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Why have OVO raised an objection (blocked) my switch to another supplier?

  • 2 November 2020
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Good morning, please could you let me know why Ovo have objected to the following supply transfer to TGP -  I have sent emails but I have not received any replies to date

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 3 November 2020, 10:28

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Updated on 20/07/23 by Abby_OVO

 

Hi @CarolineBird and thanks for posting. 

 

An objection is usually put in place by a supplier (OVO in this case) when they want to stop the switch away due to the amount of debt on the account, or because they think there’s an error, such as the meter details or full address needs updating. 

 

The amount of debt on an OVO account that would trigger an objection is -£25 or more. If your switch has received an objection, we’d recommend logging in to your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS) to check your current balance and make a one-off payment to clear any outstanding balance if required.

 

Once you’ve cleared any balance, make sure you get back in touch with your new supplier to reapply for your switch, as the objection cancels the original request.

 

Our Support Team can also help check why your switch has been stopped if the balance is clear.

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Can you let me know how this applies in your case, @CarolineBird

Hi Tim

Thank you for getting back to me but please could you let me know the exact reason for the objection against **edited by mod**

We would like to transfer this supply away from Ovo but there is an objection and it is proving very difficult trying to ascertain the reason.

Many thanks

Caroline.

 

 

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Our Support team can confirm this, @CarolineBird - chat to them on web chat, here (at the bottom). 

 

Just come back to let us know, and I will assign a ‘best answer’ to this topic, that will help others. 

 

Also, which supplier are you off to, out of interest?

I was one of tens of thousands of Economy Energy customers dumped on (or rescued by if you prefer) Ovo by OFGEM - who unlike British Eail do not have a suppier of last resort.

After three attempts by Ovo to force me to change my meter and a substantial pice rise I opted to switch supplier to someone else - as recommeded by HM government.

Ovo had otherr ideas and block the switch. After the block was removed and I switch to another supplier (art the beginning of September last year) Ovo continued to send - up to mid November for amounts alleged to be outstabnding (which I paid to shut them up).

The a few weeks ago (April 2021) I jhad a n email demanding photo of my meter. I asked why.

Ovo said they couldn’t close my account because the meter number they were using “Was ambiguous on the system”

I did some further bill checks myself - and found they had overcharged me by £4.53 - so I sent a beautiful photo of my meter with a demand for a refund and and a request for a photogrpahic fee.

Ovo replied within a week (amazingly) - simply sending me a cheque for £4.50 - 3p short, but ignoring my request for artist fee for the photograph.

I do declare - Ovo is the absurd, contrary company. Not only that - like the Post Office Horizon system they can alter your bills retrospectively. Meter readings no object.

My advice to friend would be steer clear of Ovo - but as this forum can only be read by Ovo customers i guess my preaching will foall on deaf ears.

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Hi there @Brixton Dave .

I’m really sorry to hear of this trouble. While it is true that I’m only an OVO member myself, I can assure you that this forum is not read by OVO members alone. I’m actually one of the trusted Super User forum volunteers. I’ve already gone ahead and notified @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO about this thread on top of the automated tools which will have marked this as a new thread that hasn’t been visited by any moderators yet. I’ve let them know in case they’re able to pass on your feedback to the relevant teams.

I can definitely say that this forum is never ignored by OVO’s employees. While the forum is primarily volunteer led, OVO has an entire team of Community Moderators who are also part of the Social Media Team. I can definitely say they do not ignore this place. It’s true that one or two suppliers have community forums that are never monitored by employees, but this one isn’t one of them.

Tim and Jess are OVO employees unlike myself and they read absolutely everything that gets posted here. Trust me, I know they do because I also happen to know how the inSided forum software that OVO uses handles these things. The only way for Tim and Jess to clear the unread status is for them to read all new comments in a thread that haven’t been seen yet. They’ll be back in the morning and I’m also watching this thread, so please feel to reply if you have any further feedback.

As it sounds like you’ve switched away, there’s probably not much I can do to assist but I think it’s worth mentioning that OVO is nowhere near as bad as you claim. I’m not saying this as someone who was paid to do so, I really am an actual paying member and as a forum volunteer, I am allowed to post constructive criticism about OVO if I choose. But it’s a bit harsh to call out an entire company as broken just due to some old issues.

When it comes to the SoLR process though, OVO didn’t exactly have much choice in the matter. Ofgem runs this process as an emergency mechanism because someone has to continue supplying affected customers at all times and it’s not possible to simply have the government step in with a government run “emergency supplier”. While this does exist for the railways - which is actually this company right here as well as the newer one here - that doesn’t apply to everything. SoLR works a bit like a forced auction where suitable suppliers are invited to apply and whoever “wins” is effectively required to take on the entire customer base of the failed supplier all at once. That supplier actually loses out because many customers end up leaving anyway. OVO hasn’t won any SoLR processes since Economy Energy as far as I’m aware. The only other option is that your supply basically gets cut off completely because no supplier means no supply. I kinda know what I’d rather have.

When it comes to refunds though - especially Final Refunds - I’m afraid you’re only entitled to whatever credit balance was left in your account after the Final Bill has been paid off. It’s possible that the 3p in your case had been consumed by fees and unfortunately even my expert photographs of my own meter Raichu that I use in my forum guides don’t get any me discounts. :wink:

Maybe you should try doing professional photography though. I hear stock photo websites pay good money if you’re good at what you do!

If there’s anything else that we can help with though, please do feel free to let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Thanks

Userlevel 7

Sorry to hear of your experience since leaving us, @Brixton Dave.

 

I’ve moved the conversation over to a similar question in terms of why we may have placed an objection on your switch away initially, check the best answer above for what may have caused this.

 

Once you’ve switched the final bill is usually issued within 6 weeks, so it’s disappointing to hear you have been waiting much longer to receive this and a full final refund. There can be a number of reasons for this delay, see this topic for some suggestions as to what might have been the reason.

 

In regards to the cheque refund you have received, this amount should match the final balance shown on your statement. If there is any discrepancy please contact our Support Team who can re-issue a cheque if the amount issued is not correct.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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My switching request to another provider has been blocked by OVO; this was last week and despite being told I would be contacted to explain why, a week later I am still waiting.
There is a debit balance but it is no more than my monthly direct debit; I’m happy to pay this off but how much and when?

It feels unreasonable as there is meant to be flexibility when a balance is this amount.

What do I do to speed this up?

Thanks.

 

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Hi,

Unfortunately we can’t help with this one here as we can’t access the systems. Please talk to Support directly. https://help.ovoenergy.com or 0330 303 5063.

I’m currently trying to switch providers away from OVO and I still have debt. So OVO made an objection so I called complaints and they told me exactly what Tim_OVO in this thread has said..

“The amount of debt on an OVO account that would trigger an objection is £300.”

I then made a payment to get under the £300 amount and OVO is still throwing an objection. I called back and now they are telling me that I have to pay the full balance to be able to switch… So yet again OVO has lied to me. I would love it if OVO would take responsibility for lying but they never do. If you are currently with OVO do yourself a favour and switch as soon as possible. 

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Hi @letmego ,

This comment was left by a forum volunteer who doesn’t work for OVO

From what I understand, once you trigger that debt threshold, you do have to pay back the entire balance before being allowed to switch i.e. you can’t just get it below the £300 and it must go to £0. Once fully paid, the objection will be removed.

You might be able to discuss this with the Collections Team but I suspect they’ll require full payment before you can leave. The number to call is 0800 069 9831.

The person from complaints assured me that if I got the balance below £300 that I could then switch. I absolutely hate that OVO’s reps constantly tell me conflicting information about company policies.

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@letmego I can understand why that would be frustrating. Let me get our Forum_Support team to take a look. They’ll reach out to you via a private message shortly. 

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@letmego I can understand why that would be frustrating. Let me get our Forum_Support team to take a look. They’ll reach out to you via a private message shortly. 

Keep an eye out here for the message 

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/inbox/overview

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My balance was below £300 and less than my month DD, but an objection was still raised; and despite the OVO FAQs clearly setting OVO would contact me they never did.  

I made a one off payment to clear the balance  and leave a bit in reserve, have now switched, but OVO haven’t closed my account so I expect will claim the next DD.  I daren’t cancel the DD as I will likely get that on my credit score, even though OVO now owe me. 

Switching is no longer a straightforward process, the levers are pulled by the providers to suit them and not customers. 

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I’ve recently switched and didn’t cancel my direct debit thinking OVO had enough notice and I had enough credit (+£500), but they did take one 10 days after the switch date.

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If an individual did that it would be theft.

It’s funny how it strangely takes so long to close an account, but how quickly a new account is up and running. 

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I have got the whole balance back now so I’m thinking of it as a loan to OVO !!

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Hey @JOC,

 

I’m glad that the issues you had with switching away are now resolved.

 

 

Usually when you switch suppliers, we’ll receive the information we need from your new supplier and issue a final statement within 6 weeks of your switch date. If you’ve got a credit balance, once the final statement has been issued, this’ll be automatically refunded and back in your bank account no longer than 10 days after you get the final statement.

 

If you’ve received your final bill, or you are sure the final bill can be covered with the credit on the account you can cancel the direct debit. We’ll still be able to refund you, although our advice would be to keep it open. 

 

There are a few reasons this may happen and it’s not always due to a debt balance. There is a  page on OVO Help about switching objections. This similar Forum topic may have some helpful advice:

 

 

The best advice if your switch gets objected to and you haven’t received an email explaining why, or you believe this to be an error, is to contact the Support Team, they will be able to look into this for you. 

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I’ve recently switched and didn’t cancel my direct debit thinking OVO had enough notice and I had enough credit (+£500), but they did take one 10 days after the switch date.

10 days really should have been plenty.

It is a shame that some of the ovo processes are so poor. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Jeffus,

 

I’m not sure what the industry wide practice is, but I know that a number of suppliers keep direct debits running until a final bill is produced. In this time a further direct debit may be taken, I think the reasoning is to ensure any remaining debt balances are cleared and that final refunds are made into active bank accounts. This of course can be frustrating for customers who have a large sum of credit which is likely to cover the final bill. I know that if a customer with OVO cancels their direct debit, once the final bill is produced if a refund is needed it will go into the most recent active direct debits’ bank account. 

 

I recently switched to a new home from a well known, large supplier and had a similar experience. Two direct debits were taken (even though the account was in credit) and the final bill took 6 weeks. I have now been refunded, but when I tried to cancel the direct debit after the move out I received an email advising me not to do so, so I set the direct debit to the lowest amount possible in the App. This seemed to work! 

 

I will of course update this topic if there are any process changes within OVO regarding the switching away refund process 🙂

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Hey @Jeffus,

 

I’m not sure what the industry wide practice is, but I know that a number of suppliers keep direct debits running until a final bill is produced. In this time a further direct debit may be taken, I think the reasoning is to ensure any remaining debt balances are cleared and that final refunds are made into active bank accounts. This of course can be frustrating for customers who have a large sum of credit which is likely to cover the final bill. I know that if a customer with OVO cancels their direct debit, once the final bill is produced if a refund is needed it will go into the most recent active direct debits’ bank account. 

 

I recently switched to a new home from a well known, large supplier and had a similar experience. Two direct debits were taken (even though the account was in credit) and the final bill took 6 weeks. I have now been refunded, but when I tried to cancel the direct debit after the move out I received an email advising me not to do so, so I set the direct debit to the lowest amount possible in the App. This seemed to work! 

 

I will of course update this topic if there are any process changes within OVO regarding the switching away refund process 🙂

Interesting. 

I do have a problem with the ovo process in particular. 

OVO operate live billing and this customer has a smart meter so the outstanding amount should be known exactly by ovo at the point of switching. 

Also this customer had a 500 credit with Ovo at the time of the switch to cover unforeseen circumstances. 

So I don't see any rational for the ovo processes not to consider this automatically and reduce the DD to zero automatically. 10 days  should be plenty for automatic systems. 

I do have a problem with Ovo taking up to two months of DD at the same time as the new supplier. For some customers that is simply unaffordable. I can't believe ogfem want that to happen in normal circumstances, even if they don't explicitly mention it. 

So is the best option for exiting ovo customers with a positive credit balance and a working smart meter is to cancel the ovo DD with the bank at the time of the switch I wonder? 

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This appears to be industry wide. Every time anyone I know has switched - regardless of old/new supplier combination - the behaviour has been exactly the same as what’s described here.

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@Emmanuelle_OVO its very frustrating if the account is in credit and the bills are totally up to date.
 

In my situation a) having a smart meter, and b) an account that’s constantly been in credit for years, and c) having over £500 in the account and d) max monthly bill of £420 ie last January and most recent bill of £137; all that ought to  add up to the fact that OVO didn’t need to take another dd 10 days after the supply has switched.
 

I also reduced my dd to the lowest but that was still £190.

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This appears to be industry wide. Every time anyone I know has switched - regardless of old/new supplier combination - the behaviour has been exactly the same as what’s described here.

I don't think that is acceptable @Blastoise186 with the live billing that OVO have.

There is no excuse when live billing is working, when we have a very serious cost of living crises impacting millions of people. 

I think they should update their process. If OVO want to be the best supplier they have to make sure they are the best in all their customer processses, even people that are leaving them. 

 

 

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