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Erroneous Transfers

Been switched by mistake? Find out what could’ve happened, and what’s next.

What's an erroneous transfer?

An erroneous transfer is when an energy supplier tries to take over a gas or electricity supply by mistake. 

This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Your details have ended up with the energy supplier by mistake – this is more common if you live in a flat or new-build.
  • Your meter details are incorrect on the national database that all energy companies use.
  • There’s been a human or systems error at the energy company.
  • You have related supplies and the new supplier has only taken one.
  • In very rare cases, your details may have been used fraudulently to apply for a switch.

As a customer, you’re protected by the ‘Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter’, which all energy suppliers need to follow. You can read more about that here, or keep reading for more information on what we’ll do to help you. 

What happens during an erroneous transfer?

The simple answer is that we’ll work hard to get it sorted out for you as quickly as possible. In a bit more detail:

  • You need to tell your old and new supplier that you think you might have been switched by mistake.
  • They – or we – should say sorry and make the next steps clear.
  • You’ll likely have to confirm some information so we can make sure we’re taking the right steps.
  • Then we’ll do our best to switch you back to your old supplier. This usually takes around 12 weeks but it can take longer.
  • Your old supplier will bill you for the energy you use while we get your supply back to them, just as if nothing had happened.
  • If you’re coming back to OVO, we’ll bill you as if nothing has happened, and you won’t get a bill from the other supplier.
  • If you’re actually quite happy to be switched, that’s fine too – but do tell us when you first get in touch, so we don’t start the process to switch you back to your old supplier.
How long does an erroneous transfer take to sort out? 

It depends on the circumstances. If you want to switch to OVO, but we’ve taken over the wrong supply, it may hold up your switch for as long as 4-6 weeks after we’re told about it. 

If you didn’t ask to switch to us, or if we’ve made a mistake while cancelling your transfer, we’ll start switching your supply back to your previous supplier as quickly as possible – usually within 25 days. However, it can take as long as 10 to 12 weeks, and in some cases longer.

Who do I pay for my energy while an erroneous transfer is taking place?

Your chosen supplier, as normal. We’ll take care of the financial side of things between us and your chosen supplier – and you should never end up out of pocket.

What are MPANs and MPRNs?

An MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) is the number that identifies your electricity supply. The MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) is the same thing, but for your gas supply. These numbers allow energy companies to identify your home.

When you join OVO, we ask you to check these numbers before your cooling-off period ends. That’s to make sure we take over your home’s supply – and no one else’s. 

where to find your electricity mpan

How do I find my MPAN and MPRN? 

You’ll find them on a bill from your old supplier. If you can’t find them,  call your old supplier, or call 0330 303 5063 with your MSN (Meter Serial Number) to hand. Alternatively, you can contact your District Network Operator to find out (you can check which one covers your area here).

What should I do if my details don’t match up?

Please let us know right away by calling 0330 303 5063.

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