What is an Erroneous Transfer (ET)?

What is an Erroneous Transfer (ET)?

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Userlevel 1


Thanks for your reply.

I am a long term customer of OVO, a least 3 years before the ET.

The ET occurred when the supply to my residence was transferred to British Gas under someone else’s name.

When the supply was returned to OVO and my name I asked for and received a summary of my transactions. The summary included a balance transfer to Orion to my account on 27/11/2018.

This was totally  new information to me.

You state it is a new “platform”, 2018 new?

I have always to my knowledge always been in credit, paying by direct debit so questioned the transfer when the balance transfer was ADDED to my account.

To date I still have NOT had an acceptable answer.

Should I have been informed of the new platform and the balance transfer at the time it occurred?

Perhaps you can help.





Userlevel 7

ETs are such a pain aren’t they!


This is going to be tricky to answer here on the forum, @bernie123 - I can’t take down your account details to review. 


We’ve been moving members over to the new billing platform across 2019 and 2020, Not sure on 2018. But we are very much able to provide you with a breakdown of charges and credit in/out of your account, both before and after the ET. I’d suggest you reach out to our support team to get this done: we’re on FacebookTwitter and our Help Centre has online chat!


When it’s been explained, can you come back and update us? There might be others who will want to know!

Userlevel 1

Hi Tim,

thanks for your response.

I have been “reaching” out to the OVO support team but it seems many of my online statements were removed where I initially looked to try to understand the situation better.

Unfortunately “hello’ovoenergy” have not as yet been able to give me the information I require.

Thanks for your help and I will certainly share when appropriate as I would not wish others to have to go through the same journey.




Userlevel 6

Sorry to hear you haven’t had the info you need yet, @bernie123, I’d urge you to contact us on our social platform, as per @Tim_OVO’s advice, we can often offer a more reactive service there. ^Amy

Userlevel 1

Thanks Amy will probably take up your offer when I put together a list of specifics issues



Userlevel 7

Thanks @Ajk - I actually just tweaked your first comment to make those amendments. 


I’ve moved your comment to this FAQ on erroneous transfers (ET), as it sounds like that first switch attempt resulted in OVO taking on the wrong supply in error. This is usually related to confusion with another supply listed on the national database. Have a look at those FAQs (at the top) for more info on this bizarre world of ETs. 



Does an ET sound like it explains what happened here? 


The reason (I think) that you’ve been advised to leave it a week is because the agent you spoke to won’t have visibility so soon after attempting another switch, to see if the same or another issue has occurred. It takes a bit of time for switch requests to be received by the supplier and for changes they make to show. Also as you have a ‘cool off period’ this further delays things. 


My advice would be to check in with your current supplier next week to ask if they’ve had any requests from OVO. Also get them to make sure your supply is listed correctly on the national database whilst they’re at it!


What do you think about this suggestion, @Ajk - you could reach out to them today and check back in with the latest?

Userlevel 3

Hi Tim

Thanks for correcting my first comment. It will be a week tomorrow since i signed up over the phone(my second attempt at switching)still not received any welcome email confirming my Tarif and start date. Cannot get through on the phone to my current supplier(long wait times)I will just give it a little bit longer to see what happens.

British Gas have just contacted me ,telling me they are going to supply my energy. I have been with OVO since Feb'21 and have no wish to change. Has anybody else received a similar email. British appear difficult to contact, should I just wait and let BG get themselves in a paddy or can OVO assist. Thanks v much, Martin 

Userlevel 7

Hi @Martin1588 and welcome to the OVO online community,


Great to hear you’re a happy OVO member and looking to stay with us. Sounds like British Gas may have applied for your supply by mistake. This can sometimes happen if someone with a similar address or meter details has made a genuine switch request, but your details have been linked to the request instead. It’s best to reach out to the Support Team to make sure we put a stop to this on our side - the easiest way to reach us is via our webchat which you can find here.


It’s worth trying to get through to British Gas as well, even if we put a stop to this switch request there’s a chance they may reapply - which could result in an Erroneous transfer (whereby an unrequested switch has already taken place). This can be reversed but as it takes some time to get everything back where it should be it’s always best to get things corrected before any switch takes place.


Hope this information helps - Let us know if you need any more advice :slight_smile:


Not sure I made myself clear , they are not taking over from OVO, they are using another MPAN. I have spoken to OVO who are unable to help.


Complained to British Gas and have contacted the Ombudsman. 

Userlevel 7

Sorry for my confusion there, @Martin1588. Sounds like there could be an address mix-up going on somewhere.


If you’ve spoken to the team and confirmed that we’re supplying the correct MPAN for your address, this contact from British Gas shouldn’t affect your supply or account with us.


As only the current supplier can request an address amendment on the national database, it’s best to get this raised with British Gas.


I hope I’m understanding the situation correctly and this advice helps get things sorted - Do pop back if you need any further help. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your prompt reply,  I have been able to submit a complaint to BG after trying to make contact with them and get it resolved. Unfortunately the customer service at BG is woeful ( my experience) and I am waiting to hear back from them. I merely posted a message here in case anybody else had been effected in a similar manner. Thanks very much, Martin         

Hoping someone can help me get a resolution to this…

  1. I requested a switch from ScottishPower to OVO in July
  2. OVO set up an new account in my name at my address and as well as setting up a direct debit to my bank account and taking a monthly payment
  3. OVO meter switched the wrong meter in my apartment building and assigned my account to that wrong meter
  4. My electricity was still being supplied by ScottishPower but I was being billed by OVO for my neighbour’s electricity. OVO were not supplying me with electricity at all. I only discovered this because I was trying to get a smart meter set up with OVO
  5. I’ve explained this to multiple OVO employees over multiple phone calls. OVO eventually agreed that it was their mistake and that I don’t owe OVO any money and hadn’t been supplied with any electricity
  6. OVO suggested that I reclaim the incorrect direct debit charges directly with my bank, which I have done, because to complicate matters my neighbour (whose meter was attached to my account) was trying to away from OVO and for whatever reason that would have delayed my refund
  7. Since then I have received multiple phone calls, text messages and emails implying that I’m OVO customer and I owe them money. I finally seemed to get this sorted in September when OVO sent me an email (basically) confirming the above and saying my account would be put on hold 
  8. This morning I got a call from OVO collections wanting to talk about my outstanding balance


How to I put a stop to this once and for all? I don’t care about OVO saying I owe them money because I know I don’t but I’m concerned that they might start reporting “missed payments” to credit reference agencies.



Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hey there @tecra07 ! Welcome to the OVO Forum. I’m Blastoise186, one of the forum volunteers here. I’m really sorry to hear of the trouble, hopefully my advice can help.

I just need to give you a quick heads up. As a forum volunteer, I can give general advice but I can’t access your account or make any changes to it. Please make sure not to share personal info as it may get leaked and I can’t make use of it anyway.

With that being said, I believe there should be a way to get this properly resolved. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend initiating OVO’s Complaints Process so that this is flagged up directly to a complaints handler. They’re able to investigate a lot more deeply and will hopefully figure out a solution to get things back on track. If they agree that you definitely don’t owe any debt, this should also resolve the debt collections issue as well.

Make sure to reference all the contacts you’ve had so far as well, it will help the complaint handler to track down everything that’s happened so far.

If you don’t get anywhere within eight weeks or reach deadlock, the Energy Ombudsman can take a look and try to resolve the complaint amicably.

In addition, once OVO is satisfied that you’re actually not in debt, the Collections Team is able to reverse any black marks on your credit record, in such a way that will completely wipe them out (you might still be able to see them, but no-one else will). These updates only go out to Experian once per month, but OVO can ensure that your record is corrected if needed.

I hope this helps. If you’re still stuck, feel free to reply to this thread.

Thanks @Blastoise186. I’ve done one round through the complaints process but time for another one I think. I did think it was all done with until the call this morning :slight_frown:

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

No worries. While I’m limited in the assistance I can offer, hopefully it should at least get you some progress. Rest assured that OVO’s Collections Team are very good at fixing mistakes! If they ever accidentally place a black mark on a credit file, the team will always seek to correct it by revoking the entry which will usually put things back to how they were once it’s been completed successfully.

As long as you keep working with OVO to get this sorted out, hopefully it shouldn’t be too tricky. But the Energy Ombudsman will have your back if you get completely stuck. OVO tries to resolve complaints long before that stage though, so you hopefully won’t need to go that far.

Just in case though, don’t forget that Citizens Advice might be able to assist further than I can with this issue if you’re having trouble. You can call them on 0808 223 1133. It’s open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Good luck! Keep us posted with how things go.

Ok, well progress to report already.

I filled out the online contact form and got a phone call about an hour or so after that. My account had been put on a collection hold up to the maximum that their systems will allow (84 days). Clearly that hold expired today and the Collections Team were working through their account list for the day, and so they contacted me. I’m annoyed that they didn’t bother to read the copious notes on the account first (because when Customer Services did they confirmed exactly what I had said) and just followed their basic script instead but perhaps I am expecting too much.

The “max hold” was supposed to allow the Erroneous Transfers team the time they need to complete their investigation, close the account and clear the debit balance. The thing is, the two teams clearly need to work on aligning their processes because the ET can take between 12 to 18 weeks to sort things but the max hold for Collections is 12 weeks.

To further spoil the customer experience (technically was never a customer but I digress) the ET team didn’t answer the phone to the agent I was speaking to. Subsequently I got an email containing the following:

“I have raised a case for them to clear the debit off your account, and hopefully this is done in the coming weeks.

Also, as I confirmed on the call, collections communications have been put on hold for a further 30 days, so - as long as the debit is wiped before this - you should not be hearing from them anymore”

1 - why wasn’t the case raised back in September??

2 - “hopefully”? By this point the word should be “definitely” and “coming weeks”? See 3.

3 - if it isn’t sorted within 30 days Collections might chase me for a non-existent debt again?


So I got a better and faster response than I have done previously but it’s not making me any more confident that this is the end of it. What’s really grinding my gears is that I know precisely what the problem is and so did the person I was talking to but the fix is somehow complicated - it really shouldn’t be.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

That sounds like some good progress. Now that this has been raised, the complaint can be tracked within the system - and that eight week resolution deadline starts as of today. If you’re not happy with the progress at any time, feel free to request an escalation right up to an internal review. You can ask for this at anytime from now until the complaint is resolved. And if it’s not resolved within eight weeks, you can summon the Ombudsman with four weeks to spare before that hold expires again.

I’m afraid I don’t have the answers to those three questions, but I suspect OVO’s aim will be to investigate this and try to get it sorted out within the 30 days.

If you’re still thinking of switching to OVO, feel free to go ahead with that once this is all resolved. From what I’ve heard, the customer service is generally a lot better with OVO than with Scottish Power.

In the meantime, if it’s any consolation I’ll definitely ask @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO to pass this back to the teams as feedback. It definitely seems like the sort of thing that can be improved, so I’ll ask if they’re able to let the teams know. Personally, I can see why a Collections Hold would normally be limited to 12 weeks, but I’d agree with you that allowing it to be 18 or even 24 weeks in certain cases might help - especially if other processes are underway to fix another issue regarding the same account.

It’s not that the hold is any particular length of time, it’s that there isn’t alignment between teams so, as in my case, one team can be telling customers they owe money while another team is still working on it. There shouldn’t be a flag saying “don’t send this customer collections communications for n days”, the flag should be  saying “this account is under review and/or this customer has raised a complaint, do not speak to this customer without clearing it via the escalations/second line/complaints team first”. Or that’s how I would design it.


As for the complaint, I’ve been complaining about it since August - they’ve had their 8 weeks several times over. This will be going to the Ombudsman if it isn’t properly sorted this time.


But thank you for your replies and suggestions, much appreciated!

Userlevel 7

So sorry to hear of such an ongoing frustration over the contact from our collections team following the erroneous transfer of your neighbor's meter, @tecra07.


I appreciate that you’re already in touch with the Support Team and have a complaint raised, as our community volunteer @Blastoise186 has advised, this is the best form of contact to get things escalated if the situation is still not resolved. If you haven’t already it might be worth taking a look at our guide to ‘Erroneous transfers’ above,  which outlines some of the causes of these mistaken switches and the industry process which needs to be followed in order to get these corrected.


I hope the team are able to get things fully sorted for soon - Do keep us updated here. It’s always really helpful to those who might face a similar Erroneous transfer situation in future. 

Thanks @Jess_OVO 

It appears to have been a simple transposition of the apartment number vs the number of the street for the building. Initially, according to the agent I talked to, it was because of the way I had entered my address which, given I confirmed my address was formatted how the Post Office have it officially registered, didn’t wash. So it’s disappointing that such a simple mistake was made and then it was blamed on me.

It’s fortunate that I was offered a smart meter and engaged with that team to see if my existing smart meter was compatible. That’s when I realised something was wrong otherwise I might have been paying my neighbour’s bills for quite some time.

I also hope it gets sorted properly this time but I’d rather it was a certainty!

Userlevel 7

It’s really disappointing to hear how long you’ve spent trying to get things cleared up following what sounds like a very common address mix-up, @tecra07. As the way your address is listed on the national database might not always be correct we’d always recommend checking your MPAN to confirm we’re requesting the correct supply before you switch. This will be unique to your property and is confirmed in your Welcome Pack which you can then compare to the MPAN listed on a previous suppliers statements.


Sounds like you only noticed that the details on the account didn’t match your property once the switch had already taken place which means we need to raise an ‘Erroneous Transfer’ to ensure your neighbour’s supply is returned to their chosen supplier. Usually we’d keep the account in your name active as this then allows us to add the correct supplies to the existing account. In your case it sounds like you’re happy to remain with your previous supplier instead, so it’s frustrating to hear that you’ve been receiving erroneous communications from our Collections team in the meantime. 


I’d echo the advice already given above - if you have an existing complaint logged about the same issue in the past this can be re-opened at any point by contacting the Support Team. I’m hoping this gets things finally resolved for you - Do pop back with any updates. :ok_hand:

Well, I’m back again with an update - guess what? The account hold has expired and the Collections team left me another message saying they need to talk to me about the balance on my account.

So another 30 days has passed and the issue still isn’t resolved. They can chase me all they want, I know I don’t owe OVO anything.

It shouldn’t take days, weeks or months to sort this out. OVO have all the facts, they just need to wipe the account, lose my details forever and never, ever contact me again.

Userlevel 7

It’s really disappointing to hear this hasn’t yet been fully resolved for you, @tecra07.


Thanks for popping back with an update - as we mentioned earlier if you’ve previously raised a complaint and the things still aren’t sorted, you can re-open the complaint by contacting our Support Team. I appreciate the length of time you’ve spent chasing this one and hope the team are able to offer an assurance that your details have finally been removed from the account to avoid any erroneous collections communications or credit reporting in future.


The quickest way to contact the Support Team (if you haven’t already) would be using our Live Chat which you can find by clicking ‘Message Us’ on this page.


Hope this helps.

Can an account be switched without the account holder permission?