Solved

Why has my smart gas meter battery failed after under 3 years?

  • 16 July 2018
  • 5 replies
  • 2744 views

Hi,

Our smart meter failed over the weekend which resulted in being without gas for nearly 24hrs? Can OVO provide answers to the questions below?

1. Why did the smart meter not proactivly inform me or Ovo that the meter was about to fail ? No warning it just died and left us ( family with 2 children under 5) without gas for heating,Hot water or cooking. Not very SMART ?

2. We thought the battery life of the smart meter was on avergae 10 years? this lasted 3 at best ? engineers that have visited say that on average its 2 -3 years? Why are we being informed its 10 years ? Essentially are we looking at replacements every 3 years? Not very SMART ?

3. Upon discovering we had no gas we tried to contact OVO out of business hours... which is a challenge , number on this site and on the internet are business hours only and it took a lot of searching to actually find an emergency contact. once we did get through we were informed that there was nothing they could do till 9am the following day?? We are in a heat wave but imagine this in the middle of winter with young children and no Gas?? Not very SMART?

4. When the emergency engineer did arrive the following day to replace our SMART meter they replaced it with a pre paid card meter ? Why? We didnt have a pre paid card meter before and didint want one, we want a replacement SMART meter like the one we had before.

5. So we contact OVO again this morning and a new job is raised to replace the incorrect Pre Paid card meter that was installed yesterday. The engineer arrives.... sorry i'm a pre paid card meter engineer and I cant replace the (incorrect) pre paid card meter with a smart meter that you require. Engineer leaves and we contact OVO again... another emergency job logged. Not very SMART !

So in summary its a dreadful customer expiriance and massivly inconveniant that working familes with young kids have to face such disruption to accommodate a process that is anything but SMART !

Why are smart meter batteries failing so fast? Why can we not easily contact OVO out of hours when we have no Gas? Why are we facing potentially havIng to be subjetced the the replacement of 3 meters to get back to the orginal smart meter we need? Why cant a failed smart meter just be replaced with a new smartt meter in one emergency callout ? Engineers onsite today informed me that they carry them but cant install them?

Look forward to OVOs reponse on how this is going to be resolved and how we will be compensated for the massive disruption to a long term customer, who after this experiance will be seriously questioning if they remain with OVO.
icon

Best answer by Nancy_OVO 16 July 2018, 17:48

Hi @SalamancaRhodes,

I thought I'd jump in and answer this one myself as it's quite a unique situation.

First of all I just want to say sorry for this experience and any inconvenience it's caused you and your family. You're quite right, gas meter batteries should normally last up to 10 years. In rare instances, they can fail prematurely. In these cases, unfortunately we wouldn't have any warning or indication that it was going to happen, so we wouldn't be able to inform you. I just want to assure you that it's very rare that this happens, and smart meters don't need to be replaced every few years.

Our phone number is 0330 303 5063 and our opening hours are as follows:
8am-6pm Monday-Thursday

Our engineers don't work during the night time for health and safety reasons, so if you contacted in the evening, unfortunately we would have to wait until the next morning to get someone out to you. I'm sorry to hear that a prepayment meter was installed. This should have been checked more thoroughly. Generally speaking, emergency gas meter appointments are only booked for prepayment customers, so it must have been assumed that was the type of meter needed.

As you had pay-monthly meters previously, it's perfectly possible to get another smart gas credit meter installed. We just need to book it in as a gas-only smart meter exchange, rather than an emergency appointment. I'm not sure why the engineer advised you that they were carrying smart meters but unable to install one. We'll have to look into this.

I think the best course of action would be to have a look at what's happened on your account so far. Drop the team on Facebook or Twitter a message including your account number, full name and DoB and we can take it from there. We can raise this to the Complaints team if necessary.

Thanks,
Nancy

**Updated 16/07/2019**
View original

5 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge
Hi @SalamancaRhodes,

I thought I'd jump in and answer this one myself as it's quite a unique situation.

First of all I just want to say sorry for this experience and any inconvenience it's caused you and your family. You're quite right, gas meter batteries should normally last up to 10 years. In rare instances, they can fail prematurely. In these cases, unfortunately we wouldn't have any warning or indication that it was going to happen, so we wouldn't be able to inform you. I just want to assure you that it's very rare that this happens, and smart meters don't need to be replaced every few years.

Our phone number is 0330 303 5063 and our opening hours are as follows:
8am-6pm Monday-Thursday

Our engineers don't work during the night time for health and safety reasons, so if you contacted in the evening, unfortunately we would have to wait until the next morning to get someone out to you. I'm sorry to hear that a prepayment meter was installed. This should have been checked more thoroughly. Generally speaking, emergency gas meter appointments are only booked for prepayment customers, so it must have been assumed that was the type of meter needed.

As you had pay-monthly meters previously, it's perfectly possible to get another smart gas credit meter installed. We just need to book it in as a gas-only smart meter exchange, rather than an emergency appointment. I'm not sure why the engineer advised you that they were carrying smart meters but unable to install one. We'll have to look into this.

I think the best course of action would be to have a look at what's happened on your account so far. Drop the team on Facebook or Twitter a message including your account number, full name and DoB and we can take it from there. We can raise this to the Complaints team if necessary.

Thanks,
Nancy

**Updated 16/07/2019**
Thanks Nancy, but I have just got off the phone with OVO and been told I have no option but to wait for the Pre Paid Card meter we did not ask for to go below £1? And we will have to be subjected to 2 further reinstallations to get back to our original position of s credit smart meter.

We have a young family and this is not being treated with any proactivity or urgency? I will follow the action you have suggedted but was was this not offerd over the phone call I have just had 10 minutes ago?
UPDATE : the latest emergency case raised for an engineer to replace the pre paid card meter was raised at 9:30am today and we were told that the engineer would be onsite within 4 hours to replace the meter with a credit Smart Meter, no engineer arrived! you conuld not make this up.. another day wasted after arranging to be at home and not at work!

Now being informed we have to wait for the pre paid card meter we did'nt ask for to run below £1 credit and then to log a new emargency call to have a credit dumb meter fitted and the they will arrange ANOTHER visit to have a smart meter installed to replace the one that failed !!!!

so we will have been subjected to 3 replacement meters to get back to our orginal position and 3 days we have to arrange for someone to be at home. NOT ACCEPTABLE OVO formal complaint being submitted and energy watch dog contacted. NOT the way to treat a long standing customer!!
thanks for the response Nancy but its frustrating that it takes an escalation on this forum to be advised how to try and resolved deapite 3 calls to the OVO customer services desk today !!
Userlevel 6
Badge
Hi @SalamancaRhodes

I'm really sorry to hear this. I get the impression you've been given the wrong information here. I'm positive we can get a pay monthly gas meter installed again without all this hassle. Please send the team on Facebook a PM with your account number, full name and DoB so we can look into a simpler solution for this.

Thanks,
Nancy

Reply