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Ovo Energy fails seven times to install meter - twice because engineers didn't bring step ladder

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
Feb 6, 2018

Gavin Lowe just wanted his gas meter changed – instead he has been stuck in a year-long battle with his energy company.

Gavin, from Rosyth just outside Edinburgh, has now had seven appointments in the past 12 months – none of which have been able to switch his meter.

Unbelievably - on two occasions he was told by installers that they couldn't do the work because they didn't bring a step ladder.

"I have offered them ladders, I have a couple of ladders, but I've been told no they can't use them because of insurance reasons," Gavin told A Spokesman Said.


Flame silhouette

The problems all began back in December 2016, when Gavin, his fiancé and their two toddlers moved into a new house.

The house had prepayment meters for gas and electricity and Gavin wanted them switched to direct debit meters.

Should've been simple enough right?

Ovo Energy gas meter
Gavin's gas meter, which requires a two man team to replace according to Ovo.

Yet Gavin's energy supplier Ovo Energy and its installer Trojan have managed to fail on seven occasions.

"How can they be failing so badly for such a simple task?" Gavin said.

"How hard can it be? They do this every day."

READ MORE: Energy watchdog launches probe into Ovo Energy

Gavin's meter is just above a door.

"I'm 5ft 8in, and I can reach it, it's not exactly high."

After a year of delays, Gavin still has to pay for his gas via prepay and is fed up.

"I spend 20 minutes on hold and then spend 20 minutes talking to someone.

"I'd call them again but I know it is just going to be another argument."

Gavin, who works as a Tesco delivery driver, has had to take multiple days off so he can be at his house for the installations.


A litany of failure

How many engineers does it take to change a gas meter? 

It sounds like a joke, but according to Ovo Energy it takes at least two engineers, a step ladder, and more than 12 months. 

Here's the full timeline of Gavin's struggles:


1st appointment - January

Gavin got his electric meter installed with no problems. However, the engineer did not have the bracket to attach the gas meter to the wall so could not finish the job.


2nd appointment - February

The engineer showed up, but said he couldn't do it.

"He said 'I can't do anything with that, I'll need a two-man team to do that'."

The engineer even told Gavin they would need a step ladder to complete the job.


3rd appointment - March

No one showed up.

"I was told if I'm not home for the appointment that I will get charged £30. But then nobody showed up. I wasted my time," Gavin said.


4th appointment – March

A two-man team was supposed to show up. But only one person arrived.

"One man showed up and said he couldn't do it, he's not allowed to work above a certain height."


5th appointment – April

The engineer cancelled the appointment.

"The engineer told me he was not feeling well and could not come. But then the company told me his car had broken down. So, I got two different stories."

Gavin decided he needed a break from the incompetence.

"After that I had just had enough. I can't deal with them anymore.

"I put it to the back of my mind. I figured it is just not meant to happen."


6th appointment – November

It had been a few months, Gavin thought by now Ovo would be able to sort themselves out.

"I thought surely it still can't be messed up."

He also wanted to decorate his hallway and needed the meter fiasco sorted.

But, as Gavin took yet more time off work, he was let down again.

"I got a phone call first thing in the morning to say they would not be out

"I thought you are really taking the mickey now."


7th appointment – December

Another appointment, but the same story.

"The engineer cancelled at 12pm. He said he was not going to have time to complete it within the time frame."


8th appointment?

Gavin said Ovo have now told him they would sort the problem.

"They said they were going to sort things out.

"They said there was no chance they were going to fail, but I'm still waiting for that one."


At A Spokesman Said we think this is ridiculous so we have gone in to bat for Gavin and told Ovo that it's time to get him his meter.

We'll let you know how many more appointments it takes Ovo and Trojan to get their act together and if they remember to bring the step ladder.