Power company Ovo accused of threatening a customer with the forced installation of a prepaid meter, after the regulator asked providers to stop the practice
By Jeff Prestridge, Financial Mail on Sunday
21:52 February 25, 2023, updated 21:52 February 25, 2023
Energy company Ovo has been accused of threatening a customer with the forced installation of a prepaid meter, days after regulator Ofgem asked all providers to stop the practice.
The threat was made to David Jones of Bristol in a ‘notice of default’ letter dated 9 February. He was told that unless he paid the billed amount, Ovo would pass his data on to a debt collector, who could request a judgment. he ordered that they be allowed into his house and installed a prepaid meter.
Ofgem asked providers to stop using such injunctions earlier this month after an investigation by The Times revealed that debt collectors working for British Gas were breaking into homes to install prepaid meters.
David received Ovo’s letter despite spending hours on the phone explaining that there were errors in his account. These came from a monthly bill payment made by check that did not clear in a timely manner. David pays all of his bills on time and by check.
The four-week late payment – David’s check was dated January 9, cashed by Ovo 11 days later, but not credited to his account until February 10 – triggered a series of demands from Ovo to pay sums that I wasn’t supposed to, they ended up paying. default letter.
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“Company billing seems to be in disarray,” says David. “But regardless of that, it shouldn’t be a threat to a customer who pays their bills on time.”
The Mail on Sunday asked Ovo why he had threatened David. He said: ‘We have spoken to the client and explained that our normal collection process was initiated due to an unpaid invoice. We have recommended alternative payment options to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize for the initial confusion caused.
David’s last name has been changed to protect his identity.
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