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No progress in meter reading dispute, poor customer support


Dear Ovo Team, 

 

We started our contract with OVO on 23-11-2022 and the initial reading sent was 69108 taken on 25-11-2022.  However, the last reading updated on your system shows 63871. We moved into this apartment on 28-10-2022 and the reading was 68719, again confirmed by our lending agent. (At the time we were with SSE). There is a discrepancy of around 5000 units for which we are not liable and but we were charged with November bill which became as £1936.09. I have contacted Ovo several time during december and january, they never takes action, just give me promises.  After many calls and emails, they told me they are opening the meter reading dispute. I waited for a long time but didn't get any response. Then I again sent an email, and I got a call back from them, saying they will open a meter reading dispute and this time I got confirmation through email. Even though 12 weeks have passed, I didn't get my meter reading corrected or gotten any response from them. 

 

Vasan

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 25 May 2023, 11:13

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33 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @kkvasan and welcome to this customer forum. Your comments sound rather frustrating but most people here are other customers - there are one or two OVO moderators but no one has access to your account and so probably can’t help with specifics. 
If you feel that you’re not getting any resolution it might be worth looking at their complaint system unless you’ve already done that. 
https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

 

Userlevel 7

Updated on 12/09/23 by Emmanuelle_OVO

@kkvasan just one thing on reading disputes, they can take up to 12 weeks to be complete. 

 

I’d recommend you check your online account first to see if your bills have been redone with the new opening meter reading: https://account.ovoenergy.com/billing-history

 

If there’s no change and it’s been 12 weeks since the most recent time you were advised that the dispute would be raised, I’d recommend you chase this up via online chat

 

More information on reading disputes here:

 

 

Hi @Tim_OVO , 
It has been more than 12 weeks since I received the confirmation email for case opening of meter reading dispute. I tried through the online chat as well in addition to emails, now OVO is saying they mistakenly closed the case but they didn’t inform me about the closure of the case. really disappointing ! 

Vasan

Userlevel 7

Hey @kkvasan,

 

Really sorry to hear this,

 

You can contact our Support Team to re-raise the read dispute, there is also the option to raise a complaint. They should be able to add a billing suspension to your account when the dispute is raised, and put your direct debit on a review suspension ensuring it isn’t increased or reviewed until the dispute is resolved.

 

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

Hey @Emmanuelle_OVO , 

Thank you for more details  on meter reading dispute. When I am contacting the support team, reply is they are escalating the issue but didn’t get confirmation of meter reading dispute. I should chase them next week and should ask billing suspension as you mentioned just to confirm they have taken my case. 

Many Thanks,
Vasan

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hey @Emmanuelle_OVO , 

Thank you for more details  on meter reading dispute. When I am contacting the support team, reply is they are escalating the issue but didn’t get confirmation of meter reading dispute. I should chase them next week and should ask billing suspension as you mentioned just to confirm they have taken my case. 

Many Thanks,
Vasan

Worth finding out if they ever raised an official complaint, the case number and the date it was raised.

https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

Then after 8 weeks from the date it was opened if it still isn't resolved you can ask the Energy Ombudsman for help

https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7

Hey @kkvasan,

 

Sorry to hear this is on-going, 

 

It sounds like they may be referring to the other company not accepting or responding to the dispute request. It might be worth contacting your previous supplier to raise the dispute at their end (it can be raised by either supplier as both need to agree to change their closing/opening readings). 

 

I’d definitely advise asking for a billing suspension and to put any direct debit reviews on hold until this gets sorted out.

 

Keep us posted with how you get on! 

Hi @Emmanuelle_OVO , @Tim_OVO @BPLightlog, @Jeffus 

Finally OVO sorted this ( I made a complaint through Ombudsman as well). My ovo account now shows the right opening reading and monthly bills also got updated. Thank you everyone for your suggestions and support. 

 

Many Thanks, 
Vasan

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

 

Hello I was moved electricity suppliers  on 8 Aug this year and I’m on a 3 meter reading.  SSE sent a final estimated bill on 12 Aug which was inaccurate for 2 of the 3 readings. I entered readings online on 12 Aug but my previous supplier have not altered their final bill and ovo are using my actual meter readings for their opening readings.

The end result is I’ve paid for 129 units of electricity twice which is over £30. I’ve live chatted and spoken on the phone to ovo customer service and support team, sent in photos of my meter readings. Also chatted to my previous supplier but they keep passing me back to ovo.

How do I proceed from here? 

 

 

Userlevel 5

Hi @daisy12 

 

Sorry to hear about this.

 

We don’t have access to accounts here at the Forum so you’ll need to get back in touch with the Support Team. They may look to rebill this now or may need to open a case for the billing to be looked into so they can make sure you’re not paying twice, or for an incorrect amount. 

 

They may raise what’s called a meter reading dispute, in order to have the readings corrected properly. I’ve linked below to a helpful topic on Meter Reading Disputes that might be useful to you:

Userlevel 2

I have the same problem, although the amount is much smaller for me. I’ve had web chats, and spoken to support on the phone both assured me that they would pass it on to billing. Having heard nothing for two weeks I raised a complaint. Again I heard nothing after two weeks but then one reading was corrected last week and the other a couple of days later. So problem solved. Well it was for a few days as one reading was changed back on Tiuesday this week, so I had another web chat and was told it had been passed to billing as high priority. Then today the other was changed back and. so I am back were I was at the beginning of Sept. If I haven’t received a response from my complaint by the eight week deadline I will be getting in touch with the ombudsman. 

Thanks Abby and awills61 for the information.  Looks like I will have to keep contacting the Support team and escalate to the ombudsman when the 8 weeks is up.

 

 

Userlevel 7

Hey @daisy12 and @awills61,

 

Really sorry for the issues you’re having,

 

It’s worth noting, the read dispute process can take 12-18 weeks, this is the industry standard timeframe. 

 

The following topic shared by Abby gives more detail about the process:

 

 

The ‘Meter Reading Dispute’ Process


- We ask you to take two meter readings at least two weeks apart
- We use these to calculate what the meter reading should’ve been on the date you switched
- If there’s a big enough difference between the reading used and the reading calculated, we can officially raise this as a ‘Meter Reading Dispute’
- We contact your previous supplier with our calculated read
- Once they’ve agreed to this new reading, we can amend opening meter reading and reissue your opening statement. Be aware that your previous supplier may also re-issue their final statement with you.
- This whole process can take up to 12 weeks as we have to wait for the calculated reading to be received and agreed to by the other supplier.

During this process your regular monthly billing will be paused whilst we look to correct the opening statement. If you pay via Direct Debit these payments will continue, building up a credit balance in your account to cover the opening statement once it’s issued.

If you don’t yet have a Direct Debit in place, we’d recommend setting one up with our Support Team, to avoid a large balance to pay when your initial statement is re-issued.


It may sound complicated but we’ll handle all the details and make sure your account is opened to a reading that fairly reflects your usage.

Userlevel 2

I’m not disputing the meter readings I just want them to use the ones that were estimated on my final SSE bill and not some other ones that they seem to have manufactured.

Userlevel 7

Hey @awills61,

 

I’ll get Forum_Support to reach out to you, please keep an eye on your private messages. 

I’m in the same situation as awills61.  As SSE’s closing account estimated reading is quite different from the opening reading that ovo are choosing to use for my first billing, I’m being charged twice for the same units of electricity. I would not have a problem if they both used the same readings. My understanding is that there should be a third party looking over this process but as this seems to be all in-house they think that they can get away from the Ofgem agreed process and double charge people. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

That’s not necessarily the case. How do you know the third party didn’t screw up and override both SSE and OVO?

Never speculate with these things - it can come back to bite you later.

Userlevel 2

Yet another bizarre and inflated final bill for me supposedly from SSE at the end of August, although technically Ovo had migrated me by then, so I seem to be chasing both up with neither so far correcting it.  It’s happening to so many people you have to wonder what on earth is going on.

 

I am a member of a group on Facebook for people with complaints about Ovo and it has nearly 8,000 members quoting horrendous problems.

Userlevel 7

Sorry to hear about these final bill problems from your previous supplier. 

 

As you’re an OVO customer it will be us that sorts this. As Abby mentioned above this may require a reading dispute. No matter what reading is used, it is an error if the final reading from your previous supplier isn’t the same opening reading as your new supplier. 

 

Until those readings are aligned, it’s on us to sort it, so don’t worry about any charges that relate to this miss match. 

 

I can’t word my next bit of advice better than Abby so:

 

We don’t have access to accounts here at the Forum so you’ll need to get back in touch with the Support Team. They may look to rebill this now or may need to open a case for the billing to be looked into so they can make sure you’re not paying twice, or for an incorrect amount. 

 

They may raise what’s called a meter reading dispute, in order to have the readings corrected properly. I’ve linked below to a helpful topic on Meter Reading Disputes that might be useful to you:

 

Userlevel 2

Well it’s currently with billing as a high priority  issue so I’ll gave to wait ( or hope) for them to get in touch. 

 

Hello,

 

I desperately need help and advice.

 

I moved into a rented property 2 years ago and this started just after we moved in.

Bit of a long and complicated story - 

 

The estate agents set up our SSE gas account this was October 2021, then our first bill came through in December 2021, it was estimated. I phoned SSE and they asked for a meter reading.

This is when we found out that the estate agents took their reading from a in home display that wasn't even connected to our gas account and wasn't even from SSE it was e-on.

This is when we also found out we had no access to our own gas and electricity meters. Our meters are in the basement flat below us and the tenant refused to let anyone in. 

I explained all this to SSE and after months, finally managed to set up an estimated payment plan, this was April 2022. This was after they had sent several people out to try and get to the meters for an actual reading with no luck. I'm registered blind, so I was out on the priority list to have my meters read every 3 months.

 

These monthly payments had been going fine until I was unable to access my online balance in June this year, and found out about the migration to OVO.

So now OVO have managed to get an actual meter reading because the basement flat has been renovated. And now say we owe well over £2,770!

But we have no idea when the meter was actually last read. I tried to contact SSE and they keep saying it's right, when it can't be. Well if it's from a previous tenant it can be. That's the only thing that makes sense.

Will all my notes and phones be passed on from SSE to OVO?

How do we ever work out what we owe and is it the landlord who owes the rest? Or for them to take up with the estate agents?

 

The landlord has meant to have complained but now doesn't want us contacting them about it. 

 

What do I do?

 

 

Userlevel 7

Hi @FrancesNM and thanks for sharing this experience with us. I’m sorry to hear about the unexpected charges. 

 

I notice you’ve called out being registered blind. If you haven’t already, please speak to OVO (you should be part of a pot of customers who get straight through to specialist OVO Support advisors with extra training) to make sure you’re part of the Priority Services Register, with any appropriate services arranged such as those 3 month meter reading visits. You will also be able to discuss the charges, and your options for getting a smart meter fitted to ensure actual meter readings are sent to us up to every half an hour. Call us from the number registered on your OVO account: 0330 303 5063.

 

It’s a really tricky situation for you and for us as your supplier. We can only charge you for your usage based on the best estimates we can calculate in the absence of actual readings, and we repeatedly tried to access your actual meter to read it, but were unable to due to its accessibility. If you add to that the doubt around whether your opening meter reading is accurate due to the estate agent submitting it from a In Home Display and not the actual meter: All I would say is that your landlord has a lot to answer for, in terms of the situation you’re in. Have you considered approaching them to ask for recompense? If there was an Eon In Home Display, that indicates a smart meter. Does it not connect remotely? Have a good chat with our Support team and make a plan to approach this, which may include a structured repayment plan. 

Userlevel 2

Well it’s currently with billing as a high priority  issue so I’ll gave to wait ( or hope) for them to get in touch. 

Well billing didn’t get in touch so I had another web chat and was informed it was fixed and that an interim bill would be produced and everything would be corrected. Interim bill produced today, dated 3-5th of October for some reason, and nothing has changed. Still overcharged and no nearer a solution and no idea where to go from here except ombudsman when 8 weeks is up.

 

Hello

 

Thank you for the reply.

 

We were told it's not a smart meter as nothing is connecting. So that's why we could do it remotely and clear things up. An engineer did come out once to attempt a smart meter replacement, he managed to get into the property where the meters are but he said a smart wasn't an option but he couldn't do anything else as the tenant told him to leave.

 

Yes we have asked the landlord for help, which they have meant to have complained but now they don't want to speak with us about it. 

Could they have been told they are lieable for some of the bill?

 

It's all a very odd situation. 

 

Cadent, had to break in  a couple of months ago because our carbon monoxide alarm went off and we had to call the gas. But they had to get to the meters for safety.

 

 

 

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