Self Service Reward is no longer available for new and renewing customers - will you miss it?


Userlevel 7

Updated on 22/10/20: If you’ve just been advised about the ending of this Self Service Reward perk, you’re able to switch to the latest tariff, and we’ll make sure you’re not charged any early termination fees. In almost all cases, members will save more by changing their plan than they would with SSR.

 

As you can’t do this online or via web chat, email or social, the best option is to actually call us, to agree to the new tariff rates, and make sure the agent has set it up so you don’t get any of those termination fees: 0330 303 5063.

 

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We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.

We want to make things simpler and fairer for customers, and to ensure our prices are competitive in the market.

So as of the 29th July, the SSR will not be available to add for new or renewing customers. Those that have the SSR on their current contract will continue to receive the credit each quarter until the end of that contract, if they adhere to the principles of the reward.

The reward has caused a bit of a stir this year. So with it being fazed out, we want to know what our community members things of it…

 

Do you think the Self Service Reward (SSR) was a good idea?


48 replies

Userlevel 1
We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.


😂 You've increased your prices!! Your cheapest tariff now is more expensive than the tariff I signed up to in September 2017.

And wholesale gas prices are lower now than they were in September 2017!

Energy companies assume nobody will question what they do and use industry specific jargon in an attempt to obfuscate the truth from their customers.
Userlevel 4
I wonder if anyone has done a comparison with Octopus Energy, I see in their averts they've been awarded 'Recommended Energy Provider Jan 2019' by Which? A rather good selling point is that Octopus don't charge exit fees unlike OVO. I'd like to see those scrapped, if my energy provider doesn't perform as I expect them to why should I be penalised if I decide to leave early?
Userlevel 4
@Tim_OVO

I think we would all benefit for some clarity on your opening paragraph please...?

  • We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.
Lowering prices? Which ones exactly? The extortionate daily standing charge? or the fuel tariffs or both?

It's a bold statement to say "We're lowering our prices instead" but it's not particularly useful if you don't say by how much. Will the saving be equal to our SSR or will OVO be the main winners here?
Userlevel 4
I have voted NO.
As someone who has never had to use any tools to help me manage my account, I have no problem with this being removed, but I do feel that it acted as a disincentive to customers getting something resolved.
Userlevel 3
Common sense prevails. The SSR was like one of those ideas that a team member has come up with at a brain storming session. Sounded great but it was poorly implemented and communicated to the customer.

The idea works in places like the insurance industry, like a No Claims Bonus, but penalising customers for contacting the service desk was always going to be unpopular and confusing.

At a time when queries and complaints are escalating, combined with the problems of the rollout of smart meters, I am pleased the SSR is being withdrawn. However, as I don't trust any business nowadays, I wait to see how the discount being introduced will reduce my bill.

The decision to withdraw the SSR could mean I might now stay with OVO at the end of my contract. (Depending on the new tariff and my change to smart metering getting sorted out before I get any greyer).
Userlevel 4
We’re simplifying our tariff offering by removing the Self Service Reward (SSR), and lowering our prices instead.
😂 You've increased your prices!! Your cheapest tariff now is more expensive than the tariff I signed up to in September 2017. And wholesale gas prices are lower now than they were in September 2017! Energy companies assume nobody will question what they do and use industry specific jargon in an attempt to obfuscate the truth from their customers.


@renegade78

LOL..., nice to see someone speaking their mind! My sentiments entirely. The day energy companies become clear and transarent about their tariffs couldn't come soon enough. Maybe it's a good chance for OVO to buck the trend perhaps?

I hate all the jargon, little wonder why so many are still on Standard Rate tariffs. Even when you think you've got a good deal somewhere there's always something you overlooked which inflates the prices higher than you were expecting.

If I could choose one thing to change about energy companies other than the above it would be for ALL companies to have the same daily Standing Charge, at least that way it would be easier to spot the best deal.
Hi @Tim_OVO

Thanks for creating this topic.

I voted no, not because I mind managing my account on line but because the self service reward was clumsy, too rigid and unclear, in comparison to the previous online discount.

Looking through the posts on this forum it was made clear by the various mods that it was perfectly OK to contact customer support if you could not resolve an issue using My OVO to deal with or answer a question. However the T+C's never stated this and I think many customers where reluctant to contact OVO with a genuine question they could not resolve themselves because of the fear they would loose the reward.

No other energy companies, that I am aware of offered something similar and it made OVO look like they did not want to speak to their customers.

I am glad its going and means I am more likely to stay now.

However I do have a question.

The self service reward is payable on 1st Oct 2019 for (Jul/Aug/Sept) and on 1st Jan 2020 for the period (Oct/Nov/Dec). If I renew my contract, which expires mid November, will I get a pro-rata payment of the self service reward for the period 1st October until my existing contract expires in mid November, when the existing contract ends???
Userlevel 4
I voted NO.

I felt that the Self Service Reward was a good idea in theory but sadly in practice it was anything but. Of course if it had been handed out fairly I would have had no problem with it except that it wasn't. I've got half a dozen or more emails I've sent to OVO where I wasn't credited my full SSR entitlement each quarter and OVO blamed it on a 'Glitch'! In my last email they even told me that the problem had been fixed and so wouldn't happen again except that it did. My most recent award was only half the amount it should have been. OVO have once again passed this to their technical department.

Now if OVO are removing this altogether this should obviously solve that issue but how exactly are they lowering the prices and by how much? What are these new rates please?

The only concern I have about this is that my fixed rate doesn't end until November 2020, does this mean that by that date OVO will have increased it's rates again and so absorbing any savings I would have made under the old SSR?
Userlevel 4


The decision to withdraw the SSR could mean I might now stay with OVO at the end of my contract. (Depending on the new tariff and my change to smart metering getting sorted out before I get any greyer).


I think we would all agree with that statement @Barnabee, I for one would have no trouble staying if OVO make it worth my while. A reduced tarif or better still a reduction in the daily standing charge would be welcomed by many I'm sure. If OVO don't do either of those things there's little else that will keep my custom. Brand loyalty doesn't count for much these days, in a competative market I'm only interested in the savings I can make.
For starters there seems to be no one to talk to at ovo.
I was under the impression that I would get £60 off my bill per utility (gas and electricity) but that seems to have gone now.
Also, I had a smart metre fitted last year which left my original electricity box labelled DANGER TREAT AS LIVE". This is in my house and ovo has still done nothing about it.
I'm wondering why I have stayed with ovo??

The decision to withdraw the SSR could mean I might now stay with OVO at the end of my contract. (Depending on the new tariff and my change to smart metering getting sorted out before I get any greyer).I think we would all agree with that statement @Barnabee, I for one would have no trouble staying if OVO make it worth my while. A reduced tarif or better still a reduction in the daily standing charge would be welcomed by many I'm sure. If OVO don't do either of those things there's little else that will keep my custom. Brand loyalty doesn't count for much these days, in a competative market I'm only interested in the savings I can make.



I have just compared the new OVO tariff (29/07/19) 2year fixed tariff to my existing tariff that runs out in November and the last tarrif OVO were offering dated 21/05/19 which was the last tariff available with the SSR.

Using my own figures for usage I get:-

Existing 2 yr fixed tariff (expires Nov 2019): £1001.00 (including £60 SSR discount)
21/05/19 2 yr fixed tariff: £1164.00 (including £60 SSR discount)
29/07/19 2 yr fixed tariff £1077.00 - NO SSR

The standing charges for both new tariffs are the same at 28.77p per day which is slightly higher than my old tariff which was 27.4p per day.

Using my usage the new tariff without SSR would save me about £87 per year more than if signing up to the 21/05/19 tariff with a £60 reduction for SSR.

Although the new tariff is more than my current deal, it is much more competitive than the last offering from OVO. However, I will review all my options this autumn and decide what I will do then. As you say @Slinky its about savings, and for me good customer service/support in the end.
Userlevel 4

The standing charges for both new tariffs are the same at 28.77p per day which is slightly higher than my old tariff which was 27.4p per day.


The standing charges on your old tariff were also 28.77p per day, you didn't factor in VAT in your last calculation, i.e. 27.4p plus 5% VAT = 28.77p 🤓

The standing charges for both new tariffs are the same at 28.77p per day which is slightly higher than my old tariff which was 27.4p per day.The standing charges on your old tariff were also 28.77p per day, you didn't factor in VAT in your last calculation, i.e. 27.4p plus 5% VAT = 28.77p 🤓


Sorry, thanks for spotting that. I agree the standing charge is unchanged. However, rest of the figures I quoted are correct including the totals. I changed the way I calculated the figures between 2017 and now and where I added VAT.

Its still the case that the new tariff is still much better than the previous one.

Octopus is one of the other companies I am currently looking, I agree they come out well in the Which surveys and in the citizens advice surveys. I dont want to advertise their prices here but I use the Moneysavingexpert Cheap Energy Club and the Citizens Advice compare gas and electricity prices, which is good as it compares to what you are paying now and not some possible variable rate tarrif that you would default to if you did not fix again.

These prices change all the time so I will keep all this under review. As mentioned my contract expires mid November so I will be making a decision in October.
Userlevel 1
Yes, it was a good idea. OVO are nowhere near the cheapest and the £60 discount compensated for this in a way.

You can bet your bottom dollar that any reduction in tariffs will not give (me) a £60 reduction..

This is the final straw after 5 yrs with OVO I will not be renewing. Why remove what was for me their USP?

Yes, thank you. I have now renewed to Better Energy 12 month fixed.

Userlevel 2
I misunderstood the question as I forgot about the change of name. The previous discount was a great idea but the change to SSR was a disaster, \the reasons given for the change were unbelievable as the problems the change was supposed to address could easily have been handled by the previous scheme and the change to SSE simply caused problems for the majority of customers who tried hard to obey the rules. The change was so detrimental that I (and I am sure many previously loyal customers) am seriously considering moving away from OVO when my contract ends. I would now be hard to convince that the new proposed scheme will be anything but a way of getting more money for OVO despite the fact that your prices are already too high compared to others. I would seriously suggest that you revert to the previous discount scheme and also reduce your prices to be competitive.
If you do not take some steps like those I suggest I feel sure that OVO will lose a large number of customers and may well be completely wiped out.
The very bad handling of your EV everywhere offering is another example of the incompetence which your current management are displaying.

Jim
Over the weekend, Sky have announced that OVO are actively seeking capital in order to make a bid to take over the retails side of Scottish and Southern (SSE); I also discovered in the same report that OVO are 20% owned by Mitsubishi.
Definitely time to get out, I'm not renewing and will be off to Octopus shortly.
Userlevel 2
Over the weekend, Sky have announced that OVO are actively seeking capital in order to make a bid to take over the retails side of Scottish and Southern (SSE); I also discovered in the same report that OVO are 20% owned by Mitsubishi.
Definitely time to get out, I'm not renewing and will be off to Octopus shortly.

I have just read this story https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49310574 and to be honest it has alarm bells ring in my ears.
I have been with OVO almost from the start and there are issues that I have not liked such as the no live data removal that has been well covered on these forums. Now the ending of the SSR and the potential 5.8 million extra customers sort of makes it clear why the SSR is being axed. I do not thik i will renew with ovo in light of this. Just wondering when the 5% interest on balances goes
Userlevel 7

bumping this one ^

We entered into our new fixed 2 year contract in April 2019 to start in June 2019 BEFORE the decision was made to discontinue the SSR. Yesterday - for the first time and exactly half way through our contract - we learnt the SSR was being stopped with the last payment in July (sorry, burying it on the website and on a forum that I’ve only joined today doesn’t count as proper notification to a change in T&Cs - as I know OVO know because they’ve done it properly by sending the aforementioned letter). 

I’ve seen previous posts saying the discontinuation of the SSR has actually made their bills cheaper HOWEVER because we accepted our contract in April 2019 before the decision was made the stop the SSR, we will not see these cheaper prices because we’re tied into a 2 year fixed rate - and in effect will actually see our bills increase by nearly £50 when the SSR stops (because we’ve always met the T&Cs).  The letter also suggests we’re already on the cheapest tariff.

We were told in the letter we could contact OVO to see if there was an alternative plan, except we can’t because they’re only accepting emergency calls!

We were also told we could switch to another company with no cost implications, but I’m not sure switching in the middle of a recession caused by a pandemic is a good idea - how many of the smaller companies (who are often the cheapest) will go under because of the recession, particularly considering the number that collapsed in ‘good’ times. Now doesn’t seem to be the time to be ‘playing’ the energy market.

I appreciate that the T&Cs stated that the SSR could be withdrawn at any time but the letter and a reply to a Tweet said they were trying to be fair to all their customers - but, effectively, increasing our bill and not passing on the reductions to us that other customers have seemingly received because of this change does not seem remotely fair. Perhaps removing the programme at the end of a contract OR not doing in the middle of a pandemic would have been fairer?

Userlevel 6

Hey @SilverTree

If you renewed your contract before the 29th July 2019, you should still be getting the Self Service Reward. If you’re not please reach out to the team, we’ll take a look into this, please rest assured this will have no impact on the reward. 

You can send us a message on FacebookTwitter and our Help Centre has online chat!

 

Thanks! 

@Amy_OVO Thanks for your reply - I reached out to someone at OVO via Twitter and the attached is the response I received. To say I’m not happy with the tone is an understatement. There is a general ‘put up with it or go elsewhere’ attitude and the great customer service that convinced to stick with OVO in the past has apparently all but evaporated. Guess I’ll be using my time in furlough to switch. Here’s hoping OVO doesn’t mess that up for us or try and charge us for the privilege!

 

Well @Amy_OVO @Grandadshaw  Eva on Twitter might say ‘regardless of when your contract ends” BUT the OVO website says this https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/self-service-reward (screen grab at the end)and our contract doesn’t end until June 2021, having been taken out in June 2019.

I’m now wondering if they do remove the SSR how they’re going to give us the promised savings instead - no one’s mentioned that. Or in their haste to save cash, has no one thought of that in their eagerness to abandon the promise to honour the scheme until contracts end. 

Ironically it will affect customers who are, by OVO’s own definition,  good customers who pay by DD on time, submit meters readings every month and maintain a good credit balance. Hold on here - is this an attempt to force meters on us??

I’m beginning to wonder if this is a cock up and because nobody I’ve spoken to knows how to rectify it they are just repeating what the letter says and are hoping I’ll go away. We’ll see ...

 

Userlevel 5

I voted No.

I only benefitted from it on one or two months because if having to contact customer service.

I would rather have cheaper tariffs with the plummeting price of crude oil due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

I am in contract until July next year and just before my contract runs out I will be looking for cheaper tariffs.

I don't really want to leave OVO but if they don't offer value for money I would change supplier next year.

 

I would agree that cheaper tariffs would be great, but in stopping the SSR half way through our contract they at the moment are not offering to - and I quote - ‘do something smarter – and include these savings into your energy plan”  ( see here for the full quote https://www.ovoenergy.com/help/self-service-reward) but instead are just removing a benefit which will costs us real money because since the reward has been part of the plan we’ve always received the reward, so to us it is a genuine increase in our bills.

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