What is an Erroneous Transfer(ET)?

What is an Erroneous Transfer(ET)?
Userlevel 6


Updated on 22/07/21 by Jess_OVO


Why have you let me know I’m leaving when I didn’t request to switch?


Sometimes we receive a request for us to switch your supply away from us in error. Whilst it’s quite rare there’s a few reasons this may have happened:

  • Human error (we all make mistakes sometimes - it’s why pencils have rubbers) - someone may have entered your address details when applying for a genuine switch
  • Fraud - very occasionally fraudsters may use your details to apply for an energy switch (if the details held by the other supplier match your details it might be worth contacting your bank and checking your internet security procedures)
  • Mistake in your address listing on the national database - If way your address is listed is unclear or incorrect this can cause issues switching - check out this topic for more advice in getting this corrected.


How do I stop the switch taking place?


If you receive an unexpected leaving email, contact our Support Team to let us know you don’t want to go! They can put a stop to the impending switch and find out which supplier’s making the request. You’ll also need to make sure you let them know that you don’t want to switch to them as they may reattempt the switch.


What if the switch has already happened?


Not to worry! Even if the switch has already taken place, we can make sure it’s reversed. If you let our Support Team know, they can raise this as an ‘Erroneous Transfer’ (ET). This involves contacting the other supplier to let them know the switch shouldn’t have taken place. As this is a regulated process, they then have to return your supply to OVO and they can’t charge you anything.


How long does it take for an ‘Erroneous Transfer’ process to be completed?


As there’s a lot to be worked out in the background it takes up to 12 weeks from raising the ET until your account is fully back up and running. During this time your billing will be paused, however we’d advise you to continue paying your usual monthly Direct Debit This means you’ll build up a credit balance to cover the cost of your energy used as you will be issued an up-to-date statement from the date that your supply left us - it will be as if the transfer never took place.


It’s a complex (and thankfully rare) energy industry process, so let us know if you’ve got any more questions!


37 replies

Thank you @Emily_OVO I spoke to a very helpful lady at ovo yesterday who has got me sorted now. It was a neighbour who has signed up to EDF and entered their house number incorrectly.
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         

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.

Userlevel 4
Update on my previous...

See my above link for further details, this issue has now been dealt with by a nice chap at OVO called James. Thanks James! 😉
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 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:


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 

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

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?

Yesterday I received two emails from Ovo about requesting a switch and they're sorry I'm leaving. When I logon to the website there is also a Sorry You're Leaving box at the top of the page.

The problem is that I've not requested a switch and do not want one. The phone lines are not open at weekend, I can't see an online chat option, I've replied to both emails saying that I haven't requested a switch.

Is there anything I can do, or just wait until Monday when I can call?

Curious as to how this can happen?
This sounds like an erroneous transfer (or ET) @colheath

I've moved your query over to an existing topic all about ETs - just check out the info in Nancy's post above.

I can make sure the switch away is stopped - just send me a PM confirming your full name, full address and DoB.


Userlevel 6
Glad to hear it's being resolved, @colheath!
Userlevel 4
Same thing happened to me yesterday. OVO sent me an email saying they were sorry I was leaving but as with the other customers above I did not request this switch. Call me cynical but I'm convinced this was an act of provocation by a member of the OVO customer service team as I have contacted them numerous times recently about billing errors not to mention all the other problems I've been having. It seems that the more I point out their errors the more frequently they happen. I'm sure OVO are probably as sick of me as I am of them lately what with all their silly mistakes, these shouldn't be happening and frankly speaking I don't know why they do!!

I did try calling the 'Didn't Ask to Switch' number immediately that I discovered this ET but the lines were closed. Now I'm going to be worrying about this all over Christmas if it isn't sorted immediately and I don't suppose for one minute that OVO will compensate me for all the inconvenience thy're causing lately..

I made a post here earlier, perhaps one of the nice forum staff can move my post to this thread please, at least they have some intelligence unlike the idiots who work in CS.
HaveHave just been told I am switching suppliers but I never asked to
Userlevel 4

If you're seeing the message in your account it's probably a cock-up like just happened to me. I also got an email to the same effect but after discussing it with James at OVO he's reassured me that the matter is being dealt with and will be put right asap.

If you're seeing the message in your account it's probably a cock-up like just happened to me. I also got an email to the same effect but after discussing it with James at OVO he's reassured me that the matter is being dealt with and will be put right asap.
ThankThank-you slinky. I have been informed that it is an error and not to worry about it 😉
Userlevel 4

You're welcome! Incidentally the Erroneous Transfer message has been removed from my account today 😀
I received a letter yesterday saying OVO is sorry i am leaving and i have a box on my personal details page when i logon to the website saying the same thing. There is a number to call to speak to someone but the wait time was initially 18 minutes now i'm at work and can't sit on a personal call for 18 minutes to try and sort this out. Is there any way of contacting OVO without having to sit on hold for a lifetime. There are two flats at the property where i am and new tenants have just moved into one of the flats so i'm worried they have given the wrong details to OVO.
Userlevel 4

Send OVO an email and tell them it's a mistake, it's not something this forum can help with. Personally I don't believe a neighbour would have given the wrong address, OVO told me that these ET's had affected around 300.

More importantly if you receive a self service reward for managing your account online make sure you've received it. I didn't and it was all due to this ET. Flipping aliens!!
I have noticed today that OVO have put money back into my bank account, so I went onto MyOvo to see it says they no longer supply my Gas and Electricity and my account has been closed! I haven't requested any other company to take over my gas and electricity, so this has baffled me. Anyone know why this might be? I do think I may have mistakenly not sent my readings for a couple of months. Surely they wouldn't just close my account for that, and I would get a warning first, but I don't recall any such email?
This has also happened to me with my gas.

Noticed one morning on my online account that “they were sad to see me go” - no idea what it meant as I’ve always been happy with OVO and never even enquired about leaving.

Rang them up, apparently British Gas had tried to take over my supply! Called British Gas, they told me they haven’t and put a block on it in case it happens again.

Didnt think much more of it thought it was a crosswire with addresses (as I live in an apartment), logged on this morning and I have no gas supply from OVO and my account is 35 quid down!!

What is going on? Will be getting a phone call later complaining as this isn’t good enough.
Userlevel 6

Hey @PaulDerby and @Tommya87.

I've moved your post here, please take a look at @Nancy_OVO's post at the top of the thread.

Please contact our team as soon as possible, so that we can get this looked into.

You can send us a message on FacebookTwitter and our Help centre has online chat, or give them a call. You can reach our Customer Care team 9-5 Monday-Friday on 0330 30 5063.

Hope this helps!

I went on to put  my meter readings in today and it says i have no account. I checked my emails and in the junk mail there is a sorry your keaving message. I have not asked for this or had any mail about it, I don't even know who the new supplier is supposed to be. I was on a long term contract with ovo. Been with them about 7 years. There is no way to contact anyone by phone and the security dept auto email says they might or might not get back to me, if they think it is security they will! Can someon fix this?