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2nd final bill 8 months later!

  • 26 November 2023
  • 27 replies
  • 537 views

Has this happened to anyone else?

I left my property end of March 2023, OVO took a meter reading in February 2023. I received my final bill in April and was in credit and received a refund. 

8 months later (November 2023) I received another final bill. I now owe over £1000 and I have been charged over £60 in arrears.

Unfortunately the person in customer care couldn't help me as "they had to raise a case" I am now left worrying myself sick as I have no money to pay this bill.

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Best answer by juliamc 28 November 2023, 13:17

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @Dwyer79 

I am just a customer like you.

It does happen that Final Bills are re issued but that is a relatively long time and a relatively large amount.

I suspect a meter reading dispute has been raised so you will now have to wait for this to conclude. It would be worth asking OVO if this is the case.

It could be for a number of reasons, for example

- the new occupiers of your previous home said their starting reading was much higher.

- an issue with the SSE migration if you were a previous SSE customer

It may be worth raising an official complaint, that will start an 8 weeks clock, then you can go to the Ombudsman if things haven't been sorted by then. Personally that is what I would do so you have a backup plan in 8 weeks.

https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Dwyer79,

 

Sorry to hear this, it sounds very stressful, 

 

What period were you liable for the property? Could it be that the initial meter reading was changed from when you moved in/switched to OVO.

 

As Jeffus has said, this is called a read dispute.

 

With your new re-issued bill is the closing read in line with the one you submitted in February. Do you have any photos of the meter read? Would the letting agent have taken one when you moved out? 

Thank you for replies.

After reading the bill again, it's dated 2021/22.

Therefore I guess the back billing terms apply?

I have evidence of meter readings etc.

My concern is, if I had been at all vulnerable this could quite easily tip you over the edge. Customer services should be more able to provide help and advice.

Userlevel 7
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Thank you for replies.

After reading the bill again, it's dated 2021/22.

Therefore I guess the back billing terms apply?

I have evidence of meter readings etc.

My concern is, if I had been at all vulnerable this could quite easily tip you over the edge. Customer services should be more able to provide help and advice.

Obviously impossible for us to confirm as we don't have access to your account.If OVO are trying to re bill you for a period over 12 months ago then that is unlawful under the backbilling legislation.

It does sound like the OVO staff could have provided more support when you phoned up. At the very least they are meant to freeze the debt and recovery until their investigation is completed.

Were you with SSE before OVO?

You say OVO took a reading in Feb 23 but you moved out in March 23. Did you give a meter reading in March 23?

The revised final bill, this had an additional sum for the period 2021/22 over 12 months ago? OVO aren't challenging the March 23 figure?

 

Thanks @Jeffus 

 

I moved out of my owned property in March. I then had a period of 6 months before moving in to another property.

 

This bill is from 25th March 2021 - Feb 2022??

There is no challenge from March 2023

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @Jeffus 

 

I moved out of my owned property in March. I then had a period of 6 months before moving in to another property.

 

This bill is from 25th March 2021 - Feb 2022??

There is no challenge from March 2023

Obviously I can't be certain as I can't access your account.

But that does seem clear cut from what you have said.

The period 25th March 2021 - Feb 2022 is more than 12 months before your Final Bill in April 23 you mentioned in your first post.

Under the back billing legislation that is unlawful to try and bill you now for that period.

In your situation given what you have said I personally would put in a complaint, outline all the details and ask for compensation, typically something around £150.

I wouldn't personally wait for ovo to complete any investigation they have already started.

What they have done appears unlawful.

I would also ask them to make sure your credit rating has not been adversely impacted.

https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

@Emmanuelle_OVO may have some more suggestions.

You can include a link to this thread in your complaint 

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/switching-suppliers-and-moving-home-144/2nd-final-bill-8-months-later-16588

Here is an ofgem page on back billing

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/check-energy-back-billing-rules

And here is some text from ovo

 

What is a back-bill?

 

We send a back-bill, or ‘catch-up’ bill, when we haven’t charged correctly for energy use. This can be through inaccurate bills or not being billed at all. Back-bills can be for any amount, and may be a result of:

  • Technical or human error on the member's account which has meant that a statement hasn’t been received within the regular timescale
  •  A customer has provided a reading that is higher than previous estimated readings used on their statements.
  • Mismatch between the data OVO holds and the actual setup of the meter for example crossed meters, or if a customer had a meter exchange which wasn’t updated before the switched to us

 

What is a Back-bill Write Off? 

 

Where we've issued a back-bill for usage over 12 months old, not covered by payments made at the time and the reason for the delay in this billing is not the customer's fault, we'll apply a write-off. This back-bill write-off will be a credit applied to the account to cover the difference between the updated usage and the payments made at the time.

The main situations where we'll write off usage prior to 12 months ago are: 

  • We haven't billed the customer
  • We've billed an account but not for all usage at the property i.e. only one fuel was billed
  • We've billed the customer inaccurately due to a technical or administrative error

 

Thank you for all your help!!

I received an email this afternoon saying I had nothing to pay, but then received a call from OVO and it looks like I have 2 accounts for gas with OVO, one with Apollo and another with a different team (I have forgotten the name)

They can't do anything until I speak with Apollo. So I'm back to worrying again.

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Apollo is the name for OVO’s old billing system, which has been phased out now (rather abruptly for the last users). The new billing system is called Orion, was that the name ?

@juliamc that's it! Orion

Userlevel 7

Hey @Dwyer79,

 

Sounds like a stressful situation to be in, 

 

You’ll need to speak to the Apollo team, customer support should be able to transfer you through, they’ll then be able to advise you if there is an outstanding amount owed and why. 

 

Keep us posted on how you get on, the more information we have the more we can offer advice. 

Thanks @Emmanuelle_OVO 

 

I just don't understand how I have 2 accounts?

That's an issue with OVO....I only signed up for one account.

 

This whole situation is a mess and extremely stressful. 

OVO are calling me Thurs morning to sort everything out. So my only day off will be spent again on the phone!

 

 

Userlevel 7
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Your old Apollo account should have been moved to the Orion system - I believe there’s only a very few left to do. You ought not to have two accounts running at the same time. @Emmanuelle_OVO is it absolutely necessary for a customer to have to sort this sort of situation out? It looks very much like a bill has been generated (possibly in error) but now long out of date, so the customer isn’t liable to pay it anyway. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @juliamc,

 

It’s impossible for me to say as I don’t have access to the customers account.

 

@Dwyer79, if the conversation Thursday is taking too long then you can ask them to instead send an email. But usually, phone calls are the quickest way to sort these things out. You’ll be able to ask the agent any questions you have off the back of what they’re saying. 

 

I don’t have access to your account, but my thoughts are the same as Jeffus’: 

 

Hi @Dwyer79 

I am just a customer like you.

It does happen that Final Bills are re issued but that is a relatively long time and a relatively large amount.

I suspect a meter reading dispute has been raised so you will now have to wait for this to conclude. It would be worth asking OVO if this is the case.

It could be for a number of reasons, for example

- the new occupiers of your previous home said their starting reading was much higher.

- an issue with the SSE migration if you were a previous SSE customer

It may be worth raising an official complaint, that will start an 8 weeks clock, then you can go to the Ombudsman if things haven't been sorted by then. Personally that is what I would do so you have a backup plan in 8 weeks.

https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

 

 

Or, it may be that the old account wasn’t closed down properly when your account migrated over. 

 

I think the best thing to do, is to discuss this with the agent who contacts you on Thursday. Once you’ve been given some more information as to what’s happened here, and what the next steps are, we’ll be able to advise you more on this topic.

 

There is always the option to raise a complaint if you’re unhappy with the information they provide. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Thank you all once again for your replies.

 

I have now spoken to 4 different people on the phone and had numerous emails with no resolution as yet!

I work full time in the hospital and as you can imagine we are extremely busy.

My only day off will be spent talking to OVO again.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Userlevel 7

That is frustrating @Dwyer79 , can they contact you via email instead? 

 

If it is relation to a bill from over a year ago, back billing rules will apply. I’m hoping the issue is that there were two accounts running simultaneously and that this bill is an error. 

 

There is always the option to raise the complaint, you can find out more about the procedure on our website. 

 

Keep us posted with how you get on, once we know a bit more about what’s happened we can offer advice accordingly. 

@Emmanuelle_OVO 

Thank you, but I have received an email saying the account was clear, about 20mins later I received a phonecall to say it hadn’t been resolved.

It's now 11:17, no morning phonecall as promised yet!!!

Wasting my only day off waiting for Anna Annabelle from OVO to call.

I honestly give up 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Ring them if you can bear it. Ask for the Apollo team - they’re in Sunderland the last time I spoke to them (over a year ago)  and are very nice !!

Userlevel 7

That sounds so frustrating, I’m sorry to hear this. I’ll ask Forum_Support to reach out @Dwyer79, so keep an eye on your private messages.

 

I think you will need to speak to the Apollo team though to get clarity, customer support should be able to transfer you through to them.

 

I think perhaps, some confusion may have arisen if there are two accounts, maybe one one billing system there shows an arrears and on the other there isn’t a balance. 

After no call yesterday!!

I rang ovo. I was put through to a very nice lad, who was just as confused as me.

They have now raised a complaint and froze the account.....so the "debt collectors won't come knocking" I thought that would have been done on the first point of contact.

Anyway, I realised that when the bill was dated I had a pre payment metre.

They are ugoing to contact me in 3 working days...we'll see!

Userlevel 7
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If only there was a 🤦‍♀️ button to click here…

Userlevel 7
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After no call yesterday!!

I rang ovo. I was put through to a very nice lad, who was just as confused as me.

They have now raised a complaint and froze the account.....so the "debt collectors won't come knocking" I thought that would have been done on the first point of contact.

Anyway, I realised that when the bill was dated I had a pre payment metre.

They are ugoing to contact me in 3 working days...we'll see!

Mmm.... it is frustrating that customers need to speak to multiple teams directly.

Ultimately as the usage is from over 12 months ago, ovo should not be charging you.

It is a shame billing issues like this are not closed down earlier by someone in ovo.

Userlevel 5

Hey @Dwyer79 

 

Did you get the billing and account issue sorted here?

No I didn't and I received another bill a couple of days ago.

My emails are being completely ignored.

I've been told by ovo that I'll be rang again on friday!

We'll see.

On the 13th January it'll will have been 8wks, I will then put in a complaint to the energy ombudsman.

 

The whole situation has made me ill

 

Userlevel 5

Hi @Dwyer79 

 

I’m really sorry to hear this.

 

Let us know if you get that call today, if not we’ll take things from there - but hopefully you do get that call, and the team can get things moving themselves.

 

If you’ve not had your call by 4pm today, feel free to reach out to me via PM so we can help.

Thank you @Abby_OVO 

The most frustrating thing is having to retell/explain the situation over and over again.

I'm terrified that the poor owners of my old house will have debt collectors at their door. An awful situation for them and a very embarrassing situation for me!

I've always been extremely careful about paying my bills on time and as a single parent, I have really struggled in recent years on a very tight budget. I barely get by each month, even though I work full time.

My only day off will again be spent waiting for a call which probably won't happen.

 

 

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