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Moved into new property and I owe previous tenants bill, why?

  • 10 August 2019
  • 5 replies
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Words can not explain how mad I am with this company. I have previously moved into a new property supplied by Ovo and as now the legal occupier I opened a letter to them sending debt collectors round because the previous tenants hadn’t paid their bill!

I was mortified that they are doing this! I tried calling and couldn’t get through to them at first. When I did the gentleman was very reassuring and told me he would rectify the bill and did the sale pitch to which I decided to stay with them.

Recieved the new statement and they are still trying to charge me!! I’ve had it with this company already! Painful is an understatement! Plus my new email as a new client states they are open Saturday hey are not!

Not at all happy and want to go back to Bulb Energy even though they are slightly more expensive. Customer service was second to none
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Best answer by Amy_OVO 12 August 2019, 14:29

Hey @EB23,

I'm really sorry to hear of your experience so far. When you contacted our team to take over liability of the energy used in the property we would only then start to bill you from that date, as @Transparent mentioned any prior usage is not yours to cover.

We may have used an estimated reading to open up your account, in any case this is something our team will be able to look into. Please contact them with a current reading, but more importantly the reading on the date you moved in, this will be on your tenancy or check in details, they'll be able to adjust the statement to rectify your consumption today.

You can send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or email the team on hello@ovoenergy.com, or give them a call. You can reach our Customer Care team 9-5 Monday-Friday on 0330 303 5063.

Thanks!
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Userlevel 7
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Thanks for posting this @EB23. Firstly the debt results from a contract between an individual and a company (OVO Energy). That debt cannot be transferred to another individual, and you have no legal liability to meet it.

Secondly, as you have spoken to OVO Customer Services and informed them of the problem, any attempt to send debt collectors to your address would merely result in them paying the collection fees. That would be a waste of time/effort/money, and I don't think OVO are that stupid!

You state that you have a new Statement. I assume that it is addressed to you as an individual with a new Contract Number. Correct?

If that Statement contains an element of a debt from a different/previous contract, then the Statement is faulty.

Simply send an email to hello@ovoenergy.com with the word "Complaint" in the Subject Line and at the start of the Message Body Text.

State clearly and politely that the debt in question belongs to a Contract between OVO and another individual. Request that they issue you with a new/correct Statement.

The email means that there is a date/time stamp attached, denoting the start of the Complaints Procedure. OVO have to address the Complaint within 5 working days.

Please do not worry about this. The Complaints System works, and OVO have the best record in the industry for complaints handling. See the latest Which? Report published at the beginning of 2019.

Let us know if you have any further difficulties, and enjoy your weekend.
Thank you for the reassurance. Ovo knew I had only just taken over the property but yet still issued me with the statement with added costs? So if they knew it belonged to someone else why are they still pursuing it?

I have made a complaint as sugested and I hope this gets rectified as soon as possible.
Userlevel 7
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I'm not as surprised as you are that this has happened, @EB23.

For reasons I will not expand on here, the scenario you describe bears similarity to a method used by fraudsters to create a fake identity. OVO are required to operate under Ofgem guidelines which aim to make this harder to achieve.

Unless all the boxes get ticked within OVO's anti-fraud mechanism, I would expect their system to send just such a bill to you.

In my experience, you should take every step possible to ensure that OVO have a clear trail of evidence showing that the previous tenant has vacated the property, and that you are a different person with a fresh tenancy agreement. Even if they haven't asked for it, why not start by supplying OVO with details such as the forwarding address for the old tenant and contact info for the landlord?
Userlevel 5
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Hey @EB23,

I'm really sorry to hear of your experience so far. When you contacted our team to take over liability of the energy used in the property we would only then start to bill you from that date, as @Transparent mentioned any prior usage is not yours to cover.

We may have used an estimated reading to open up your account, in any case this is something our team will be able to look into. Please contact them with a current reading, but more importantly the reading on the date you moved in, this will be on your tenancy or check in details, they'll be able to adjust the statement to rectify your consumption today.

You can send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or email the team on hello@ovoenergy.com, or give them a call. You can reach our Customer Care team 9-5 Monday-Friday on 0330 303 5063.

Thanks!
Hi Amy,

Thanks for coming back to me, I’ve called Ovo today as I made a complaint and it is now all sorted.

They have had to write off the previous account and I have now started from when I had the property.

It is all now sorted

Emily

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