Customers of an energy firm claim they have been hammered with enormous bills of up to £49,000 after a business takeover. Data errors have seen some account holders hit with massive figures for their energy use after the firm Ovo took over SSE.
According to the Guardian one customer was told she owed $44,800 for two months’ supply for a one-bedroom flat.
The woman told the newspaper: “I’d been asked to send photos of my meters in August as Ovo believed there was an issue.
“I did so and my account went from £600 in credit to £19,000 in debt. Despite Ovo assuring me this was a mistake, the debt rose to over £44,000 in September.”
The Guardian reports the account was found to be £239 in credit after the newspaper contacted Ovo and the woman was issued with compensation.
It was reported the company admitted that meter reading errors have affected some customers transferred to Ovo after it bought SSE’s retail division in 2020.
Another customer Jane Barclay told the Guardian her projected quarterly energy consumption in her two-person household rocketed to £49,000 when she submitted meter readings.
She said: “I was assured my account would be put on hold but am now being chased over a bill of £34,015 for the three months to October.
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“What started as one of modern life’s irritations is now taking up many hours of my week and I’ve hit a brick wall trying to sort it out. I’ve cancelled my direct debit, otherwise they would have just taken the money, but I know that shortly they will put this in hands of a debt collector.”
It’s reported Ovo admitted that meter reading errors have affected some customers who were transferred from SSE earlier this year.
A spokesperson said: “We have processed millions of successful migrations to date, but we’re aware of a small handful of customers receiving large projections.
“To resolve this, our teams have set up an extra control to check for large bills to make sure we identify them, and fix them, before they’re sent to customers.”
In 2020, Ovo was ordered to pay £8.9m in redress after the energy regulator, Ofgem, found it had wrongly charged customers over five years.
Ofgem would not confirm whether it was aware of the latest charging issues when the Guardian alerted it to the shock bills.
A spokesperson said: “Suppliers also have a duty to make sure customers receive the accurate final sum on their bill.”
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