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My Smart meter installation is incomplete - How can I get a follow-up appointment arranged and avoid estimated bills in the meantime?


My smart meters were installed on 21 December but the system was down and could not be completed.  Engineer said another visit would be necessary but I am still waiting to hear from Ovo.  I am now faced with an estimated bill - first time since I signed up with Ovo - and am beginning to wish I hadn't bothered with smart meters at all.

Engineer put a safety warning on my gas fire with instructions not to use until a Gas Safe Engineer had checked it.  This I did and there was nothing wrong with the fire.  Cost me £30 so not happy about this either.

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 7 January 2022, 13:06

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Hey there @pollyhallett !

Sorry to hear of the trouble, hopefully an engineer can stop by again soon to complete the job.

Part of your question sounds similar to another one we had a while ago, which you can find over here.

All engineers do get some level of training on how to spot potential safety issues, but engineers who install meters don’t have permission to do full inspections on anything else. They are however, required to place a warning notice and/or cap off anything that looks potentially unsafe and ask you to get it checked properly. This is for your own safety, even if it turns out to be a false positive there’s still the duty of care element which overrides almost everything else.

As for the bills? That’s an easy fix. Simply submit an accurate reading and the bills will  be fixed almost immediately. :)

I hope to receive a response from Ovo directly as to the way forward.

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No worries.

I’m afraid I can’t arrange that from here as I’m only a forum volunteer. However, if you’d like to discuss this further, the Support Team are on hand for this. Please give them a call on 0330 303 5063 or use Live Chat via https://help.ovoenergy.com and they’ll see what they can do.

I wouldn’t hold your breath pollyhallett. I had exactly the same thing happened to me when a fitter came to install my smart meters on 25th February last year. He said I’d hear within a couple of days. I’ve contacted OVO several times but just got the run around: nobody giving any information about what was going on, and nobody coming back to me despite the old tosh about complaints procedure where they say things like they will do everything they can to resolve complaints, that if  the  problem  can’t  be  resolved,  the case  will  be  passed  to  their  Escalated  Complaints Team, and that one of  their  experienced  complaints  team  will  be  in  touch  within  5  working  days. Eventually when I phoned in December a lady AT LAST took some action and managed to make appointment for somebody to call round today between 12 and 4. I won’t ask you to guess whether anybody actually turned up, but suffice to say that I wouldn’t been writing this if I hadn’t been waiting at home all day to no avail. 

Hope I have a better experience than JLHG.  Have you been receiving estimated bills all this time?  Have you contacted Ofgem?

No, I’ve been taking readings periodically and sending them in, as I did before with the old meters. I haven’t gone to OFGEM but I was thinking of writing to the Ombudsman. Bearing in mind that they say smart meters help you save on energy usage, I will be wanting to compare usage to see how much not having a smart meter has cost me over the year. (And some sort of recompense for many hours of wasted time too). Do OFGEM help with this sort of complaint, do you know?

My biggest problem over the summer was that I didn’t want to change to a different supplier when my contract expired, but in the event that hasn’t happened because its turned out cheaper to stay where you are at the moment.   

I’ve been hanging on the phone to the *********s for the last 1hr 17 mins before hanging up just now. 

 

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I thought I’d jump back in again to answer a few things.

The phone lines have been swamped this week, as OVO’s Support Team has only just come back from their Christmas break. It’s very common for phone lines for almost any business to get overloaded during the first week or two of the year. Live Chat tends to have much faster wait times though, and it’s available here anytime the phone lines are open.

You also can’t contact Ofgem I’m afraid, as Ofgem has contracted out complaint handling to the Energy Ombudsman. If you try to go directly to Ofgem, you’ll likely be redirected back to OVO.

If you didn’t get the call back today, it might have just been because OVO didn’t manage to get someone with enough availability to contact you. If you’re still not happy with the process so far, I’d suggest using OVO’s Complaints Process in the first instance to raise a formal complaint. If you don’t get a resolution within eight weeks from initiating that process, you’ll then be able to engage the Energy Ombudsman for further help.

I don’t think you’d be able to get compensation for your time though. You’d be welcome to ask about that, but there’d be no promises.

Thanks. for the reply. I take the point regarding the phones being busy. It is a pity they didn’t allude to the Christmas holiday causing a build up of calls in their recorded message.

I raised a complaint with Ovo months ago, certainly before 9th  September, but until December nobody bothered to get in touch at all. After I phoned in September a nice lady finally took up the cudgels for me and phoned back the following day to say that she had arranged for somebody to call round today to finish the job; this was confirmed in an e-mail which I received on 8th December. One would think that after having waited 314 days so far, mine would have been one of the first jobs they fulfilled if they were short of staff today.   

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I’m so sorry to hear of the challenges you’ve both faced following your smart meter installations, @pollyhallett  and @JLHG.

 

As I outlined in this related topic - this sounds like a smart meter commissioning issue which does require another engineers visit to get sorted. If you haven’t already I’d recommend reaching out to the Support Team (as @Blastoise186 has so expertly called out the quickest means of contact is often our Live Chat which you can find a link to here) who can help get this follow-up appointment arranged.

 

It’s worth mentioning that in the meantime your smart meter will still be clocking your usage and you can continue to take a manual reading from your meter and submitting these on your online account, much as you would with your traditional meter. For more advice on how to take a meter reading from your new smart meter check out this related topic.

 

I’m hoping this information helps get things back on track for you both quickly. As you’ve mentioned taking this issue to the Energy ombudsman, I’d recommend checking out our complaints procedure here - Once a complaint is raised with us directly we’ll do our best to get things resolved internally first, if we’re not able to offer a solution you’re happy with after 8 weeks from the initial complaint being raised you are then issued a letter of deadlock which would allow you to take this to the ombudsman for independent review. Hoping we’re able to get things resolved for your both before this point is reached. :slight_smile:

Didn’t realise I could take meter readings - thought I had to receive another visit to complete matters.  No written instructions were left to this effect - expected another visit before readings due so not too worried at the time.  So I will have to rely on estimated readings this time and hope that all is well by the time the next readings are due.  

I have already tried the Live Chat without success.  First of all they said they were awaiting the Engineer’s report then told me to ignore this comment and to ring 0330 303 5063.  As customers are advised to make contact online thought I would use the forum for help.  Feel like I am going round in circles!

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  Feel like I am going round in circles!

 

Sorry for any confusion, @pollyhallett - does sound like you’ve been given some conflicting advice following the engineer’s visit.

 

Just to clarify things slightly - whilst we’re always happy to offer general advice here on the forum (such as how to go about reading the smart meter manually) for something requiring an account-specific action (such as re-booking an appointment) we may advise you to reach out to our Support Team as they’ll have full access to your account to check exactly what actions might be required. In your case it sounds like they may need to speak to you on the phone, either to talk through an issue which might be a bit too complex for webchat or get your verbal consent which is needed for some account actions. Either way I’m hoping you’ve already managed to give the team a call to get things cleared up - (Our lines are open 8am - 6pm Monday - Friday if not). 

 

Keep us posted here once you’ve spoken to the team - It’s always really helpful to hear the outcome of any issues for others who might be reading this thread in future. :slight_smile:

 

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Didn’t realise I could take meter readings - thought I had to receive another visit to complete matters.  No written instructions were left to this effect - expected another visit before readings due so not too worried at the time. 

I can feel your disappointment - my smart meter installation went about as well as could be expected, but it still took about 6 weeks or so to get it to work, and I had no information whatsoever during that period. I did prod support at several times, and they did something, but I am not sure that it a difference. I am not exactly impressed with the experience either. Everything to do with smart meters seems to be insanely slow. 

It took me a long time to decide on smart meters and must admit to being swayed by the offer of £25 for each one changed. I have learned my lesson the hard way it seems!  Whether the £50 will ever arrive is another matter.

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It took me a long time to decide on smart meters and must admit to being swayed by the offer of £25 for each one changed. I have learned my lesson the hard way it seems!  Whether the £50 will ever arrive is another matter.

I’m not aware of OVO doing any kind of offer like that, was it definitely offered by OVO directly, or was it a third party like a price comparison website, cashback site or voucher website that made this offer? If it wasn’t OVO directly, you’ll need to deal with that third party if the reward doesn’t arrive, as it’s probably outside OVO’s control.

The only one that I know OVO has any direct control over, is the Refer-a-Friend scheme that OVO runs via Mention Me, for which the Support Team can help out with - but the reward for that is £50 per successful referral and is not based on being dual-fuel. I have never known OVO offer £50 incentives for getting a Smart Meter upgrade either, but I can ask @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO to double check just to be sure.

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It is certainly an OVO thing: https://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/smart-incentive . But it sounds like it is over. 

Email received from OVO 14 December 2021 here is extract

You’ll get £50 energy credit

 

Where appointments are booked by the 22nd December 2021* and installed by the 22nd January 2022*, Members are eligible for £25 credit on their energy account for each meter we install. We’ll be replacing both meters, so you’ll get a total of £50.

 

Book an appointment

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Just wanted to jump in here to confirm that the smart meter incentive is something we offer at certain points, @pollyhallett.

 

As the email you’ve received explains as long as you’ve scheduled an appointment during the period covered by this offer you’ll see the credit added to your balance within 6 weeks of the installation date. During this 6 week period following an installation we’ll also be making sure the meter details on your account are updated. As this process does involve getting the details verified by some third parties it can sometimes mean the details aren’t updated straight-away, which is why we recommend allowing at least 6 weeks before contacting the Support Team to raise any outstanding issues.

 

In your case, @pollyhallett, as you mentioned the engineer wasn’t able to commission the meters during the original installation, I just wanted to reassure you that this won’t affect your £50 credit payment. As mentioned previously, our Support Team will be able to advise on the next steps to getting the smart meters fully up and running.

 

I’m hoping this information is helpful - Do pop back if you have any more smart meter questions. :slight_smile:

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