Former SSE Customers Bear the Brunt of Ongoing Billing Woes with Ovo Energy

Several Ovo Energy customers, primarily among the 3.5 million former SSE customers transferred in 2020, are facing significant challenges due to billing errors.

The repercussions range from exorbitant bills to disruptions in daily life, leaving some without heating, electricity, and impacting mental health.

Pamela Welch’s Harrowing Experience

Pamela Welch, an 84-year-old from Bracknell, received a shocking £1,200 energy bill from Ovo, escalating to over £4,000 in a few months.

Despite using minimal gas and electricity, Pamela faced debt collection threats. Ovo attributed the issue to a dual-rate smart meter misrecording, apologizing for the delay in resolution.

Billing Discrepancies Affecting Mental Health

Numerous customers, including Barbara Nicholson from Doncaster, have reported bills soaring into thousands without clear explanations.

The adjustment process, initiated when SSE customers were switched to Ovo in 2020, has left many distressed. Barbara’s case, involving a £6,000 adjustment, led to mental health concerns, reflecting a broader trend among affected individuals.

Unexplained Adjustments Cause Confusion

The adjustment process, a result of differences in SSE’s and Ovo’s balance assessments, lacks clarity on bills. Customers are left in the dark about why their bills increased, hindering their ability to contest incorrect charges.

This lack of transparency compounds the stress, as highlighted by instances such as Jane Smith’s account mix-up and the subsequent threat of debt collectors.

Impact on Daily Life: Sarah Robinson’s Struggle

Sarah Robinson, a paediatric nurse, faced repeated disruptions, including having her electricity supply cut off three times.

Billing inaccuracies and unhelpful customer service exacerbated her challenges, leading to additional expenses and significant personal distress. Ovo’s review and adjustment were prompted after intervention, reducing her outstanding balance.

Customer’s Legal Battle with Ovo

Nicola Ratnett, a freelance writer, resorted to legal action against Ovo after ongoing billing problems disrupted her work. Billing for excessive kilowatts and disputes over solar panel payments added to her frustration.

While the court ruled in her favor, Nicola’s case exemplifies the lengths some customers must go to resolve issues with Ovo.

Regulatory Oversight and Compensation

Regulator Ofgem compelled Ovo to correct bills for 11,000 customers, providing compensation for overcharging.

However, cases suggest that billing problems persist beyond the specified period. Ofgem’s ongoing investigation into Ovo’s compliance with standard license conditions emphasizes the severity of the situation.

Ovo’s Response and Commitment

Ovo Energy acknowledges the challenges faced by customers and expresses regret for the inadequate support provided.

The company commits to allocating more advisers to address customer concerns promptly. Compensation has been issued to some customers, but the extent of the issue suggests ongoing challenges in rectifying billing errors.