed and OVO is catching up with the queue.

You just need to hang in there - the payments are on the way.

Hi BennyM,

Thanks for the update.

They are indeed making it up as they go.

In one webchat that I had, I specifically asked if they were waiting for the money to come from government, only to be told that they DON’T get the money from government !

I just hope that they are all suitably embarrassed by their ridiculous attempts to hide the truth.

They won’t be embarrased, not at all.

Actually, OVO has until March 2024 to get all the WHD payments out, so arguably yours isn’t “late” yet. It’s only if they don’t get them out by then that it’s “late”.

There was a recent delay caused by a VAT issue. This has been fixed and OVO is catching up with the queue.

You just need to hang in there - the payments are on the way.

I realise that the scheme runs until March 2024, but I understood that this was the government’s deadline to make the payments. If OVO have already received my WHD from the government, then there’s no reason for OVO to hold onto it until March 2024, especially when it was OVO who told me I’d receive it by 15 November in the first place. So it is late going by OVO’s own timescale to me.

As for the VAT issue, I did get told this by Emmanuelle on this thread, but it’s only one of many different excuses I’ve been told over the last 2 months. I’ve been told that:

  1. The government hasn’t paid the money to OVO.
  2. OVO didn’t know how to pay the WHD to people like me with tradtitional pre-payment meters and were trying to work out how to do so.
  3. The VAT issue you mention.
  4. OVO had “computer problems.”

I was even told on more than one occasion that the money was on it’s way and I’d receive it when I topped up within the next few days. Of course, I never did receive it. 

It’s just really frustrating to come up against this with OVO, especially when SSE never had any VAT problems or any of the other excuses, and they were always able to pay the WHD within 2-3 weeks of my appyling for it. You wouldn’t think that OVO, having bought SSE over, could be so completely incompetent.

I appreciate you taking the time to reassure me, but it’s very difficult to hang in there when I’m sitting at home not able to turn on my heating and I find out that OVO have had my payment since 27 October. 

Im having exactly the same problem.ovo dont care my daughter and are are severly disabaled and have bad asthma and i keep getting fobbed of even when i try to speak to a manager ovo you should be ashamed of yourselfs

Im having exactly the same problem.ovo dont care my daughter and are are severly disabaled and have bad asthma and i keep getting fobbed of even when i try to speak to a manager ovo you should be ashamed of yourselfs

I’m sorry to hear that you’re having the same problem with OVO not paying your Warm Home Discount. I’ve contacted my local MSP about it so maybe that will help. I’ve also made a complaint but although OVO have acknowledged my complaint and given me a case reference number, I haven’t been assigned a case handler yet, more than 2 weeks later. So when I phone the complaints team, I keep being told nobody can help until I am assigned a case handler. I was told by a member of the complaints team yesterday that nobody has been assigned yet, but the same staff member who told me today that OVO had received the money from the DWP to pay my WHD on 27 October, also told me that a case handler had been assigned yesterday. It just one lie after another with OVO, and their CEO really ought to resign over this because he is clearly not fit to run an energy company.

Hi benny i totally agree with you.where is all the money going to that was supposed to be paid out to people like us with a key meter.the ceo should not have a job in this company.they dont have to worry like us.i phoned today again and was told to give it a few more days.load of rubbish.the payments were supposed to get will be gaining ovo interest.i wonder if it will ever get paid out

Userlevel 7

Hey @Susan54 and @BennyM,

 

Sorry you’ve not had clear advice given to you, 

 

Actually, OVO has until March 2024 to get all the WHD payments out, so arguably yours isn’t “late” yet. It’s only if they don’t get them out by then that it’s “late”.

There was a recent delay caused by a VAT issue. This has been fixed and OVO is catching up with the queue.

You just need to hang in there - the payments are on the way.

 

Blastoise has given some helpful advice here. If you’re a customer who needs to get in touch with the government we'll apply discounts to accounts we're told about before March 2024. For customers that are automatically matched we’ll aim to get payments to these customers by the end of December. 

 

Taken from our guide about Warm Home Discount on the website: 

 

Once we're told by the Government to apply your discount, we'll aim to do this within 30 days unless an exception applies. An exception could be that we weren’t your registered supplier on 13 August 2023. If this happens, we'll tell the Government and ask they give the discount to the correct supplier.

 

For automatically matched eligible customers

The Department of Work and Pensions should tells us to apply the discount to these customers between October 2023 and December 2023. We'll aim to apply the discount for these customers by the end of December 2023 or within 6 weeks of being told to by the Government.

 

For customers that need to get in touch with the Government

We should be told what discounts to apply between October 2023 and the end of March 2024.  We'll apply discounts to accounts we're told about before March 2024 or within 6 weeks of being informed.

 

However, if you’ve had a letter saying it was due by a certain date and it hasn’t arrived, the VAT issue might be apply to you:

 

We’re pausing Warm Home Discount (WHD) payments for now
 
What’s happened?

We’ve noticed an issue with the VAT applied to WHD transactions, so we’ve made a change to make sure VAT is being applied correctly.

What have we done to fix this?

We’ve temporarily paused WHD payments while we fix the issue. We’ve also created two new transactions which will replace the existing WHD transactions, which clearly describe how VAT is calculated. 
 
The payments will be applied at £142.86 with VAT calculated at 5%, which is an additional £7.14. The total payment customers will receive is £150
 
For Core Group (customers notified to us by the Department of Work and Pension as eligible) customers we’ll use the following transaction:

  • £150 Warm Home Discount CG13 (£142.86 + £7.14 VAT)

For Broader Group (customers in Scotland who have applied to OVO for WHD) customers, we’ll use this transaction:

  • £150 Warm Home Discount BG13 (£142.86 + £7.14 VAT)


The payment is applied prior to VAT being added to the bill, so the amount is added as £142.86 and then the VAT attributed is 5% at £7.14. For example:

 

The billing team will be going through affected accounts and resolving this issue, there is likely to be a delay due to the backlog of customers they’ll have to go through.

 

Userlevel 1

After all that nonsense yesterday with OVO rewriting bill history and then double correcting it and issuing an email saying sorry we did wrong but it was your fault …. today I see they have taken away my Dad’s WHD that they gave him last month !!!! They gave a £7.50 good will payment to say sorry…. incompetent doesn’t begin to cover it…...

Userlevel 5

Hey @Pepsi 

 

Sorry to hear about this.

 

We don’t have access to accounts here at the Forum so we can’t know what’s happened here. If your dad has had a letter to say he should be receiving the Warm Home Discount, then I’d get in touch with the Support Team about this matter.

My WHD is very late too. Had all the excuses in the few times I’ve contacted for support. Confirmed I was getting it by email on October 18th,due by November 29th. Today is December 20th - still NO SIGN OF IT.  Honest answers would be nice.

I am having continuous problems with Ovo. I can not get any consistent reply to our problems. I have had multiple calls- emails - web chats with them to no avail. 
 

The initial problem arose when my meter reading would not move, I reported multiple times with no help. 
Eventually I got a response that my meter needed to be changed. Turned out I was not migrated from SSE to Ovo. 
I have been assured my previous credit will be refunded, I was then fobbed off with a smaller amount. 
 

now I don’t have the warm discount credited although the email said  be by end of November. Now I’m told it will be by 31 March. 
 

. I need the refund and the discount to be able to pay for energy. 
 

I’m having absolutely no luck getting any help I’ve now come across the forum and don’t feel like I’m the only one now! 

 

I am having continuous problems with Ovo. I can not get any consistent reply to our problems. I have had multiple calls- emails - web chats with them to no avail. 
 

The initial problem arose when my meter reading would not move, I reported multiple times with no help. 
Eventually I got a response that my meter needed to be changed. Turned out I was not migrated from SSE to Ovo. 
I have been assured my previous credit will be refunded, I was then fobbed off with a smaller amount. 
 

now I don’t have the warm discount credited although the email said  be by end of November. Now I’m told it will be by 31 March. 
 

. I need the refund and the discount to be able to pay for energy. 
 

I’m having absolutely no luck getting any help I’ve now come across the forum and don’t feel like I’m the only one now! 

 

I was migrated in October, a few weeks before they told me I was getting the WHD in late November. So it’s completely unacceptable. I’m close to making a complaint!

It is very frustrating and feels like any complaint or request for information goes into a black hole. I hope someone will be able to give us some advice on this forum. Good luck! 

Hey @BennyM,

 

Sorry for the issues you’re having,

 

We’ve temporarily paused payments but aim to re-start payments over the next few days:

 

We’re pausing Warm Home Discount (WHD) payments for now
 
What’s happened?

We’ve noticed an issue with the VAT applied to WHD transactions, so we’ve made a change to make sure VAT is being applied correctly.

What have we done to fix this?

We’ve temporarily paused WHD payments while we fix the issue. We’ve also created two new transactions which will replace the existing WHD transactions, which clearly describe how VAT is calculated. 
 
The payments will be applied at £142.86 with VAT calculated at 5%, which is an additional £7.14. The total payment customers will receive is £150
 
For Core Group (customers notified to us by the Department of Work and Pension as eligible) customers we’ll use the following transaction:

  • £150 Warm Home Discount CG13 (£142.86 + £7.14 VAT)

For Broader Group (customers in Scotland who have applied to OVO for WHD) customers, we’ll use this transaction:

  • £150 Warm Home Discount BG13 (£142.86 + £7.14 VAT)


The payment is applied prior to VAT being added to the bill, so the amount is added as £142.86 and then the VAT attributed is 5% at £7.14. 

We’ll give another update soon and will aim to restart payments over the next few days. 

Last update as to why I hadn’t had mine as at November 29th was this response. December 21st now and STILL no sign of my WHD. I am very close to making an official complaint about the situation.  Straight and honest answers about the reasons behind the very long delay would be appreciated.

Userlevel 5

Hi @mrsparkles5481 @JDGP 

 

Sorry to hear you’re both still awaiting your Warm Home Discount payment.

 

I know there was an issue that did cause some delays, but we don’t have access to accounts here at the Forum so we’d suggest getting back in touch with the Support Team about this as they should be able to provide you with an updated timeframe.

@Abby_OVO thanks for the post. I’m struggling with Support Team. They don’t seem to know much or give varying levels of answers.
 

to be honest and excuse the pun - I don’t have the energy to continue to contact them with no resolution. 
 

I have an outstanding issue, which has arisen due at OVO side not of my making which is causing me a great deal of stress and additional worry about my bills. It has been unresolved for around 6 months now. 
 

As the Warm Home Discount is meant to support customers, being told it will be credited in March 2024 as j was told this week by Ovo Support is not a helpful.

 altogether a poor show from Ovo. 

Hi @mrsparkles5481 @JDGP 

 

Sorry to hear you’re both still awaiting your Warm Home Discount payment.

 

I know there was an issue that did cause some delays, but we don’t have access to accounts here at the Forum so we’d suggest getting back in touch with the Support Team about this as they should be able to provide you with an updated timeframe.

I will be escalating to a formal complaint. As others have said here,the Support Team provide conflicting information EVERY time you contact them and the delay is completely unacceptable. I’d furthermore suggest compensation should this drag on any longer. 


My energy provider last year (I was with Utilita until I moved in January 2023 when my new home ‘s energy was provided by SSE) confirmed the WHD and fulfilled it within two weeks. This is substandard service from Ovo.

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