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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Naomi
    • By MSE Naomi 29th May 19, 3:13 PM
    • 310Posts
    • 70Thanks
    MSE Naomi
    Avro Energy banned from taking on new customers - MSE News
    • #1
    • 29th May 19, 3:13 PM
    Avro Energy banned from taking on new customers - MSE News 29th May 19 at 3:13 PM
    Small energy firm Avro Energy has been banned from taking on new customers because it hasn't joined the national smart meter network...
    Read the full story:
    'Avro Energy banned from taking on new customers'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you havenít already, join the forum to reply.
Page 2
    • baldrick1000
    • By baldrick1000 5th Jun 19, 8:23 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    baldrick1000
    AVRO Hell
    I was with AVRO for over a year. During this time was in credit for over £150 and my monthly payments during the peak of winter was covering my energy usage. After 3 weeks of emailing and calling AVRO to ask for the money back they refused, therefore I decided that I would move due to the rudeness of the customer service and there refusal to provide the refund. Then started a catalogue of errors made by AVRO who continued to charge me even though I had left for another company, incorrect bills even though they agreed the final readings with my new supplier. After banging my head against a brick wall, I eventually raised with the ombudsman service who found in my favour. I am waiting for the compensation!

    Yes they are cheap, but with that cheap you get rude and appalling customer service. This is the first time I have written on any forums regarding this experience and hopefully I will not have to do it again, but feel if you wish to join AVRO please go in eyes wide open and be ready for a battle if you want to leave or something goes wrong.
    • wrongplanet
    • By wrongplanet 6th Jun 19, 2:35 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    wrongplanet
    Just another piece of rubbish that is out of date in a few months.
    Originally posted by Vegastare
    Not really.

    Smart meters will let suppliers introduce variable tariffs, putting up the price at times of high demand, and in the case of electricity the possibility of taking power factor into account, charging for apparent power not real as now.
    • Benight
    • By Benight 6th Jun 19, 2:59 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    Benight
    I was with AVRO for over a year. During this time was in credit for over £150 and my monthly payments during the peak of winter was covering my energy usage. After 3 weeks of emailing and calling AVRO to ask for the money back they refused, therefore I decided that I would move due to the rudeness of the customer service and there refusal to provide the refund. Then started a catalogue of errors made by AVRO who continued to charge me even though I had left for another company, incorrect bills even though they agreed the final readings with my new supplier. After banging my head against a brick wall, I eventually raised with the ombudsman service who found in my favour. I am waiting for the compensation!

    Yes they are cheap, but with that cheap you get rude and appalling customer service. This is the first time I have written on any forums regarding this experience and hopefully I will not have to do it again, but feel if you wish to join AVRO please go in eyes wide open and be ready for a battle if you want to leave or something goes wrong.
    Originally posted by baldrick1000
    As I often post on this forum, stick with the Big 6 and you won't go far wrong

    In the meantime, the ombudsman service should have informed you the target date by which the the supplier should have completed the resolution agreed, and what to do if they fail.
    • mbailey
    • By mbailey 13th Jun 19, 8:22 PM
    • 850 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    mbailey
    This is really sad, as Avro have been great for me and saved me shed loads of money compared to if I had stayed with the big 6.


    One thing I love about them at the moment, the contracts are fixed price for 12 months, but with no exit fees, so if you see a better deal (from Avro), a few clicks of the mouse button (all done online, no need to call or email) and you are moved onto newer cheaper tarrif for another 12 months.


    I tend to check prices every one to two months and if they are cheaper, will swap to the cheapest tarrif. If they are more expensive, stay with the current one I am on.



    I really hope they can sort thing out and it's not the end of them.
    • cranford
    • By cranford 14th Jun 19, 7:38 AM
    • 511 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    cranford
    Somebody mentioned above if you stick with the big 6 companies you cant go far wrong. Thats not what the 2019 Which survey found.
    "Three quarters of homes are with the Big Six firms but these customers are least likely to be content. Some 69% of Big Six customers are satisfied with their provider, compared with 82% and 80% of medium and small suppliers, respectively."
    www.which.co.uk/news/2019/01/best-and-worst-energy-companies-for-2019/
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 18th Jun 19, 2:35 PM
    • 532 Posts
    • 353 Thanks
    Gerry1
    Wake up, MSE ! The ban has been lifted.
    The ban has been lifted and it's business as usual, but the Cheap Energy Club is months out of date, saying that "Avro has been threatened with a new customer ban by the regulator". I'm really disappointed with MSE: there's no point in customers staying with MSE if it provides wrong information.

    I switched from Economy 7 Energy (who were terrible, as you can read on the relevant thread) and I found Avro are fine. You can even switch to their new cheaper fixed tariffs, no waiting, no penalty and it extends the 12-month duration each time. What's not to like?

    In any case, it's outrageous that Ofgem penalised Avro for not foisting smart meters on customers who don't want them.

    There's almost a conspiracy of silence about the real reason for installing smart meters: ENERGY RATIONING. All smart meters have a kill switch so that you can be remotely disconnected when the generating capacity of the grid is insufficient to meet the peak demand.

    Forget all the hype about saving money (wow, a massive £11 per year), you could do that just as easily with a £30 energy monitor instead of a £400 smart meter. Your smart meter will cost you far more (in more expensive tariff rates) than you will ever save.

    Why doesn't MSE tell the truth about smart meters and campaign vigorously against them, rather than sycophantically keep peddling the government's hype?
    Last edited by Gerry1; 18-06-2019 at 4:04 PM.
    • Consumerist
    • By Consumerist 18th Jun 19, 3:49 PM
    • 5,255 Posts
    • 2,631 Thanks
    Consumerist
    The ban has been lifted and it's business as usual, but the Cheap Energy Club is months out of date, saying that "Avro has been threatened with a new customer ban by the regulator". I'm really disappointed with MSE: there's no point in customers staying with MSE if it provides wrong information. . .
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    I suspect that the reason MSE isn't playing ball is that Avro Energy owes commission to MoneySupermarket (MSE's "parent") which Avro has not paid. Simple revenge at CEC customers' expense.

    CEC is not an Ofgem "approved" site so I guess they don't have to comply with the Confidence Code.

    The Advertising Standards Agency might, however, have something to say about their "whole of market" claim if reported.
    Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
    • HonBJO
    • By HonBJO 18th Jun 19, 10:53 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HonBJO
    We are just in the process of moving away from AVRO, to a new deal recommended on MSE Club - of course! But this decision was nothing to do with this lack of smart meters (we decided against one as unnecessary when they first arrived) but AVRO's woeful 'customer service'. For instance, the window in which to enter meter readings is very narrow at just 3 days: fair enough, maybe, except the estimates then used are more suited to a factory in mid-winter than a frugal household in May! The page for meter readings looks pretty but is not user-friendly and, when trying to ring to clarify, AVRO must have the shortest office hours in combination with the dreariest 'on hold' sound (I cannot call it music) across the industry. The quote for a new deal showed a real price-hike as well so, all in all, we are DELIGHTED TO BE MOVING AWAY. It seems that AVRO shows the same contempt for the Regulator as it does for customers, but we hope it survives, though, for the sake of its happier (ex) customers.
    • cranford
    • By cranford 19th Jun 19, 7:32 AM
    • 511 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    cranford
    I was about to move away from Avro as the ban on new customers could have affected its cash flow and its ability to survive. But having done a comparison yesterday my estimated spend for next year is only 1% more than this so I have changed tariffs with effect from next month. This process is very easy provided you put in a date that is before the current tariff end.
    As for the meter read window mentioned above I can see it would be a problem if you were on holiday but there is nothing to stop you putting readings at any time and I have never found this process confusing. When AVRO have used estimates on my bills these have always been spot on. So for now I look forward to savings for another year.
    • mbailey
    • By mbailey 19th Jun 19, 7:36 AM
    • 850 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    mbailey
    I switched from Economy 7 Energy (who were terrible, as you can read on the relevant thread) and I found Avro are fine. You can even switch to their new cheaper fixed tariffs, no waiting, no penalty and it extends the 12-month duration each time. What's not to like?
    Originally posted by Gerry1

    Completely agree. I've done the same, changing to new cheaper tarrif 3 times this year already with just a few clicks of the mouse and all done. Change happens automatically and then you are on a new 12 month deal.



    In any case, it's outrageous that Ofgem penalised Avro for not foisting smart meters on customers who don't want them.
    Originally posted by Gerry1

    I think you missed the point slightly, as the reason for the original ban on Avro was not related to them installing smart meters, but for them not joining the scheme which allows existing customers who already have a smart meter to allow their meter readings to be collected automatically.


    Personally for me I have no issues with Smart meters and would really like one (as long as it is SMETS2) as it would then save the monthly having to remember to read the meters.
    • mbailey
    • By mbailey 19th Jun 19, 7:48 AM
    • 850 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    mbailey
    We are just in the process of moving away from AVRO, to a new deal recommended on MSE Club - of course! But this decision was nothing to do with this lack of smart meters (we decided against one as unnecessary when they first arrived) but AVRO's woeful 'customer service'. For instance, the window in which to enter meter readings is very narrow at just 3 days: fair enough, maybe, except the estimates then used are more suited to a factory in mid-winter than a frugal household in May! The page for meter readings looks pretty but is not user-friendly and, when trying to ring to clarify, AVRO must have the shortest office hours in combination with the dreariest 'on hold' sound (I cannot call it music) across the industry. The quote for a new deal showed a real price-hike as well so, all in all, we are DELIGHTED TO BE MOVING AWAY. It seems that AVRO shows the same contempt for the Regulator as it does for customers, but we hope it survives, though, for the sake of its happier (ex) customers.
    Originally posted by HonBJO

    The reality is energy prices have risen for everyone. If you were on a previous 12 months fixed price deal which just came to an end, it will be more expensive everywhere else now, and not just with Avro.


    Certainly for me, when I did a new check of the market now, Avro still comes out way cheaper than all the big 6 and still near the top in terms of price.



    However, I completely agree that the customer service is lacking. It's a tricky one, if you want cheap prices, they need to cut costs somewhere. From my experience when I have had issues I have emailed avro and yes it might take a few days to get a response, but they did eventually respond. [ That was last year, and don't know what the email response times are like now.]


    As for the meter reading window, you can enter a meter reading when ever you want. The only thing about the 3 day window, is that they use the exact reading if you supply it during this window. If you enter at another time, they just estimate it based on previous usage and previous readings. From my experience over past 2 years this has worked really well and better that I had previously with other suppliers.


    The only thing you have to keep an eye on is your monthly DD amount and the amount of surplus cash that builds in your account. When I first joined Avro my DD was a little high, which resulted in a surplus of over £100 (even in winter) paid to them. After a few email discussions they agreed to lower the DD based on previous usage and now I keep the surplus with them alot lower.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 19th Jun 19, 9:50 AM
    • 4,890 Posts
    • 8,303 Thanks
    Smodlet
    A very mixed bag of comments, for which I thank all contributors. I am thinking of switching to Avro and just had to share my customer experience so far.

    I had a few questions and preferred to speak to a human being rather than wade through endless FAQs. After all, if they don't want to speak to potential customers during their very limited opening times, how good can their service be?

    I called at 9.55 and 10.07 today and both times heard a voicemail telling me, "our lines are now closed." Hardly inspires confidence, does it? I roamed around their website for a while, started the switching process just to see how user friendly it is, then called again. This time I heard a different message telling me their lines were busy but, after a couple of minutes, got through to a young lady who sounded about 14.

    We discussed some of my issues, mostly the failure to answer the phone, which I was informed was due to "technical issues". Failure to turn off the night service on the switchboard could be called a technical issue, I suppose. She then informed me they are not taking on new customers due to the Smart meter compliance problem. I queried this as there is a note to this effect on the MSE article, presumably in response to the above post.

    The young lady disappeared for about five minutes and informed me on her return that MSE's information is correct and they are now taking on new customers... She had to be told this somewhat salient fact by someone who is not even a customer!

    No wonder their prices are cheap; they need to be! Still undecided about whether to stick with the Big 6 or take the Avro challenge; thoughts, please?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • peterx
    • By peterx 19th Jun 19, 2:56 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    peterx
    I am with the Peoples Energy after being with Outfoxthemarket. Avro's latest tariff is super so i am changing to this tariff.I was with Avro last year.It took a little time to get my credit back but eventually i got it back from Avro.
    • wrongplanet
    • By wrongplanet 20th Jun 19, 9:42 AM
    • 75 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    wrongplanet
    According to Ofgem, Avro Energy became a DCC user on 14 June so the ban on new customers has been lifted.

    Ofgem just updated their original notification so it's not been picked up by anyone. See the last paragraph here:
    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/avro-final-order
    Last edited by wrongplanet; 20-06-2019 at 9:46 AM. Reason: Corrected plural
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 20th Jun 19, 8:34 PM
    • 4,890 Posts
    • 8,303 Thanks
    Smodlet
    According to Ofgem, Avro Energy became a DCC user on 14 June so the ban on new customers has been lifted.

    Ofgem just updated their original notification so it's not been picked up by anyone. See the last paragraph here:
    https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/avro-final-order
    Originally posted by wrongplanet
    ... Including some Avro employees!
    Last edited by Smodlet; 20-06-2019 at 10:18 PM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 22nd Jun 19, 12:41 PM
    • 532 Posts
    • 353 Thanks
    Gerry1
    Still undecided about whether to stick with the Big 6 or take the Avro challenge; thoughts, please?
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    Perhaps I've been lucky, but so far I've had no problems at all with Avro. Their prices were very competitive, there's no exit fee despite being a fixed price, and their website is straightforward and works well.

    Best of all, they've introduced a cheaper tariff every few weeks, so I just phoned them (always got through easily) and asked to switch. Unlike moving to a new company, it always gets changed in a day or two.

    I've just switched to Yorkshire Energy because it was a bit cheaper, but then Avro introduced their latest tariff which was almost as good so I almost feel guilty !

    I'm in credit by about £50 so we'll see how the refund goes, but at present I'd happily recommend Avro and will certainly not hesitate to go back to them if they're cheaper in the future. I've been with umpteen energy companies in the past and for me Avro has certainly been one of the best.

    The Ofgem squabble didn't bother me one bit, in fact for me it boosted Avro's reputation because I think smart meters are an expensive form of energy rationing for which we're all having to pay higher bills. So if a company drags its feet on smart metering, that's fine by me...
    Last edited by Gerry1; 22-06-2019 at 1:10 PM.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 22nd Jun 19, 1:01 PM
    • 532 Posts
    • 353 Thanks
    Gerry1
    Personally for me I have no issues with Smart meters and would really like one (as long as it is SMETS2) as it would then save the monthly having to remember to read the meters.
    Originally posted by mbailey
    When there's not enough juice for everyone and you're cold and dark because you've been remotely disconnected by your smart meter, you may wish that you were as warm and bright as your neighbours who very wisely retained their conventional meters !
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 22nd Jun 19, 1:23 PM
    • 4,890 Posts
    • 8,303 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Thank you, Gerry1! Well, I began a switch to EDF, in the end, because the saving going to Avro was halved by the fact they have not paid MSE commission so we get no cash back and, really, how much hassle is £25 worth? Their phone lines are open only during office hours; I want to be able to call my provider whenever I like. This was all of two days ago. I have now cancelled that switch because EDF are a veritable nightmare to deal with:

    They don't want me to send them meter readings more than twice a year (whaaaaaaat???) and I am not allowed to call them. Sod that. I know these online tariffs are supposed to mean you only ever use the (godawful) online chat but my current supplier have never once told me to go away when I have called them (always after attempting the chat; all you have to say is they either did not know what they were doing or there were language difficulties, which has always been true)

    What kind of a company discourages customers from sending meter readings? How irresponsible is that? Hello debt! Words fail me; I refuse to deal with a company like that. I have emailed the CEC about cancelling my switch on there so I can do another one. I have already done an online chat and phoned to cancel with EDF and have a transcript so they had better not go through with it.

    EDF do not even have an energy usage chart on their online accounts unless you have a smart meter. How rubbish is that? I assumed (yeah, yeah, a$$ U me) that, because nPower have an energy tracker, every provider would or, at least, the rest of the big 6. My flabber is literally gasted. A bas EDF, a la lanterne!
    Last edited by Smodlet; 23-06-2019 at 1:15 PM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 22nd Jun 19, 2:00 PM
    • 532 Posts
    • 353 Thanks
    Gerry1
    @ Smodlet
    Suggest giving Avro a go if they have a reasonably competitive fixed offer with no exit fee.

    At the moment their business model seems to be that of introducing new tariffs very frequently in order to stay at the top of the money savings charts. Just keep surfing the crest of the wave by checking every month to see whether there's a new offer that's cheaper ! It also resets the 12-month clock, which is nice.

    Incidentally, your online account will have a useful graph of previous and forecast usage together with expected annual consumption.

    OK, the lack of an 0800 number and extended opening hours may be a pain, but if the price is right it's probably worth it; you're never going to get Lidl prices in Harrods.

    Happy switching !
    • cranford
    • By cranford 22nd Jun 19, 2:32 PM
    • 511 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    cranford
    Are customers services about to improve? I have just had an email response on a Saturday!
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