Self Service Reward is no longer available for new and renewing customers - will you miss it?

  • 6 August 2019
  • 32 replies
  • 1405 views

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We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.

We want to make things simpler and fairer for customers, and to ensure our prices are competitive in the market.

So as of the 29th July, the SSR will not be available to add for new or renewing customers. Those that have the SSR on their current contract will continue to receive the credit each quarter until the end of that contract, if they adhere to the principles of the reward.

The reward has caused a bit of a stir this year. So with it being fazed out, we want to know what our community members things of it...

Do you think the Self Service Reward (SSR) was a good idea?


32 replies

Userlevel 5
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Hi @Tim_OVO

Thanks for creating this topic.

I voted no, not because I mind managing my account on line but because the self service reward was clumsy, too rigid and unclear, in comparison to the previous online discount.

Looking through the posts on this forum it was made clear by the various mods that it was perfectly OK to contact customer support if you could not resolve an issue using My OVO to deal with or answer a question. However the T+C's never stated this and I think many customers where reluctant to contact OVO with a genuine question they could not resolve themselves because of the fear they would loose the reward.

No other energy companies, that I am aware of offered something similar and it made OVO look like they did not want to speak to their customers.

I am glad its going and means I am more likely to stay now.

However I do have a question.

The self service reward is payable on 1st Oct 2019 for (Jul/Aug/Sept) and on 1st Jan 2020 for the period (Oct/Nov/Dec). If I renew my contract, which expires mid November, will I get a pro-rata payment of the self service reward for the period 1st October until my existing contract expires in mid November, when the existing contract ends???
Userlevel 4
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I have voted NO.
As someone who has never had to use any tools to help me manage my account, I have no problem with this being removed, but I do feel that it acted as a disincentive to customers getting something resolved.
Userlevel 4
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I voted NO.

I felt that the Self Service Reward was a good idea in theory but sadly in practice it was anything but. Of course if it had been handed out fairly I would have had no problem with it except that it wasn't. I've got half a dozen or more emails I've sent to OVO where I wasn't credited my full SSR entitlement each quarter and OVO blamed it on a 'Glitch'! In my last email they even told me that the problem had been fixed and so wouldn't happen again except that it did. My most recent award was only half the amount it should have been. OVO have once again passed this to their technical department.

Now if OVO are removing this altogether this should obviously solve that issue but how exactly are they lowering the prices and by how much? What are these new rates please?

The only concern I have about this is that my fixed rate doesn't end until November 2020, does this mean that by that date OVO will have increased it's rates again and so absorbing any savings I would have made under the old SSR?
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Common sense prevails. The SSR was like one of those ideas that a team member has come up with at a brain storming session. Sounded great but it was poorly implemented and communicated to the customer.

The idea works in places like the insurance industry, like a No Claims Bonus, but penalising customers for contacting the service desk was always going to be unpopular and confusing.

At a time when queries and complaints are escalating, combined with the problems of the rollout of smart meters, I am pleased the SSR is being withdrawn. However, as I don't trust any business nowadays, I wait to see how the discount being introduced will reduce my bill.

The decision to withdraw the SSR could mean I might now stay with OVO at the end of my contract. (Depending on the new tariff and my change to smart metering getting sorted out before I get any greyer).
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The decision to withdraw the SSR could mean I might now stay with OVO at the end of my contract. (Depending on the new tariff and my change to smart metering getting sorted out before I get any greyer).


I think we would all agree with that statement @Barnabee, I for one would have no trouble staying if OVO make it worth my while. A reduced tarif or better still a reduction in the daily standing charge would be welcomed by many I'm sure. If OVO don't do either of those things there's little else that will keep my custom. Brand loyalty doesn't count for much these days, in a competative market I'm only interested in the savings I can make.
Userlevel 5
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The decision to withdraw the SSR could mean I might now stay with OVO at the end of my contract. (Depending on the new tariff and my change to smart metering getting sorted out before I get any greyer).I think we would all agree with that statement @Barnabee, I for one would have no trouble staying if OVO make it worth my while. A reduced tarif or better still a reduction in the daily standing charge would be welcomed by many I'm sure. If OVO don't do either of those things there's little else that will keep my custom. Brand loyalty doesn't count for much these days, in a competative market I'm only interested in the savings I can make.



I have just compared the new OVO tariff (29/07/19) 2year fixed tariff to my existing tariff that runs out in November and the last tarrif OVO were offering dated 21/05/19 which was the last tariff available with the SSR.

Using my own figures for usage I get:-

Existing 2 yr fixed tariff (expires Nov 2019): £1001.00 (including £60 SSR discount)
21/05/19 2 yr fixed tariff: £1164.00 (including £60 SSR discount)
29/07/19 2 yr fixed tariff £1077.00 - NO SSR

The standing charges for both new tariffs are the same at 28.77p per day which is slightly higher than my old tariff which was 27.4p per day.

Using my usage the new tariff without SSR would save me about £87 per year more than if signing up to the 21/05/19 tariff with a £60 reduction for SSR.

Although the new tariff is more than my current deal, it is much more competitive than the last offering from OVO. However, I will review all my options this autumn and decide what I will do then. As you say @Slinky its about savings, and for me good customer service/support in the end.
Userlevel 4
None of the options fit!

I think it *was* a good idea, but removing it is a better idea.

Ultimately I view customer service as a little like the NHS. I consider myself fortunate that I don't need to contact CS with problems to be resolved and that is sufficient reward.
Userlevel 5
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Just another thought, the calculations in my post above show that using my energy usage figures the new 29/07/19 is £87 per year cheaper than the previous tariff dated 21/05/19.

So for anyone who has recently signed a new 2 year contract on the 21/05/19 tariffs check your usage and work out how much you would save on the latest tariff. The saving could be more than the £60 penalty for ending the existing tariff early.

However please check the savings carefully to make sure it works with your own usage figures.

Its likely though that the higher your bill the bigger the savings would be.
Userlevel 4
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The standing charges for both new tariffs are the same at 28.77p per day which is slightly higher than my old tariff which was 27.4p per day.


The standing charges on your old tariff were also 28.77p per day, you didn't factor in VAT in your last calculation, i.e. 27.4p plus 5% VAT = 28.77p 🤓
Userlevel 4
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I wonder if anyone has done a comparison with Octopus Energy, I see in their averts they've been awarded 'Recommended Energy Provider Jan 2019' by Which? A rather good selling point is that Octopus don't charge exit fees unlike OVO. I'd like to see those scrapped, if my energy provider doesn't perform as I expect them to why should I be penalised if I decide to leave early?
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The standing charges for both new tariffs are the same at 28.77p per day which is slightly higher than my old tariff which was 27.4p per day.The standing charges on your old tariff were also 28.77p per day, you didn't factor in VAT in your last calculation, i.e. 27.4p plus 5% VAT = 28.77p 🤓


Sorry, thanks for spotting that. I agree the standing charge is unchanged. However, rest of the figures I quoted are correct including the totals. I changed the way I calculated the figures between 2017 and now and where I added VAT.

Its still the case that the new tariff is still much better than the previous one.

Octopus is one of the other companies I am currently looking, I agree they come out well in the Which surveys and in the citizens advice surveys. I dont want to advertise their prices here but I use the Moneysavingexpert Cheap Energy Club and the Citizens Advice compare gas and electricity prices, which is good as it compares to what you are paying now and not some possible variable rate tarrif that you would default to if you did not fix again.

These prices change all the time so I will keep all this under review. As mentioned my contract expires mid November so I will be making a decision in October.
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Tim,
I agree with the others. It was clumsy and put you off ringing customer service, even when the on line material could not answer your question.

BTW
I am in the process of renewing my plan with OVO and I am moving to EV Everywhere.
OVO sent me a reminder and a link to upgrade to a new plan, however the tariff information in the 2 year fixed rate bundle plan still shows the 'self service reward' plus the narrative of how the reward works.
Someone is taking their eye off the ball Tim. TUT, TUT.
No cream cake for him/her this afternoon.
Yes, it was a good idea. OVO are nowhere near the cheapest and the £60 discount compensated for this in a way.

You can bet your bottom dollar that any reduction in tariffs will not give (me) a £60 reduction..

This is the final straw after 5 yrs with OVO I will not be renewing. Why remove what was for me their USP?
We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.


😂 You've increased your prices!! Your cheapest tariff now is more expensive than the tariff I signed up to in September 2017.

And wholesale gas prices are lower now than they were in September 2017!

Energy companies assume nobody will question what they do and use industry specific jargon in an attempt to obfuscate the truth from their customers.
Userlevel 6
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Computer says NO

As above comments, it could put customers off calling CS with genuine questions
Userlevel 4
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We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.
😂 You've increased your prices!! Your cheapest tariff now is more expensive than the tariff I signed up to in September 2017. And wholesale gas prices are lower now than they were in September 2017! Energy companies assume nobody will question what they do and use industry specific jargon in an attempt to obfuscate the truth from their customers.


@renegade78

LOL..., nice to see someone speaking their mind! My sentiments entirely. The day energy companies become clear and transarent about their tariffs couldn't come soon enough. Maybe it's a good chance for OVO to buck the trend perhaps?

I hate all the jargon, little wonder why so many are still on Standard Rate tariffs. Even when you think you've got a good deal somewhere there's always something you overlooked which inflates the prices higher than you were expecting.

If I could choose one thing to change about energy companies other than the above it would be for ALL companies to have the same daily Standing Charge, at least that way it would be easier to spot the best deal.
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was this a new name for something we already had?
Userlevel 4
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was this a new name for something we already had?

Yes it was, I think previously it was called 'Online Discount' or something like that. Judging by the many negative comments on these forums about it the reward clearly wasn't working very well. As someone else said, it was poorly implemented.
The SSR was a good incentive to remain with OVO, and perfectly easy to access. A while ago it changed to a quarterly operating cycle, but at £60 annually it covered the £5.00 monthly I was paying for 100% Green electricity.
My renewal offer came on the 29th. July, but there was no mention of SSR being stopped in the documentation or quote.
I renewed on the 1st August on a two year fix, but did I get the new lower tariff? I don't know, and I've raised the question with OVO. And, if I stay until my renewal date, will I get my SSR pro-rata up until mid September, as I've only just had the Apr-Jun Reward paid.
I'm still within the cooling off period until next week, and am seriously thinking of switching to Octopus as some above have mentioned. Now the only Which? Recommended Provider.
My neighbour can refer me, and we both get £50.00 reward.
I shall leave with some regrets, as we've been with OVO almost since the start when they were then based in Cheltenham, but Octopus are more competitive, at least at the rates I've been quoted.
Userlevel 2
I misunderstood the question as I forgot about the change of name. The previous discount was a great idea but the change to SSR was a disaster, \the reasons given for the change were unbelievable as the problems the change was supposed to address could easily have been handled by the previous scheme and the change to SSE simply caused problems for the majority of customers who tried hard to obey the rules. The change was so detrimental that I (and I am sure many previously loyal customers) am seriously considering moving away from OVO when my contract ends. I would now be hard to convince that the new proposed scheme will be anything but a way of getting more money for OVO despite the fact that your prices are already too high compared to others. I would seriously suggest that you revert to the previous discount scheme and also reduce your prices to be competitive.
If you do not take some steps like those I suggest I feel sure that OVO will lose a large number of customers and may well be completely wiped out.
The very bad handling of your EV everywhere offering is another example of the incompetence which your current management are displaying.

Jim
Over the weekend, Sky have announced that OVO are actively seeking capital in order to make a bid to take over the retails side of Scottish and Southern (SSE); I also discovered in the same report that OVO are 20% owned by Mitsubishi.
Definitely time to get out, I'm not renewing and will be off to Octopus shortly.
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Over the weekend, Sky have announced that OVO are actively seeking capital in order to make a bid to take over the retails side of Scottish and Southern (SSE); I also discovered in the same report that OVO are 20% owned by Mitsubishi.
Definitely time to get out, I'm not renewing and will be off to Octopus shortly.

I have just read this story https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49310574 and to be honest it has alarm bells ring in my ears.
I have been with OVO almost from the start and there are issues that I have not liked such as the no live data removal that has been well covered on these forums. Now the ending of the SSR and the potential 5.8 million extra customers sort of makes it clear why the SSR is being axed. I do not thik i will renew with ovo in light of this. Just wondering when the 5% interest on balances goes
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@Tim_OVO

I think we would all benefit for some clarity on your opening paragraph please...?

  • We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.
Lowering prices? Which ones exactly? The extortionate daily standing charge? or the fuel tariffs or both?

It's a bold statement to say "We're lowering our prices instead" but it's not particularly useful if you don't say by how much. Will the saving be equal to our SSR or will OVO be the main winners here?
I have just renewed with OVO for a fixed term of two years and I do not recall seeing any mention of the SSR being removed. The new two year fixed tariff is definitely not cheaper than my current two year fixed tariff.
There was no mention of the SSR being removed for those of us who's contracts are coming up for renewal. Inevitably the new tariff will be more costly than the outgoing tariff as costs have risen in two years. That's why we fix for either one or two years, and gamble on the costs not falling in that period.
What OVO have failed to state clearly anywhere is what the new tariffs would have been had they not dropped the Self Service Reward feature, leaving us to assume that the tariff we have been quoted is the cheapest available from them.
When I called to tell OVO that I was not going to renew with them after all, the advisor told me that my existing account due to end in mid-September had already been closed, and final billing prepared!
Soon put him right on that score, but it doesn't fill one with confidence that OVO any longer know what they're about, so I'm now switching away to Octopus.

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