OVO on the radio – Stephen Fitzpatrick on You & Yours
Stephen Fitzpatrick, our CEO, was interviewed on Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme You & Yours a few weeks ago. He spoke with Peter White about energy pricing and customer service.
You can hear the full interview again here (go to 30.20). Because the issues discussed are very topical at the moment we’ve put together a quick summary of the areas covered, and a little more information to support the answers Stephen gave.
Why have OVO's prices increased?
OVO’s prices reflect what’s happening in the wholesale energy market. Up until very recently, wholesale prices fell for several years. This meant we were able to drop prices consistently. Between January 2015 and January 2016, for example, we dropped our prices eight times. However, wholesale costs started rising earlier this year. As a result some of our prices have changed:
- We raised fixed prices recently for new customers joining, or existing customers renewing.
- If you’re already a customer and you had signed up to our Better fixed plan before the price rise there was no change – your prices were locked in at the rate you signed for .
- If you’re on our variable Simpler Energy plan, it’s good news too – these haven’t changed eitherOVO hasn’t raised its standard variable tariff since February 2014.
While wholesale energy prices have come back down slightly, they’re still 25% higher than April this year. With the impact of global events there’s more uncertainty in wholesale prices. Industry and network costs are going up too.
How do OVO prices compare to the Big Six?
OVO’s prices are still cheaper than the Big Six variable rates – so in many cases, you will still save. What’s more, OVO is cheaper in the long run, as we offer all our customers the same great rates – no tease rates followed by price hikes at OVO.
Why isn’t OVO the cheapest in the market?
OVO believes in fair, transparent pricing. Pricing that reflects great value for the exceptional customer experience and service we offer.
There are a lot of teaser rates for new customers out there. But consumers need to be careful when it comes to cheap deals that might be too good to be true. It often means constantly shopping around to avoid rolling onto much more expensive prices when the initial teaser rate expires.
At OVO you don’t have to worry about doing that. Every customer – new or existing – gets the best price we have. Always.
What about the Ofgem’s recent complaints report – is OVO still delivering great service?
Looking at the bigger picture, our customer satisfaction level remains the highest according to the latest Which? customer satisfaction survey, and we have the lowest level of complaints in the energy sector with just 1 complaint per 1,000 customers according to Ofgem’s reporting. That said, here at OVO our aim is to have zero complaints, so there is always room for improvement.
How does that compare to other energy companies?
OVO had 1 complaint per 1,000 customers. This compares to the average Big 6 figure of around 20 complaints per 1,000 customers.
How does the OVO complaints process work?
We’re not perfect. When things do go wrong we work actively with our customers to solve problems quickly by following this complaints procedure. In most cases we’re able to come to a good resolution with customers. In the few cases we can’t, customers can escalate their complaint to the Ombudsman.
Got a question we haven’t covered here?
You'll find over 330 articles about all things energy in our online help centre, OVO Answers – why not have a browse.