Struggling Against the Current: My Battle with Ovo Over a £1,200 Energy Bill I Don't Owe
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In November of last year, I embarked on a new chapter, purchasing and moving into a ground floor maisonette equipped with an electricity smart meter courtesy of SSE. Upon reaching out to SSE, now under the umbrella of Ovo, I transferred the meter into my name. However, a perplexing discrepancy arose—the address on this account was designated as 37B, not corresponding with my actual postal address, 37.
According to the National Grid, 37B was the only recognized number, leaving me in an unusual situation where my ground floor maisonette was identified as 37B for energy supply purposes. While the electricity meter continued to tick away at my property, I diligently paid the bill, maintaining an accurate credit balance of £57.
To complicate matters, I discovered that Ovo was also my gas provider upon moving in. Despite filling out forms to switch my gas service (but not the electricity, as I was already a customer), I received a letter notifying me that Ovo had created a new account for both gas and electricity. Puzzled and frustrated, I embarked on a journey of more than ten phone calls and half a dozen emails to Ovo, explaining the redundancy of this additional electricity account.
Unfortunately, my pleas fell on deaf ears, and my attempts to rectify the situation were met with indifference. In March 2023, I escalated the matter to the Energy Ombudsman, seeking resolution. In June 2023, the Energy Ombudsman ruled in my favor, declaring Ovo's charges incorrect and directing them to remove my name from the account associated with the upstairs flat.
However, despite this ruling, I find myself trapped in an ongoing ordeal. Two weeks ago, the Energy Ombudsman closed my case, citing an apology from Ovo and a goodwill gesture as resolution. Alas, the core issues persist. My name remains tethered to an Ovo electricity account in credit by £57, while a separate electric and gas account accrues an unjustified debt of £1,200.
The stress of being wrongly held accountable for this inflated sum weighs heavily on me. I cannot fathom why Ovo refuses to rectify this situation promptly and spare me from this unwarranted financial burden.
Untangling the Address Maze: A Saga of Misidentification and Energy Billing Woes
The property you purchased held a hidden complication—it was originally part of a larger building split into number 37 (your flat) and number 37a (the upstairs flat). However, the national database for electricity and gas, for reasons unbeknownst to all, designated your flat as 37b, an address that simply doesn't exist. This mysterious error set the stage for the perplexing billing quagmire you found yourself in.
Upon reaching out to Ovo, the curtain was lifted on the genesis of this billing predicament. Despite your belief that Ovo was your gas supplier for over a year, it was revealed, through meticulous investigation, that your actual gas supplier was British Gas. Old meters outside your property and a 'burns test' confirmed this revelation, prompting you to establish a new account with British Gas.
Ovo, in an attempt to rectify its missteps, attributed the mix-up to address errors in the national database, which led to the issuance of welcome letters, the creation of a gas account, and repeated charges for your neighbors' gas usage—even though you were never a gas customer. To prevent future confusion, Ovo corrected your address on the national database for electricity meters.
While the journey to clarity has been arduous, Ovo has taken steps to make amends. A spokesperson expressed sincere apologies for the delays in resolving your case and extended a goodwill gesture of £100, which you have accepted as a resolution. The spokesperson emphasized their commitment to rectifying the inconvenience caused, offering a glimpse of closure to a saga that was anything but straightforward.
In this narrative of misidentification and energy billing woes, the resolution emerges as a beacon, shedding light on the importance of accurate address records in the labyrinth of energy supply databases.
In the final chapter of this convoluted journey, the shadows of misidentification and energy billing errors are gradually dissipating. The revelation that my property, originally part of a larger building, bore the mysterious tag of '37b' in the national database set the stage for a series of bewildering events.
Despite a year-long belief that Ovo was my gas supplier, a meticulous investigation unearthed the truth—British Gas held that role. The perplexities of welcome letters, erroneous gas accounts, and charges for neighbors' usage stemmed from address errors in the national database, a quandary now rectified by Ovo for electricity meters.
In the aftermath of this saga, Ovo, acknowledging the delays and inconveniences, extended a goodwill gesture of £100, marking a symbolic resolution to the case. Their spokesperson, expressing sincere apologies, emphasized a commitment to learning from the experience and preventing such mishaps in the future.
As the confusion unravels, the importance of accurate address records in energy supply databases stands illuminated. This concluding chapter signifies not only the end of a complex narrative but also the potential for positive change in ensuring the accuracy and clarity of such crucial information.