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Ovo gas & elec debt over £6k - sent to debt collection agency


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Hello,

 

I am nervous as this is my first post but I am also very stressed as the situation is out of control and I am despairing.

 

Ovo are my gas and electricity supplier since 2010.

I had a DD set up with them at £198 a month.

 

In March 2016, I cancelled the DD without telling them which I know I shouldn’t have done but I did this because it was becoming difficult to keep paying and my Ovo account was in credit of around £1500.

 

Sounds and is weird and bad but I didn’t give it a second thought.

 

I didn’t hear anything from them, no bills via email or post and then out of the blue I receive a letter in the post dated 29.01.2021 stating they’re writing to me “again” about my debt of £6626.56.

 

I emailed collections and offered £100 a month as this is all I can afford at the moment and they responded saying I need to call them to discuss the matter.

I was too anxious to call them and found it all too overwhelming.

 

Then I received a “Final Reminder - Notice of Default” letter dated 11.02.2021 which said if they don’t hear from me within 30 days , they’ll share my data with CRAs or get a court order for the debt.

 

I have been burying my head in the sand but have been researching what to do.

What I found is that there’s a backbilling rule.

 

However, I am not sure it applies to my situation as although I can see from my online account that, Ovo haven’t issued me any bills from 8th August 2013 to 4th August 2020, I cancelled the DD.

Although they haven’t mentioned this.

 

In addition, I haven’t given meter readings and have just noticed that the electricity meter isn’t clocking. I recall someone coming to do meter readings a couple of times during this period though.

 

This morning I received a letter dated 08.03.2021, stating they’ve passed my details to a debt collection agency who could apply for a ‘right of entry warrant’.

 

It's a mess and so am I.

Please if anyone can help and let me know what I can do in this instance as I do not want a prepayment meter or to have further costs added which is what Ovo say will happen.

 

Thank you

 

 

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send ovo an sar.

 

you say there is no issued bills showing for either gas nor electric on line prior to 4th August 2020.?

 

if this the case, then you are correct, they have by their own error not issued bills so cannot back bill past 12mts.

 

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you for a quick reply.

 

Sorry made a tiny mistake with the date.

Definitely no bills 8th August 2013 to 3rd August 2020.

4th August 2020, they issue a bill for the above period which I have only seen recently due to the letters prompting me to look at my online account.

 

So they have one month to reply to SAR.

During this time, what about the debt collection agency and the whole warrant thing?

Can I write to someone at Ovo to stop this with immediate effect because I doubt my SAR will prompt them to do this automatically?

 

Thank you

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of course you can

it's their mistake , they failed to issue bills.

so they can't back bill past 12mths under the various acts that gov them.

 

LCS could also go fly a kite. bet it doesn't say WILL apply for an warrant of entry.......

 

their last bill cannot include ANYTHING outside of 12mts. so they can go stuff themselves for the old £6k? is it? for years of non billed usage.

 

quite honestly i'd be emailing 'collections' and telling them you are well aware of your rights under the back billing laws and hope they realise YOU cannot be held responsible for THEIR mistakes.

 

you however do obv need to deal with what you DO owe them

 

you say electric meter is stuffed?

what about the gas meter?

 

and is this £6k both gas and electric debts combined?

 

 

 

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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It does say “could” apply for an warrant of entry..

but when I first read it, I just freaked out and thought they’ll definitely do it because the debt is for a large amount. Plus there’s some scary stories online!

 

Although I feel better from the info and moral support you’ve provided, I haven’t got the brainpower to see how much of the debt amount is outside 12 months but I will check now I have some clarity.

 

When would the 12 months start from or go back to though?

I could pay what I do owe for this period which would also hopefully put the debt collection off.

It’s all estimated usage as well.

 

I will email collections with what you say.

They also sent the debt to the debt collectors before 30 days were up from 11th Feb 2021 (the date of their letter) so the debt should have been sent to them on or after 13th March 2021.

 

Yes, the electric meter is stuffed!

The gas meter is fine - their estimated reading for this is just under the actual reading.

 

Yes, the £6k debt is for both gas and electric combined.

 

 

This is domestic usage.

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Debt collectors are not BAILIFFS and have zero legal powers!!

 

UB knows more about ovo than me though whomever it is, they cant bill you for their mistakes.

 

Why dont you also get smart meters fitted? As the electric needs doing anyway....

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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But debt collectors can get a right of entry warrant? So they must pass the warrant on to bailiffs to carry it out I take it?

 

Also, I can’t get my head round the legislation on this – it sounds like they can enter your home when you’re not even in, is that right?! That’s horrifying!

 

With regards to the faulty electric meter, do I tell them about this now or wait until they deal with the debt matter? 

I’m a bit wary of smart meters but not against them of course, whatever makes life easier really!

So would probably swap the old one for a smart one.

 

Thank you

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Only the util provider can apply for a warrant and of them applying for one in a court the court would advise you of such an application hearing for you to attend and object to it for a debt made mainly of a bogus sum resulting from their errors.

 

Id get both replaced by smart meters .

 

Have you actually been reading the gas meter so you know your monthly consumption? Thus what you might owe PCM back 12 mts?

 

The electric can only be sorted once a working meter has been installed and usage can be calc'd 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

So in March 2016, you were £1500 in credit. 

 

Bearing in mind that probably included winter usage  for the 15/16 winter period, this suggest that for a considerable period your montly payments were a lot more than required. When you were £1500 in credit, before you stopped paying, OVO should have continued to read meters and issue statements. As soon as your credit was reduced to a level, where  you would  start to be in debt without making payment, I would have expected OVO to write to you warning you of this.

 

Energy companies should be arranging regular inspections of meters to take readings, but also to check on possible issues.  Had they done this, then there would be opportunity to adjust monthly payments and if the meter was not functioning correctly it could be looked into.

 

As dx advises, if OVO have not been billing you, then you have the protection of backbilling rules, as long as you have not blocked meter reading on more than one occasion. If your meters are inside you home and you have not allowed access for meter reading more than once, then the 12 month backbilling rule may not apply.

 

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/who-contact-if-its-difficult-paying-energy-bills/energy-back-billing-guide-your-rights

 

I think you need to submit a complaint to OVO and also send an SAR request to obtain all information on your files. Ask them for copies of all statements and letters they have issued.

 

OVO should have been all over you like a rash since about 2017/2018 when your account credit ran out. I would be surprised, if you had not received regular letters from them since this time.  Making the complaint and submitting the SAR may reveal what has happened to your account.

 

Be careful, as energy companies have been known to request warrants at a Magistrates local to them, so they can force entry to fit prepayment meters.  They then have the disputed debts loaded on to the meters. This is why it is important that you register a formal complaint with OVO.

 

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I've had experience with OVO and they were fine when things were normal but failed miserably to correct an issue when things went wrong (failed electric meter). Their ability to address a specific complaint and deal with it effectively was terrible. 

 

Get the SAR off asap.

 

What can you tell us about their attempts to read the meters.

 

In your 1st post above, you say you gave OVO no readings but someone called to get them - please tell us if you gave them access to both meters, including approx dates.

We could do with some help from you

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