Why wasn't I able to connect to an agent on webchat? I need to discuss my Direct Debit!

this is a 2-fold complaint/question;

1. my DD amount.  I received a bill worked out on 24.04.2022 saying I was £108 in debit.  However, had you worked this out on 25.04.2022 and received my due DD of £110, my account would be in credit.   On this basis you have seen fit, against current gov advice or so I’m led to believe, to raise my regular DD payment and I do not agree with the way this has been done.  I would like this DD amount reverted back as my payments directly relate to my usage and has done for years with SSE.

2. I tried discussing this on your webchat function this morning, 06.05.2022.  After being passed on to 'someone more appropriate' twice, I am still awaiting a response form the operative who appears to have just disappeared without a single word.  Have now been waiting over an hour and counting.   I find this disgusting customer service.

Since the switch from SSE to OVO the customer service side has been nothing short of second rate every single time.

Has anyone else been seeing the same issues at all?  If so, were they dealt with and rectified?


Best answer by Jess_OVO 9 May 2022, 11:31

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @aviatormja !

I’m Blastoise186, one of the forum volunteers around here. I need to let you know that complaints can’t be handled via the OVO Forum because it’s primarily monitored by volunteers like myself and we don’t have permission to access your account. If you wish to pursue a complaint, please see .

You do have the option of forcing your payments back down if you feel the latest calculation is incorrect. It may be easier to phone this through on 0330 303 5063. However, the system isn’t able to calculate based on payments that have yet to arrive in the account, but I think there’s possibly scope to improve it a bit. I’ll ask @Jess_OVO to pass that back to the tech team.

Thank you for the reply and info. am new to this and finding every other route leading to a dead end.  So had no idea just where else to go to be honest.

Hanging around being ignored on a chat service for over an hour, and waiting for a phone call to be answered for longer, I simply cannot do while at work.

Feedback has been offered as well - guess how much reply to that I’ve had as well?!

My next port of call is Ofgas (?) or whoever the regulator is as I’ve had nothing bit issues since OVO took over from SSE.

Thanks again, appreciate your time and for forwarding on to Jess.

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I think a lot of it right now might just be down to the teams getting absolutely swamped with people attempting to get through. the live chat service only becomes fully “live” once you’re through to an agent, after that they’ll respond promptly.

If you’ve sent in a complaint, you’ll hear back within five working days. If you don’t hear back, you can chase it up by calling in again. If you can’t resolve the problem within eight weeks, you can escalate further. I’m afraid the regulator Ofgem will not accept any complaints though, as they’ve delegated that job to the Energy Ombudsman. If you need to reach them, there’s details at but you’ll need to wait for the eight week timeout first, unless you get a deadlock letter before then.

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear about your experience when using our Live Chat recently, @aviatormja.


Just to clarify, did you manage to get connected to an agent? As @Blastoise186 mentioned the opening questions are asked by a bot but you should be connected to an agent if they aren’t able to find an answer for you. As you mentioned wanting to discuss how your Direct Debit is calculated it’s worth checking out the advice in the guide below.


Our Support Team should be able to check why the latest increase has been recommended and manually adjust this if things don’t seem right. I’m hoping the team should be able to get this resolved internally but you can view our full Complaints procedure here which also explains how this can be escalated to the Energy Ombudsman if things aren’t solved within 8 weeks.


I hope this information is helpful.

Hi Jess, thanks for your time.

Yes, I was connected to an agent, I was simply ignored and not answered.  I gave up after just over an hour.   Unfortunately this is a very common occurrence and seems to happen every single time I’ve ever had to speak to CS at OVO.

I am fully aware of how things are calculated, but doing this the precise day before you know a regular monthly payment is being made is simply wrong.  Particularly when all other usages and costs appear to be done over a calendar month period.

It feels like its been done on purpose to charge even more.

I adjusted this payment to match requirements recently and keep a regular eye on the account. I had planned to use the Council tax rebate and October assistance to pay directly into this account to cover any forthcoming needs and create a nice ‘buffer’, however if this recent DD hike practice is going to be commonplace  I’ll keep it and apply it as/if needed.

In the meantime I would appreciate my DD amount being changed back, and in future, work the costs out when all is evenly in place.


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Hi @amackayj ,

The calculations do run on a regular basis and I think the system runs a quick update every time a meter reading is submitted, anytime you make a payment, a bill is generated or you request a refund. This isn’t the same as a full review, but it’s usually enough to help the system keep tabs of what it should be doing.

You’ll be able to compare this years (2022) usage against your full 2021 usage starting from around January 2023. OVO can’t provide that any sooner I’m afraid, but you can play with the available data in MyOVO to compare usage based on existing data so far.

Userlevel 6

I had exactly the same experience, and now I regularly have to ask for money to be paid back into my account, or I would just accumulate thousands of Pounds with OVO. It does not make any sense, and the service is absolutely shambolic: lots of promises, no action. 

My complaint has been pending and unanswered for 9 weeks, so I can now take it to the regulator. Does anybody have a better idea? Because I seem to have run out of options with OVO. 

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Hmm… Before you go to the Ombudsman @MrPuds , would you be OK if I ask @Jess_OVO to stop by? You’re not totally out of options with OVO yet and sometimes I can play a joker. :)

Userlevel 6

Hmm… Before you go to the Ombudsman @MrPuds , would you be OK if I ask @Jess_OVO to stop by? You’re not totally out of options with OVO yet and sometimes I can play a joker. :)

I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I have really tried everything. Jess, the trial email, support, a support supervisor, a complaint etc. I have been sent from pillar to post, and absolutely nothing has been done. Nobody seems to be able to override the mighty computer when it goes wrong. 

Dear @effician, thanks for your suggestion. After following your advice it is clear the DD amount OVO is proposing is far too high. About a factor of 2. It seems very strange to me that after simply averaging my actual usage over the last 12 months (plus standing charge) I’ve arrived at a number which is half of their’s.


After speaking with someone in OVO collections on 04 May who reduced my DD, I’ve now received email telling me their going to switch my DD to a different (too high) amount.


The person in OVO Collections told me the excessive credit on my account would be returned to me within six working days. It has not.


@Jess_OVO told me the best way to get in touch was using their web chat and provided a link. The link takes you to the “help center” where its very clear that you can chat with their “bot” and not a person. However, when you click the “Message us” button nothing happens.


OVO Energy continues to make a very bad impression.

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Hi @otherEdward ,

The Message Us button on the help centre does indeed fire up live chat. The bot merely sits in front of it to filter out cases that can be solved in other ways. If you give it the keyword “agent” though, it’ll pick up on that and ask you if you want to speak to an agent without further intervention. Say yes to that question and it’ll put you in the queue.

The service is only available when the live chat bubble appears in the bottom right corner. If it’s not there, either the office is closed or the queue is currently too full. try refreshing the page after a while in these cases and it should come up.

This is very similar to a LOT of other live chat systems out there. It’s just that OVO has spent a lot more time on theirs to make it more useful.

Alternatively, please call 0330 303 5063 and you can speak to someone by phone.

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To me, I’d see that button not working more as a bug report than anything else. I’ll have a chat with @Tim_OVO today as he’s able to get that stuff flagged to the teams.

It does show up only when certain conditions are met. Monday mornings are always crazy busy, so there might be some kind of flood control mode active to prevent the queue getting too long.

Userlevel 7

I’m really sorry to hear your complaint is still unresolved, @MrPuds.


I’ll be following this up with you via a private message here so please check you message inbox by heading to the top right hand corner of any forum page.


I hope this helps get things resolved.

Hi @aviatormja,


I’ve had roughly the same experience as you. Came over from SSE and they nearly doubled my direct debit for no reason while I had a significant credit on my account.


Called their phone number. Spent 30 minutes with the first agent who passed me to collections. I spent more than 1 hour on hold. I had to convince their collections agent that since I have only paid X for the last two years, and am running a credit, there is no reason to double my direct debit. He said it would be reduced and the credit would be returned to me within six business day.


I received an email yesterday saying they’re switching my DD back to the amount I did not agree with and I have not had the credit returned (more than six business days).


@Jess_OVO told me I should try the web chat. I haven’t been able to access it. @Blastoise186 told me that live chat is only available when the queue isn’t too full. Neither was able to provide any useful support.


OVO Energy makes a very bad impression. Their customer support is quite poor. I’m sorry you’re having the same experience.

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Actually, in this case it’s more a bug with the live chat provider and I’ve only just managed to pin it down a few seconds ago. I’m sending Tim a message now with the details, but I can’t share them publicly for privacy reasons.

I would also like to mention that as an OVO member myself and an independent forum volunteer, I do not have permission to access your account or make any changes to it, even with your consent. This is part of the agreement I made with Tim back in November 2020 when I first joined the forum and it’s one of the rules I am indefinitely bound by. Likewise, I can’t comment on your interactions with the support teams, because I don’t have access to those records and can’t vouch for either party.

I will always do what I can, but it’s important to remember the distinction between an OVO employee like Tim or Jess and an OVO Forum volunteer like myself.

Userlevel 7
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@otherEdward the live chat seems to be working now. Please try it again at .

I can’t share full details for various reasons, but it seems a temporary bug somewhere in the system knocked it offline for a while.

I will be sending in feedback though as I think there’s a few tweaks that could help to improve how the button behaves.

Userlevel 6

Hi @aviatormja,


@Jess_OVO told me I should try the web chat. I haven’t been able to access it. @Blastoise186 told me that live chat is only available when the queue isn’t too full. Neither was able to provide any useful support.


I don’t think you missed anything. I asked the web chat to adjust my direct debit, and they told me to call the support phone line. And the person on the phone flat out refused to acknowledge a problem with the direct debit. 

Userlevel 7

I’m so sorry to hear of the issues you had using the Live Chat yesterday, @otherEdward.


Just to let you know I’ve forwarded your comments here to the team responsible for this tool so they can investigate what caused this temporary glitch. (A big thanks to @Blastoise186 for doing some great bug-hunting there too! 🐛)


Have you tried getting in touch today?

Very frustrating to get a message from bot saying live chat not open when it says it should be, or is it just the bot that's available Saturday morning? I really need to chat/speak with a real person. Complicated situation.…


Userlevel 7
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OVO bot (webchat) 

Open weekdays between 8am - 6pm, 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

OVO phone number

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am till 6pm.

You might have some luck over the weekends via the OVO social media team who can access your account. Of course you can't phone them, this would still be a message. You can send OVO a private message via their twitter feed, you would need to give them your name, date of birth, address and account number 

Userlevel 5

Hey @mjk,


I’m sorry for the issues you’ve had.


Is this sorted now?


What is the issue? Our community might be able to offer some support! 🙂

Hi. Thanks for your replies. Gonna phone in as need specific advice for my circumstances. Have a good day all. xxxx