A TRUE Story of an Ovo-nightmare

Not long after I moved into my apartment, I found out that the energy supplier was Ovo Energy. I contacted them to update the account with the correct details that they didn’t have on record, but I also found that they had a gas supply recorded on the account I ‘inherited’ from the landlord, even though that there is not any gas appliance in my apartment and the gas meter in question belongs to the building itself - not my apartment -, which the landlord is responsible to pay for as per our contract.

The conversation I had with Ovo about this happened in early August 2022, and first they said that they would rectify this, but later on they claimed that it was not possible.

I tried to raise a formal complaint with them in August last year, which was sent to their email address, but they ignored it and claimed that they would not process complaints over emails/in writing, I would need to call them.

I refused to waste more time on calls and tried to chase my complaints over emails, but the responses I received from their customer services showed a  shockingly very high level of incompetence.

As they even refused to send a dead-lock letter, I was forced to wait two months since I first sent my formal
complaint to them to be entitled to escalate my complaint with the Energy Ombudsman.

So I did, and naturally won the case, however the process took another two months. The decision was made in December 2022, which Ovo also accepted, however, they had one month to rectify all discrepancies outlined in the decision, which they failed to do so ever since…. 

I then raised another formal complaint  with Ovo in April 2022, to which I got a response that they could not help me and to go back to the Ombudsman…

I kept updating the Ombudsman with all the negligence and ignorance I got from Ovo, and they kept escalating it with their partner team, but no positive outcome…

In the mean time, I kept trying to chase Ovo, whilst they kept messing up my account even further - at one point they wiped everything out, so I had no functionality on my account at all, then one month later they reinstated the same account with the gas meter still associated with it and most of my bills were missing…

They generated new ones, but those were missing all my credits.

The bills had two parts, one for electricity and one for the ‘fake’ gas, but both on the very same bill had (and still have) two different addresses, yet, Ovo is unable to remove the gas meter from my account…

Due to the missing credits and the constantly changing and missing historical bills, I raised my second Ombudsman case, which they rejected twice saying that this was Not a new case. So I picked up the phone and explained that they were wrong since new issues arose, so then they finally accepted my case.

Ovo of course tried to challenge this, but luckily they failed with it.

The matter however had to be escalated higher up in the end as it appeared that my case was not handled properly and there were also shortfalls within the previous case.

The decision of my second Ombudsman case is now due (in fact overdue), however since the Ombudsman’s decision can only be enforced with a County Court judgement, hence I am still stuck…

During the process, parallel with my account issues, about 6 months ago, Ovo also started sending me electricity bills for another apartment that is located in the same building, but I never rented/lived there, and they kept harassing me with letters for that apartment every two weeks for months and months on when somehow whilst still in the Ombudsman process, managed to convince them that the apartment had nothing to do with me, so they now keep sending letters to an unknown occupier… 
As I found out there was not only the addressee they got wrong on this one, but the apartment number too…

About 6 months ago, I also approached my local MP to help to sort this matter out and get some answers, but sadly that did not go anywhere…

I kept bombarding Ofgem too with queries to find out when they would do something about Ovo, since in my understanding, thousands of customers were facing similar issues as myself, but the only thing I found out that they did start an investigation, however they would not disclose their findings to the public - Not even to my local MP.

A little while ago, I contacted Ovo over the phone to find out where they originally got the wrong data from. They said it was from the national database. So I asked how it could be rectified. They said that they would need to raise a case for this. When I asked them to do so, they said it was already done in June 2023, but they closed the case on the basis that their record was matching with the national database records…

So apart from the utmost incompetence Ovo’s customer service clearly possess, based on my experience over the phone, it appears that they hired young people for this role, who are Under 18, and made the impression (based on their very unusual behaviour over the phone that sounded like people who are high and spinning) that they take drugs too to be able to cope with the pressure.

(Personal note: I would not be surprised if that was the secret Ofgem was hiding anyway…)

So, since I cannot touch my account as it is in dispute, and until it is so, I cannot transfer it to another provider either, nor can pay the bills as they are all messed up, I seem to have only one option left: to leave the property and find somewhere else to live to avoid piling up some never ending and ever increasing fake bills that cannot be paid, however I am still liable for them.

So this is my story in a nutshell, and after 1.5 year continuous battle with Ovo, unfortunately it is far from being over … 😒

Comments

  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,014
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Wow what a nightmare 

    I thought OVO was bad enough when I was moved from SSE to to them but nothing like you are going through

    Luckily I was in the process of moving home so my problem only lasted a couple of months 
  • OVO is a nightmare company to deal with.
    I became a customer of them courtesy of Ofgem when Economy Energy went bust.
    The problems started from the moment I received their contract.
    For starters, it was addressed to me with the correct postcode but the number duplicated but no street name.
    So kudos to the Royal Mail & local postie for delivering it.

    The contract arrived 3 days after their cut off date.
    Being pre payment for many a year, waited for the key & card to arrive, they never did.
    The attitude from their customer service people on the phone was abysmal so went the mail route with each letter recorded.
    It got to the point where I decided to switch which Ovo blocked.
    It was at that point I sent a final letter stating that they were in breach of their own contract & unless they authorised the switch they will be prosecuted for said breach.
    72 hours later, switch went ahead.

  • Try sending it to Anna Timms the consumer affairs journalist at the Guardian / Observer - she's quite good at these tangled horrors. Here: [email protected] - note the dot between 'your' and 'problems'. Write a good clear subject line in the email - eg: an Ovo Energy nightmare, and include your phone number at the beginning of the email. Good luck. 
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