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My neighbour put my address for their OVO account, and now I've got no power - what can I do?

  • 30 September 2023
  • 7 replies
  • 263 views

I live in a block of six flats. A lot our now rented out by landlords on shorter term rentals (6 months). So inevitably there are considerable changeovers with tenants. 

Somehow, one of them has changed provider, but OVO have instead got the flats mixed up.  The former tenants downstairs had used my flat address. But I never recieved any notification from OVO.

Somewhere along  the line they had stopped my direct debit, but I still had power. I never noticed this as I have been paying by DD  for years. This only came to light yesterday when they cut the power completely for an unpaid gas bill. I DO NOT HAVE GAS!!!!! 

Spent two hours on the phone to their helpline, but they just were not helpful. They ended up putting me through to Boost energy, who said my meter nos did not exist. I had to hang up as I was getting upset. Where do I go from here?????

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 2 October 2023, 15:20

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You can check what’s recorded as your supply details via Ofgem

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/finding-your-energy-supplier-or-network-operator

that might be a useful start to confirm your supplier

Thanks for this info. I will check them out. Had to gout out and buy candles.  Writing this by candle light!!!

Userlevel 7

Hi @Srd02601, so sorry to hear about this experience. 

 

It’s tricky to know the situation exactly from here so bear that in mind with my advice. 

 

If you’re off supply, it’s likely that your meters have been changed to a prepayment setting. If that’s happened ‘due to an unpaid gas bill from OVO’ (despite you not having gas), it suggests to me that OVO have taken over your supply in error, called an erroneous transfer (ET). We have a guide on this here:

 

 

If that is correct OVO will be the ones to contact and you can do that via phone here: 0330 175 9669. I’m suggesting phone as you’re off supply and this needs sorting in one quick call. 

 

If I’m on the right track, what should happen is that the smart meters you have should be changed back to credit (pay monthly) meters instead of prepayment meters, and you should carry on paying your old supplier whilst OVO fixes the ET. It might be worth getting a bill or letter from the neighbour to help you confirm that OVO have your supply listed as their address. 

 

Hope that makes sense and my assumptions are on the mark.

Thanks for this. I did manage to speak with someone through Ofgem website via Energy UK. I think it went to the complaints department., and the lady I spoke to today seemed quite helpful. 

My power is back. However this has happened to me before. As these flats are shorter term renters I believe that there is a lot of 'utilities debt' owing within this building.  I did discuss if I was being scammed as this happens so regularly. Why would renters need to change providers ever three months.???? Even though you are renting for a year. They put in their meter numbers but my flat is the billing address. 

It happened three years ago and I was receiving letters from Debt collecting agencies. I actually had Baillifs outside the security door. I ended up taking copies of all my emails to my MSP and he intervened directly, and it stopped immediately.

I am amazed at the issues, and reading through this site how problematic it is for ordinary people (willingly) wanting to pay a utility bill!!!!

Userlevel 7

Hey @Srd02601,

 

That sounds really stressful! 

 

My advice would be to get the support team to add a note on your account to say that your property has repeatedly been erroneously transferred. Also, make sure your email address is correct on the account as when a supply switches away you’ll get an automated email saying ‘Sorry you’re leaving’. It will also advise of the switch away on your Online Account

 

That way if it happens again, you can contact OVO straight away who can put a blocker on the switch before it happens. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Thank you for your reply. I had no idea what an erroneous transfer was, but I certainly do now. I have been on the phone to OVO, yesterday, and they are looking into it. Still not sorted! 

It would seem that a lot of the problems stem from the 'Utilities Database'. No energy providers ever refer or cross reference the Electoral Register, and once they made the role of meter reader redundant, the database it not current. 

As they only go by this Database, I think they need to invest in updating it. I never had  these issues when a meter reader was employed! 

I did request a visit from an Engineer just for confirmation of meters etc. Still waiting to hear back. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Srd02601,

 

Glad to hear that it’s been raised by support. 

 

It can take 12-18 weeks for an erroneous transfer to be resolved, in that time you’ll be put on a billing suspension but it’s important to keep paying your direct debit as once the supply returns you’ll be billed as though your supply never switched away.

 

If you have any more questions about the process pop back and we’ll be happy to answer 🙂

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