Contract renewal - trust or dare?

  • 25 April 2020
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 1

Not a complaint, more an annoying observation.  For the last couple of months I’ve been keeping an eye on the tariff’s being offered to me should I wish to renew.  Been pretty stable, both 1 and 2 year with rates only differing by around just a pound or two during this time whilst I’ve been following them.  Anyway, committed yesterday to renew on a 2 year contract with monthly payments at £129 only to discover a .pdf doc sent through this morning containing the details of said new contract.  Guess what ?  Apparently I’m going to be paying £142 p.m. !  Thank-you very much for that little surprise.  What’s the point of giving me an indication of what I can expect to pay on renewal only to discover that’s actually not going to be the case ?  In the greater scheme of things, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it but maybe some kind of warning advising pricing advisories can be 10% either way of what are actually indicated (which I thought - incorrectly apparently - were automatically tracking, and therefore indicating, actual and expected use and costs) ?

Victor Meldrew - out.

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hey @KevinJH 

Couldn’t agree with you. Being told you are going to pay one price to then being presented with a different price which costs more! I personally cannot help as I am an OVO customer like yourself. If you want to get this resolved asap so you are paying for the price you have been quoted. It might be best to email a screenshot of your offered tariffs, or if you want an immediate answer, call the office Monday morning on: 0330 303 5063

Let us know how you got on

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @KevinJH and thanks for posting that.

As you were an existing OVO customer in the first place, there should be no doubt as to your usage and payment history. I would therefore expect a pretty accurate estimate of your monthly DD for a new contract!

The “increase” from £129 to £142 per month is 10%… which I think is beyond the expected margins of error in your case.

It was OVO’s inability to provide reasonably accurate annual estimates which was at the heart of an investigation by Ofgem going back to 2017. See a synopsis of the findings here, including the “fine” which was agreed.

Since then OVO’s Board has made strenuous efforts to comply with Ofgem’s regulations. This resulted in them developing their own in-house customer Billing System, and ditching the 3rd-party product which had been in use when the errors occurred.

The new software in being implemented now, and you can see some of this reflected in the new user-interface for online accounts.

Quite apart from how you feel about the £142 pm DD which you have now been asked to set up, it is very important for OVO to receive feedback on such “errors”. Without that, they face the risk of further scrutiny by Ofgem.

I agree with the advice from @ITGeek123 that you should email OVO.

However, rather than Customer Services simply addressing this as an individual matter, I think you should specify at the top of your message “For the attention of Compliancy Team”.

Please provide the URL of this Topic within your email so that OVO Staff can read what we’ve stated here.

We’re all on the same side in this complaint. Neither us customers, nor OVO’s Directors wish to have inaccurate annual estimates being left unchallenged!

Userlevel 1

Thank-you for the comments posted on this - I will follow the advice given and revert on any response received.


@ITGeek123 : regrettably I’m unable to supply any screenshots as the two suggested tariffs appear to have been removed after re-signing - which kinda makes sense but doesn’t help here to show what was originally offered…..

Userlevel 1

Well, I’m very pleased to be able to advise that after firing off an email to Customer Services, I had a ‘phone call back after around fifteen minutes explaining that after doing a manual check of my past/expected usage, the original quotes of 128/129 were in fact correct.  It (the software, I’m guessing) apparently picked up what I was currently paying by DD at the current time and stuck with it.  The gentleman was happy to go in and manually change the DD amount to what was originally quoted for renewal and therefore problem is now sorted.  Whether the DD software arrangement needs to be looked at is another question but I was very impressed by the speed of CSvcs response and the satisfactory resolution thereafter.

Userlevel 6

Hey @KevinJH,

Thanks for your feedback. We’re always looking for ways in which we can improve. 

If we’ve sent an email stating that we’re actively changing your Direct Debit, you should have had one a few weeks earlier suggesting that you do it yourself first. It shouldn’t be out of the blue!

I’m glad to hear Customer Services were able to get to the bottom of this for you and sort it out. 

Do let us know if you have any further questions!