Negative energy over new T&Cs and "Rewards"

  • 3 October 2018
  • 7 replies
  • 337 views

Userlevel 4
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There's a certain amount of understandable negative energy being bandied over Self Service Rewards under the new terms and conditions, where self service customers now receive quarterly £7.50 single fuel / £15 dual fuel credit, instead of £2.50 / £5 a month credit.

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/new-self-service-reward-what-s-changing-52/new-self-service-reward-what-s-changing-4915

As of 1st October, receipt of this credit only occurs if:

o we have NOT phoned them with trivial questions
o we have NOT emailed them with trivial questions
o we are in credit based on the direct debits Ovo demands
o paid our bills on time
o supplied meter readings (unless on Smart Meters)

We are expected to conduct our business with them in isolation and ... "self service" our accounts entirely.

The arbitrary nature of when contact with Ovo is or isn't allowed is a bit of a problem.

I'm wondering if the community can come up with a better way of handling this reward, avoiding agro for customers and Ovo down the road?

Further info here: https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/self-service-reward

7 replies

Userlevel 5
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Just a few ideas

1) Pay the reward monthly so its still linked to your monthly statement and the start date of your contract. Its less punitive and allows the customer to correct any issues that have caused them to loose the reward more quickly.

2) As Ovo do not seem to want to clarify when a contact would result in loosing the reward have a “three strikes” policy ie warnings before the reward is lost. The same could apply to direct debits i.e. a clear warning in MyOvo if your balance/direct debit amounts are such that they could trigger loss of the reward.

3) More Ovo staff on the forum to answer questions and avoid the need to email/phone.
Userlevel 2
Perhaps allow everyone one "free" phone call per quarter or year. Then (like a let at tennis), at the end of the call, the customer service person could say, "Sorry, you've used up your support for this quarter/year) but this is how you can do it yourself in future" or "You couldn't have answered this yourself, you still have a support call left for this quarter/year." At least, this would be clear and fairly friendly.
Userlevel 4
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I agree with you @SCR that email should be permitted on an "all online" account. And keeping it monthly @Phil_H is better than quarterly.

However, I notice that the two packages currently offered by Ovo are labelled:

o Self Service
o Over the phone

So no mention of "all online" any more. I assume this is an October 1st (T&C) change that gets them out of allowing email?

Maybe folks would be less inclined to contact if Ovo offered Amazon vouchers, or other external cash reward as an incentive for not doing so? I realise that it would be a digital voucher, but the physicality of being able to spend your "reward" feels like you are actually getting one. I've always just casually assumed the £5 discount on my monthly bill so never really consider it.

I've often argued that Ovo fail to contact us using the tools they already have at their disposal. Unless I'm missing it, I see no link to these hallowed forums on My Ovo account ...... an ideal location to share info and link to FAQs or even proffer links to the top 10 active forum discussions here. I bet more than a few Ovo customers don't even realise these discussion forums exist?
Userlevel 7
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I've often argued that Ovo fail to contact us using the tools they already have at their disposal. Unless I'm missing it, I see no link to these hallowed forums on My Ovo account ...... an ideal location to share info and link to FAQs or even proffer links to the top 10 active forum discussions here. I bet more than a few Ovo customers don't even realise these discussion forums exist?

We are working on getting the forum more integrated into the website and MyOVO, so watch this space.
Simply put, ovo are removing the dual fuel discount which is paid automatically each month for taking both gas and electricity and replacing it with a self service “reward” which you will receive quarterly as long as you don’t contact them via phone, email, Facebook, Twitter etc for any reason other than reporting a fault or an emergency during the previous three months, and that you pay the recommended direct debit amount on time etc.
Quite obviously, this will result in fewer customers receiving an annual £60 discount on their fuel bill which is the whole point of the changes as far as ovo are concerned.
You have 30 days to change your supplier from 1st October without paying any exit fees if you don’t agree to these changes to your terms and conditions .
Userlevel 5
Badge +2
My 1p's worth:

I feel that excluding emails in the criterial for a tariff that claims to be "all online", hurts a little. Last time I checked emails were online....
I don't get paper statements, you send me stuff by email, I promise not to phone you, but why can't I email you?
Userlevel 2
I agree with the dissatisfaction expressed in the comments above. The changes OVO have made are very unfair to customers who rarely break the rules and can easily be circumvented by thy type of user causing the problems to OVO.
I cannot remember ever contacting OVO eiter by phone or email, I always pay more than the amount due each month as evidenced by the fact that I am £459.49 in credit at the moment.
I have solar panels so my cost in the next 6 months or so will be very low and my credit will increase.
If I lower my Direct Debit to approx what OVO recommend then it is likely that the payment I make later in the year will be less than the monthly bill and possibly less than OVO recommend due to their crazy way of calculating this and automatically adjusting it.
I would then lose my "so called reward" if I contacted OVO about a problem that I could not find an answer for (I am not very good at finding answers on the OVO site (I don't think this is entirely my fault)) even though I have enough money lying to cover the bill.
This despite the fact that by lowering my DD I would reducing the money lying (when I eventually end up paying less than my monthly bill (after summer)) which would actually be saving OVO money as they would be paying me less interest.
Surely a system which penalises me and costs me money for saving OVO money must be wrong.
Surely OVO should be happy to help a customer who OCCASIONALLY has to contact them even if an expert could have found the answer on line.
I, in line with most other sensible people, could find many better solutions to OVO's problem. Indeed I would find it difficult to find a worse answer.
This combined with the ridiculous EV Everwhere (claimed to be a better plan for new customers which OVO said they would never do, but totally useless to Scottish customers new or existing) and the V2G charger (which may well be a good offering but which is taking far too long to test and again scottish customers are excluded from the test) is certainly causing me (and I suspect many other previously loyal customers,) to consider if OVO is no longer a good company to be with (especially since their prices are no longer competitive and I believe are about to escalate again).
Again I would stress my frustration with OVO not even attempting to provide answers to this type of complaint on this Forum which they want to be the only way for customers to contact them.
OVO are also poor at informing customers of progress and/or problems with ongoing trials etc.

Jim

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