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Debit on the account after the final bill and refund has been received after moving - why?


Sold our house and informed OVO via the website that we were moving in March 2023.

Took final readings on move out day and received a final bill and statement a couple of weeks later. 

Stated that our account was in credit and we would receive a refund, which we did so all good we thought.

Decided to switch to OVO at our new property and so set up a new account (apparently we could not just switch to a new address, had to totally close previous account and start a new one). That seemed to go well too.

Only thing was, we had 2 accounts showing when we logged in.

Kept phoning customer services to ask for previous to be removed.

Then checked the old account and was astounded to discover that it said we were £180 in DEBIT. 

Lots of calls to customer services later, an account manager sent an email stating that the difference was because the final bill was done from estimated readings and the new balance was from actual readings received 3 days later.

Fair enough, but in those 3 days the accounts department is trying to say that we went from £147 in credit (which was refunded to us) to £183 in debit. 

Have logged an official complaint now because they just can’t or won’t give us an explanation.

Just wondered if anyone else has had a similar problem?

Their service at our new place is fine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best answer by Emmanuelle_OVO 24 July 2023, 12:16

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18 replies

Userlevel 7

Updated on 25/07/23 by Emmanuelle_OVO

Hey @Chrisjonescov,

 

Sorry for the issues you’re having,

 

We have 6 weeks for Change Of Supplier or Change Of Tenancy to create and send a final bill to a customer before we have to pay Guaranteed Standards Of Practice. The majority of bills go much sooner than the 6 week timeframe and our team have a process to ensure they are working any accounts nearing the 6 week mark to get the bill to the customer.

 

Usually when a customer gets an unexpectedly high bill after moving out it’s because they hadn’t submitted a meter reading for a while and we’ve been underestimating. As I don’t have access to your account I’m unable to say for sure. 

 

Are you able to upload a screenshot of your final statement? Please don’t post any private information. I think the final meter readings will give us an idea of what’s happened here. 

Thanks for the response Emmanuel. Quite happy with the difference between the estimated and actual meter readings would create an extra amount to pay; our query is the size of the difference. From £147 in credit to £183 in debit is a ridiculous discrepancy. Also the fact that the opening balance on our final statement shows a credit whereas on the system the final bill opening balance is showing a debit, so suggesting that changes have been made historically. As we don't receive paper bills we cannot check this. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Chrisjonescov,

 

Please download your final statement as a pdf from your Online Account, this way you can see if there are any anomalies or if anything looks incorrect. It may just be a case of you submitting a final reading when we hadn’t received one for a while.

 

You can also check your meter reading history online.  The following tutorials may be helpful:

 

 

 

OK Emmanuelle.

 

The whole point of this is that we did receive a final bill within the time scale and a refund was processed as we were in credit. This was on 10/03/2023. The opening balance on this for 17th February was £119.39.

Our gas charge was £76.72; our electricity was £50.61 and our total bill was £66.70.

On the OVO website the bill for 17/02/2023 to 07/03/2023 Using actual closing reading is 

Gas £83.83; electricity £62.17 and the total bill is £86.30.

The main difference is that the opening balance on the web site for this statement on 17th February£44.90 in debit.

This indicates to us that things have been changed historically.

Nobody has explained, or tried to explain, what is going on.

If someone would write an explanation of these accounts and it can be PROVED that we owe this money then we would of course happily pay.

OVO do not seem to want to do this and that is why at the beginning of this month we registered an official complaint and are waiting for the correct time to contact the ombudsman.

 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Chrisjonescov,

 

Sorry to hear this,

 

If you aren’t getting the explanation you need for the historic balance change/re-bill then you’ve done the right thing in getting this raised as a complaint. It would likely have been done by an internal billing team, hopefully the complaints department can contact them for a full breakdown. 

 

I hope this gets sorted for you as soon as possible. 

Re my final Bill. I don’t understand it.  I was a landlord. I sold the property. My tenants left on 3 June. The sale was not finalised until 24?August when the new owner too possession. Therefore, the house was empty during that period. I do not live in the U.K.  However, Ovo keep sending me a bill wth estimated readings. How can you estimate the power used in an empty property? The final reading should be an actual reading, surely?  I was only expecting to pay the standing charges for the period as there should be no gas or electricity used in an empty property. I have phone the company twice and the said they would look into it. But nothing happened. I emailed and asked these questions but no reply. I even made a complaint but they haven’t dealt with that either. Still they continue to email me reminding me to pay or they will take action. What action can they take? I don’t buy any electricity or gas in the U.K. as I live abroad. I have no U.K. property or address now. It’s not that I don’t want to pay. I want an explanation as to why the final bill is such a large amount for an empty property and why it is estimated!  If they hadn’t put estimated, I might have paid it!

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Long story short, if no actual readings are sent in, estimates are all OVO has to work with

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

If you don’t pay, OVO may take enforcement/debt collection action. I can’t tell you what that will be as it varies. But you do still have to pay the bill either way.

You need to find a way to get an actual reading for the day the property was sold and get that to OVO - with that, they can fix the bill and regenerate it. Without it, you’re stuck with estimates iirc.

Thanks for your help. It would have been great if Ovo had contacted me to say that they needed the final readings or even to let me know that they would be billing me. Instead what happened was that I got an email from a company I’ve never heard of sending me final Bill. At first I thought it was a scam!  I don’t live in the U.K. and I haven’t paid any bills there for five years so I don’t know all the electricity and gas suppliers!  I assume that Ovo was the company that the tenants in my property were using. But nobody told me anything. Your customer relations is disappointing. 


I will have to contact the rental agency to see if they can supply the final readings. I suspect they did supply the readings as they have been very efficient up to the property sale. But anyway,  if not as you say, I will have to pay. 

 

 

 

say, I will have to pay.

Interestingly, I wonder what action you could take to recover the debt as I don’t live in the U.K.! Would it be worth your while sending a debt collector to Spain for £100 odd?  
 


 


 

 

Userlevel 6

Tbh as a landlord you should know that it is your responsibility to ensure that meter readings are sent at the end of a tenancy - if you want the leaving tenants to be responsible for what they have used.

Then readings sent again at the start of any new tenancy if there has been a void period, because as the property owner you are responsible for standing charge and any usage during a tenancy void.

The same applies with a sale, you are responsible up until completion so need to provide the meter readings at completion.

As you are abroad and using an agent they should be doing that for you as your agent, but it is still your responsibility.

Your being abroad does make collection of any debt a problem, but the outstanding debt may still affect any other dealings that you have in the UK.

Userlevel 5

Hi @Sezzie 

 

Our volunteers have given some really good advice already here.

 

We’d recommend contacting the collections team to discuss this, unpaid bills can incur debt collections agencies, charges and may go against your credit file if left unpaid. 

 

Usually meter readings are collected at the end, and the beginning of a tenancy and are usually included in the paperwork, so they should hopefully be available to you and the team can get the bill amended for you.

 

You can contact the team on 0800 0699 831 or via the online webchat here.

I moved out of my house in Jul 23 and received a final bill, along with a refund. However, I have just received another ‘final bill’ where I now owe money. I have questioned, by email, multiple times. However, I have had no response. Has anyone else had this? There is no explanation as to why I have received ‘another final bill’. I am being emailed reminders weekly!

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Please talk to OVO about this - https://ovoenergy.com/help or https://ovoenergy.com/feedback 

Userlevel 7

Hey @blig1,

 

Sorry to hear this,

 

Do you have copies of the final bills? If so, you can check if the meter readings have changed.

 

Sometimes this happens when a customers account is closed to an estimate. Then the new tenant moves in and provides a meter read which shows the estimates are out of line. Then we’d need to re-bill the account accordingly.

 

The support team will be able to confirm. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Hi @Sezzie 

 

Our volunteers have given some really good advice already here.

 

We’d recommend contacting the collections team to discuss this, unpaid bills can incur debt collections agencies, charges and may go against your credit file if left unpaid. 

 

Usually meter readings are collected at the end, and the beginning of a tenancy and are usually included in the paperwork, so they should hopefully be available to you and the team can get the bill amended for you.

 

You can contact the team on 0800 0699 831 or via the online webchat here.

Thanks for your help. It would have been great if Ovo had contacted me to say that they needed the final readings or even to let me know that they would be billing me. Instead what happened was that I got an email from a company I’ve never heard of sending me final Bill. At first I thought it was a scam!  I don’t live in the U.K. and I haven’t paid any bills there for five years so I don’t know all the electricity and gas suppliers!  I assume that Ovo was the company that the tenants in my property were using. But nobody told me anything. Your customer relations is disappointing. 


I will have to contact the rental agency to see if they can supply the final readings. I suspect they did supply the readings as they have been very efficient up to the property sale. But anyway,  if not as you say, I will have to pay. 

 

 

 

say, I will have to pay.

Interestingly, I wonder what action you could take to recover the debt as I don’t live in the U.K.! Would it be worth your while sending a debt collector to Spain for £100 odd?  
 


 


 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Even if they don’t chase you to Spain, there’s still potential options.

Debts don’t go away just because you leave the country.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @Sezzie 

 

Our volunteers have given some really good advice already here.

 

We’d recommend contacting the collections team to discuss this, unpaid bills can incur debt collections agencies, charges and may go against your credit file if left unpaid. 

 

Usually meter readings are collected at the end, and the beginning of a tenancy and are usually included in the paperwork, so they should hopefully be available to you and the team can get the bill amended for you.

 

You can contact the team on 0800 0699 831 or via the online webchat here.

Thanks for your help. It would have been great if Ovo had contacted me to say that they needed the final readings or even to let me know that they would be billing me. Instead what happened was that I got an email from a company I’ve never heard of sending me final Bill. At first I thought it was a scam!  I don’t live in the U.K. and I haven’t paid any bills there for five years so I don’t know all the electricity and gas suppliers!  I assume that Ovo was the company that the tenants in my property were using. But nobody told me anything. Your customer relations is disappointing. 


I will have to contact the rental agency to see if they can supply the final readings. I suspect they did supply the readings as they have been very efficient up to the property sale. But anyway,  if not as you say, I will have to pay. 

 

 

 

say, I will have to pay.

Interestingly, I wonder what action you could take to recover the debt as I don’t live in the U.K.! Would it be worth your while sending a debt collector to Spain for £100 odd?  
 


 


 

 

 

Hi @Sezzie 

I don't work for OVO, I am just a customer.

The risk you face is the debt escalating in debt recovery fees, it appearing on credit files and UK  court records. There are also risks with debt if you have a UK bank account, even if you live abroad.

Also morally as you owe the debt you may feel you should pay it, else costs will simply be loaded onto mine and everyone elses bills. Part of the standing charge covers bad debt. That doesn't feel great as an OVO customer if you don't pay the debt.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

@Sezzie has been using a rental agency and it sounds like they probably have taken readings and the bill can be adjusted.

If not the agency ought to take some responsibility for an estimated bill, they must know the landlord is abroad, therefore isn’t in a position to take readings.

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