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New OVO website account experience

  • 1 October 2019
  • 32 replies
  • 862 views

Does anyone think that the new website/account pages is an improvement over the old one? I find that they suffer from unnecessary information overload.The old site was simple and easy to find the really necessary information eg monthly bills were shown in a simple monthly table showing payment and usage charges that enabled quick comparisons by just scanning down now it requires multiple downloads to achieve the same result.
There are other issues that caused confusion as well.
Is this what is called progress or is it done to confuse?
Another point OVO has the highest standing charges of all the energy companies why?
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Best answer by Julian_OVO 2 October 2019, 12:06

Hi @Coveyg ,

Thanks for your comments on the new online account, my name is Julian Norman and I am a product lead on the new system, which basically means I work with the teams building the web and app experiences.

With the new homepage we've tried to bring the key pieces of information such as balance, costs, payments, Direct Debit onto the first page you see. I can understand that when first logging in being presented with all this information in a new layout can feel like information overload compared with the previous homepage so we'll see what we can do with the homepage to reduce that initial impact while making the key pieces of information easily discoverable.

In relation to the table showing monthly payment and usage charges, on the homepage there is a section titled "Recent charges and payments". This section recreates that table you mentioned from the previous online account, it includes your payments and costs as well as links to view your costs on another webpage or download them as a PDF.

The table shows the previous two to three months and can be extended by clicking the "Show charge and payment history" button below. It may be that you have only been on the online account for a short time and so this history is short. Your previous statements are accessible at the end of the table or by clicking the "View your statements" link. I'm really sorry that the figures aren't shown in the table at the moment.

I'd be interested to know what you think about the new information included in the table, rather than just total monthly costs and payments we've included balances too. Is there anything you'd like to see or not see on this page or elsewhere in your online account?
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Hi @Coveyg ,

Thanks for your comments on the new online account, my name is Julian Norman and I am a product lead on the new system, which basically means I work with the teams building the web and app experiences.

With the new homepage we've tried to bring the key pieces of information such as balance, costs, payments, Direct Debit onto the first page you see. I can understand that when first logging in being presented with all this information in a new layout can feel like information overload compared with the previous homepage so we'll see what we can do with the homepage to reduce that initial impact while making the key pieces of information easily discoverable.

In relation to the table showing monthly payment and usage charges, on the homepage there is a section titled "Recent charges and payments". This section recreates that table you mentioned from the previous online account, it includes your payments and costs as well as links to view your costs on another webpage or download them as a PDF.

The table shows the previous two to three months and can be extended by clicking the "Show charge and payment history" button below. It may be that you have only been on the online account for a short time and so this history is short. Your previous statements are accessible at the end of the table or by clicking the "View your statements" link. I'm really sorry that the figures aren't shown in the table at the moment.

I'd be interested to know what you think about the new information included in the table, rather than just total monthly costs and payments we've included balances too. Is there anything you'd like to see or not see on this page or elsewhere in your online account?
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Regarding standing charges, we feel they are a true reflection of the industry costs incurred to transport and maintain the gas and electricity supply which goes to our customers homes. Other suppliers may integrate a large amount of these costs into unit rates instead of having a separate standing charge, or run at a loss-leading rate subsidised by the higher non-contract rates paid by more long standing customers - often those who are less likely to switch.

We review our prices on a regular basis and have been just as quick to drop our prices in the past when we have seen decreases in commodity cost. This cost reflective pricing sits at the heart of our promise to be fair, transparent and as competitive as possible. You can read more on our standing charges here -https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-answers/topics/pricing/what-are-standing-charges-and-what-else-does-ovo-charge-for.html
Hi @Julian_OVO
You seem to have missed the point of my complaint, yes all the statements are there but have to be downloaded to see them unlike the old site where they were all viewable at the same time. Now to compere statements you download the first one then to view any more you return to main statement list select the next one which promptly deletes the first, most frustrating if you wish to view more than two.

Change from monthly billing to daily billing. The idea seems to be that things will be simpler to understand.. Why not just fix the issue with the smarty meter remote unit… Just set it so that it resets to zero after the monthly bill reading has been taken. This would make it pretty simple, at a glance, to see usage and a prediction of the next bill. No login required!  My previous supplier had it set that why so it must be possible. All the recent changes, I feel, just complicate things, add to that the ‘feedback’ doesn’t work. The ‘’contact us by email or phone’ fails to mention the £14+  charge for doing so makes it all seems a bit of a cynical way of raising money.  Also, the daily charge for energy usage seems to me a straight out way of reducing the interest paid on account surplus.. All a bit rubbish really.

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Hi@lepirate,

I’ve moved your post over here where users have passed on feedback about the new online experience.

It’s worth pointing out that there’s no £14 charge for getting in touch with us. The Self Service Reward means a £15 discount per quarter if a customer manages their account all online. We understand that people need to get in touch from time to time regarding issues they aren’t able to resolve through the website, and we wouldn’t remove the discount if you needed to do this.

Thanks

An experienced web developer, Ryan is based near La Clusaz and works with Luke on our behind the scenes technology. I feel, just complicate things, add to that the ‘feedback’ doesn’t work. The ‘’contact us by email or phone’ fails to mention the £14+  charge for doing so makes it all seems a bit of a cynical way of raising money.  Also, the daily charge for energy usage seems to me a straight out way of reducing the interest paid on account surplus.. All a bit rubbish really.

Having to create a new password seems a bit pointless, and annoying to have yet another password to remember with all the others.

Also, the email said that the DD would be cancelled and reinstated.  Yet when I log in it says that ovo don't have my bank details and I need to provide them.  So which is correct, the email or the website?

I thought the old website was fine and don't really see why a new one had to be made.  

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Change is difficult at times, @Nickd, but the new billing platform is where we’re all heading the older version will be obsolete soon. Your Direct Debit details will transfer over, please allow a bit of time for the new online platform to catch up. 

 

There is no £14 charge as @Nancy_OVO mentioned, @alfred0809, standing charge is charged by every supplier. Some suppliers may incorporate it into their unit rates, so you won’t notice you’re paying it. We like to be open and honest, so we’ll tell you what you’re spending on your energy,and what you’re paying for your standing charge. You can find more information about this here.

Thanks!

 I sent in my readings as normal on the 14th of this month.  On 16th April I  then received  two emails  showing that

1)  my new statement was ready.

2)

OVO Energy logo

Reset your password for an even better experience

 

So I did as you requested signing in and changing my password.  The new site has my new readings but is not showing my April statement even though you stated in your  first email that is was ready. 

 

I want to check my bill, as I have always done in the past shortly after I submit my readings on the 14th of each month.  As your email showed you clearly  have the statement ready why do I now have to   wait for  3 weeks  after  my readings are due

Simpler bills:

  • It’s now even easier to compare your energy use with last month’s because your bills will be generated at the end of each calendar month – and yours to view, print, or download a few days later on the 5th.  
This is not the better experience OVO led to believe. !!!!!!!

 

 

 

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Hi @Jocatz,

Sorry to hear about this. Your historical bills from the old website should have been transferred over, and your billing schedule should be the same (as in the date of the month it was issued). Do you know what date this was? On this date you’ll get your monthly summary published on your online account.

Cheers

Hi Nancy,

My Direct Debits  are still being processed  and can be adjusted as normal and I can access my old bills but, as I said before, I can not access the statement that your email,  which I received on  16th April, said was ready. 

I have been a customer since 2017 and have always sent in my readings on the  14th of the month with your  “latest statement” email  being received   2 / 4 days later.  From my own records  I can probably give you the date of every  email  that OVO sent me to say that my statement was ready  but the first actual statement  I downloaded was produced   by  OVO on 16 Dec 2017 and covered the period 8 November 2017 to 14 December 2017. 

All I would like is to be able to see the statement  OVO said was ready to download on 16th April and not have to wait until the 5th May.

Cheers  Jo.

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It may be worth getting in touch with us, so we can take a look at this @Jocatz.

 

You could get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter, or drop us an email at hello@ovoenergy.com.

 

We could have a look over the account, to see if we can find a specific reason for this delay in communication.

 

Thanks,

Ed

Thanks Ed,  I will do as you suggest.

 

Jo

Please bring back the old website! Pleased that I’m not alone in being totally confused by the new one! I can’t seem to see my gas usage only electric.  Charges seem to be made willy nilly and not once a month.  When I select to download the latest charges they don’t appear only the amount before.  I must admit this is the only time EVER I have had a complaint in my many years of using OVO and I have recommended numerous friends and family but wouldn’t do so now.

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Hi @AnneG158,

The plan is to move all our customers over to the new website, so the old one will nolonger be available.

The charges certainly shouldn’t be willy nilly. Your balance will update daily with usage costs for the previous day, so your balance is always up to date. You’ll still get a monthly summary, which is basically a bill, but we’ll have already taken the costs off each day so it’s just a document summarising these. 

I’m sorry you’re not finding it helpful. If you have any further questions please feel free to pop them in here.

Cheers

This topic is intended to help OVO  identify specific software errors encountered on the new website and with the associated new billing system. 

In particular, I am hoping for positive response from OVO including whether OVO has prior knowledge of the error(s) or not, likely time-to-fix and anything else useful.

 

 

I access OVO via the Chrome browser on a PC running Windows 7. Here is my initial set of errors. If further errors arise I will post details as comments.

 

 

 

(1) I never had any email notification of change of billing system. Can a customer's email address for sending notifications be different for the same customer’s email address used for logins? Could they reside on different databases? There should be only one instance of the address in your whole system. I changed my email address in January 2020 and notified that to OVO by changing it on the ‘old’ website which was still the one offered then.

(2) Login with ‘Customer ID’ no longer works - you have to login with email address.

(3) On the new system, the ‘Usage’ screen shows badly wrong (too small) usage for latest month (in my case ending 17 May)  For me, it shows 268KWH but a pre-statement summary shows 502KWH (502KWH is likely to be right!)

(4) Clicking Payments in the menu sometimes works but quite often just logs you off! This has also happened with other clickable links on the website.

(5) I was assured by a customer service agent that my ‘Online loyalty’ discount (£7.50 per month) will apply to the end of my contract period in Feb 2021. It is not shown on the pre-statement summary - why not? Will it be on the statement when that is available?

I look forward to your response.

 

 

 

Please bring back the old website! Pleased that I’m not alone in being totally confused by the new one! I can’t seem to see my gas usage only electric.  Charges seem to be made willy nilly and not once a month.  When I select to download the latest charges they don’t appear only the amount before.  I must admit this is the only time EVER I have had a complaint in my many years of using OVO and I have recommended numerous friends and family but wouldn’t do so now.

I agree it's a shambles. Someone has tried to be too smart with this but it's not worked. The website is complicated and confusing and there's no simple way to see a list of all transactions like there was before. Added to that I've now started to receive monthly statements again when I agreed back in January to have quarterly ones. DON'T FIX SOMETHING THAT ISN'T BROKEN!

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@Phil Smith it’s a shame you feel this way about the website, I can appreciate there are a few things that need to be ironed out.

 

Fortunately, as this has been build from the ground up in-house, it means we’re much more flexible, and will be able to change the way things work much easier on the new system. All customers feedback is really helpful to identify what needs changing and how, and by doing so, you’ll be helping us sculpt a better app for everyone!

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Thanks for posting here @Phil Smith.

I agree with @Ed_OVO - all feedback is useful!

Since the new Billing System and Online Accounts are developed in-house by OVO’s own programmers, there is great opportunity to change things.

Reverting to the “old” software is not possible, however. It didn’t allow OVO to stay within the rules laid down by Ofgem, who investigated the issue three years ago.

There are quite a number of posts here on the Forum from Members who are highlighting software problems. These will enable the programming team to zero in on the faults. And you should note that there is a response above from @Julian_OVO, who leads this project.

Here is a post I made a couple of days ago which you might find helpful.

I have compared the old-style monthly billing cycles with the daily-accounting strategy which I believe is used within the new software.

There is a detailed list of all your previous Statements at the bottom of the Home page.

I don’t see why you shouldn’t be issued with Quarterly Statements, as per your previous request. But please look first at the diagram I have drawn, showing how the Daily Calculations are totaled to create those Statements.

For that reason, it will be necessary for a human operator to intervene and insert the command for Quarterly Statements again. I suggest you email hello@ovoenergy.com and request this once more.

Please give the page address (URL) for what I have written here if you wish. It may help to clarify the issue.

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@ClassicalMarian - I’ve moved your post over here, this is a very active thread so it’s worth keeping all the feedback in one place.

 

Have a read through some of the other answers, and it should hopefully shed some light on the issues you’re facing.

 

We're always working on and improving the system, so if there’s anything missing, or too confusing, bear with us, and I’m sure we’ll get this right!

@Transparent 

 

I've already emailed hello@ovo and they've agreed to reinstate the quarterly statements but they didn't say what the billing dates are. It could be 3 months from the last quarterly statement or 3 months from my last monthly statement just received but I can't find any reference to it on the website.

Also, there's too much detail in the statements - I don't want to know about my standing charges for the first 2 weeks in may; it's confusing and unnecessary information overload.

That’s fine - it makes sense. But I did include in my post some very specific malfunctions and I hoped these would get fed back to the in-house software team. Yes of course they may know about those glitches already but there again they may not! If you refer back to my post, points (2), (3) & (4) relate to software glitches whereas nos. (1) and (5) are about policy/procedure. Is it possible to let the team know about (2). (3) & (4) please in case it helps them? Thanks.

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@ClassicalMarian - I’ll do my best to answer each one of the questions you’ve posted.

 

(1) I never had any email notification of change of billing system. Can a customer's email address for sending notifications be different for the same customer’s email address used for logins? Could they reside on different databases? There should be only one instance of the address in your whole system. I changed my email address in January 2020 and notified that to OVO by changing it on the ‘old’ website which was still the one offered then.

  • All the details should have simply been transferred over, so your email address should have remained the same, however in theory, it would be possible for this to done incorrectly.

(2) Login with ‘Customer ID’ no longer works - you have to login with email address.

  • The new system doesn’t have customers ID’s - so, at least for now, you can only get online via the email address and password.

(3) On the new system, the ‘Usage’ screen shows badly wrong (too small) usage for latest month (in my case ending 17 May)  For me, it shows 268KWH but a pre-statement summary shows 502KWH (502KWH is likely to be right!)

  • This is a strange one, it could be a teething problem when moving info from one account to another, but I’d definitely suggest getting in touch with us directly to look into this for you. You could send us a message to our Facebook or Twitter pages, or drop us an email at hello@ovoenergy.com.

(4) Clicking Payments in the menu sometimes works but quite often just logs you off! This has also happened with other clickable links on the website.

  • Very odd! I’ll make sure that the team know about this one!

(5) I was assured by a customer service agent that my ‘Online loyalty’ discount (£7.50 per month) will apply to the end of my contract period in Feb 2021. It is not shown on the pre-statement summary - why not? Will it be on the statement when that is available?

  • Similar to my answer to question 3, whilst it should show up eventually, it’s worth getting in touch with us about this one. It’s also worth noting (I hope you got the communication about this one) that the Self Service Reward is due to the finish, with the last credits for this being added in your July statements.

 

I hope this is a bit more help, thank you so much for highlighting the issues you’ve come across here, we’re very grateful for your input!

 

 

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OK @Phil Smith - so let’s hope that @Julian_OVO is still reading this.

I hope you’ve had a look at the timeline diagram I posted over on the other Topic I mentioned earlier.

The only think I think we can be certain of with future Statements is that they will be based on calendar months.

At the moment, even if OVO told me how your quarterly Statements were going to be arranged, I’d have little confidence that the first one of the series would be correct. That’s why we’ve got many customers with April Statements missing (the month after they migrated onto the new software)!

Once the bugs are eradicated from the code, I see no reason why OVO couldn’t offer different levels of Statement. You might be quite content to receive the bare minimum of information required by Ofgem.

However, now that they have a system which can achieve Daily Calculations, it’s most important that they concentrate on the features which the future of their commercial business depends on. We are moving towards Time Of Use tariffs and energy-trading via Home Battery Storage and V2G chargers. Those require Smart Meters tracking usage data to the minute.

Currently there appears to be no correlation between the half-hourly usage graphs and the daily-consumption figures which get used for Billing. That’s a serious deficiency.

Until OVO can remedy this issue, I can’t see them spending programming time on customer-preferences.

 

@ClassicalMarian - I’ll do my best to answer each one of the questions you’ve posted.

 

(1) I never had any email notification of change of billing system. Can a customer's email address for sending notifications be different for the same customer’s email address used for logins? Could they reside on different databases? There should be only one instance of the address in your whole system. I changed my email address in January 2020 and notified that to OVO by changing it on the ‘old’ website which was still the one offered then.

  • All the details should have simply been transferred over, so your email address should have remained the same, however in theory, it would be possible for this to done incorrectly.

(2) Login with ‘Customer ID’ no longer works - you have to login with email address.

  • The new system doesn’t have customers ID’s - so, at least for now, you can only get online via the email address and password.

(3) On the new system, the ‘Usage’ screen shows badly wrong (too small) usage for latest month (in my case ending 17 May)  For me, it shows 268KWH but a pre-statement summary shows 502KWH (502KWH is likely to be right!)

  • This is a strange one, it could be a teething problem when moving info from one account to another, but I’d definitely suggest getting in touch with us directly to look into this for you. You could send us a message to our Facebook or Twitter pages, or drop us an email at hello@ovoenergy.com.

(4) Clicking Payments in the menu sometimes works but quite often just logs you off! This has also happened with other clickable links on the website.

  • Very odd! I’ll make sure that the team know about this one!

(5) I was assured by a customer service agent that my ‘Online loyalty’ discount (£7.50 per month) will apply to the end of my contract period in Feb 2021. It is not shown on the pre-statement summary - why not? Will it be on the statement when that is available?

  • Similar to my answer to question 3, whilst it should show up eventually, it’s worth getting in touch with us about this one. It’s also worth noting (I hope you got the communication about this one) that the Self Service Reward is due to the finish, with the last credits for this being added in your July statements.

 

I hope this is a bit more help, thank you so much for highlighting the issues you’ve come across here, we’re very grateful for your input!

 

 

Thanks for this quick response. Item (1) isn’t an active problem anyway.  (2) is no problem - indeed it makes sense. (3) is an annoyance rather than a serious problem - the old system graphic worked and was useful. Yes I will email about it. (4) is definitely a bug - thanks for agreeing to contact the team. (5) Yes I’ll email about that as well but I already spoke to a customer service agent on this (YES - BY PHONE!!!). He was as helpful as he could be on my points and he assured me the decision had been made to continue the Self-Service Reward until customers’ contract end date (the correct thing to do of course) - he never mentioned a July date. Also as it didn’t figure in my pre-statement summary for April-May, I do wonder whether I will see it on my statement. Ceasing this MID-CONTRACT is NOT a good idea, whenever it happens (now or July!). Remember this is a competitive market, as I’m sure Stephen Fitzpatrick knows very well.

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