The legal bits

Complaints Policy

UPDATED ON: 27.03.2020

  • 1 Introduction

    • (a) OVO Energy Pty Ltd (OVO Energy) is an Australian electricity and gas retailer. OVO Energy Ltd. (UK) was the first company of the OVO group; launched in 2009, as a challenger brand to the established domestic energy supply companies of the UK. OVO focussed all activities on simplicity and providing a better service and over the last 9 years has built a substantial customer base. OVO now supplies electricity and gas to over 1.5 million properties throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

    • (b) This document sets out OVO Energy’s policy with respect to accepting, recording, and resolving complaints.

    • (c) OVO Energy is committed to freely receiving and resolving complaints in an accessible and transparent way.

    • (d) OVO Energy, through this document, makes the commitment to continual quality improvement by taking into consideration the data provided by the implementation of an effective complaints management system.

    • (e) OVO Energy will review complaints on an ongoing basis to identify any potential non-compliance and areas for improvement in its complaints management process.

  • 2 Definition of Complaint

    • (a) A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction and it can be received:

      • (i) On the basis of products and/or services provided by us or our agents, contractors and other representatives;

      • (ii) Due to perceived inadequacies in the complaints handling process itself.

    • (b) OVO Energy will consider all complaints as opportunities to improve and they will be freely received by telephone, in writing (for example, letter, email, facsimile) or in person.

    • (c) A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction where a response or resolution is sought regarding the conduct, action, proposed action, or failure to act by OVO Energy, its employees, agents, contractors or other representatives.

    • (d) Complaints may be raised in relation to (amongst other areas), any:

      • (i) Failure by OVO Energy to observe its published or agreed practices or procedures;

      • (ii) Failure in respect of a product or service offered or provided by OVO Energy or its representatives;

      • (iii) Where a customer threatens to involve, or seeks information about involving a third party, such as the jurisdictional energy ombudsman or a Member of Parliament; and

      • (iv) Where a complaint is directed to OVO Energy on behalf of the customer by an energy ombudsman scheme.

    • (e) Where a complaint relates to more than a single aspect of OVO Energy’ services or products, a separate complaint will be recorded for each aspect.

  • 3 Complaints Management

    The guiding principles for OVO Energy 's complaints management program are contained in AS/NZS 10002:2014 - Guidelines for complaint management in organisations.

  • 4 Promoting our Complaints Management Program

    • (a) OVO Energy will publish this Complaints Policy on its website and will be actively brought to the attention of customers.

    • (b) OVO Energy is committed to promoting and ensuring visibility of our complaints management program. To achieve this OVO Energy will:

      • (i) Make this policy available free of charge;

      • (ii) Arrange for an interpreter (free of charge) where required to both interpret the policy and facilitate the resolution of complaints;

      • (iii) Make special arrangements for people with disabilities, ensuring that they and their advocates have access to this policy and are aided in the resolution of their complaint. The policy and other documentation will also be available in large print Braille or audiotape on request (free of charge); and

      • (iv) Ensure that all relevant staff have training in the resolution of complaints and access to resources for cross-cultural communication and communication with customers with special needs.

  • 5 Responsiveness

    • (a) Once a complaint has been received, a representative from OVO Energy will immediately acknowledge the complaint and prioritise it for resolution.

    • (b) Higher priority will be given to those complaints where there is perceived financial hardship, disconnection of energy supply and matters relating to health and safety. In such instances, OVO Energy will respond as soon as possible.

    • (c) In all instances, OVO Energy will:

      • (i) Freely accept complaints lodged on our website, in person, by telephone, facsimile, email or letter;

      • (ii) Acknowledge any complaint received as soon as possible;

      • (iii) Begin an investigation into the reasons for a complaint within 24 hours of acknowledgment;

      • (iv) Keep the complainant updated about the investigation and any proposed resolution;

      • (v) Notify the complainant as soon as possible of the outcome of our investigation and any proposal we have for resolution; and

      • (vi) Provide the complainant with the option of an internal review of their complaint if they are unsatisfied with the outcome of the investigation or the proposed resolution.

  • 6 Responsibilities

    • (a) All staff must comply with this policy as well as the Retail Law and Retail Rules and any Guidelines published by regulatory bodies.

    • (c) Complaints can be made to any OVO Energy employee or contractor. That employee or contractor is then required to report any complaint received to the Customer Service Manager.

    • (c) All employment contracts will stipulate that employees have an obligation to report on any suspected compliance breaches.

    • (d) OVO Energy will ensure that the management of complaints is not hindered by a lack of resources.

    • (e) It will also ensure that adequate programs are in place to train staff in the resolution of complaints and the implementation of this policy.

    • (f) Top-level management of OVO Energy is responsible for:

      • (i) Establishing the complaints management program;

      • (ii) Establishing and implementing the process of complaints management;

      • (iii) Allocating resources to ensure compliance with obligations under applicable laws and this policy;

      • (iv) Promoting and advocating a customer centric approach to the resolution of complaints;

      • (v) Reporting to the board on the management of complaints, including the number and nature of complaints received;

      • (vi) Continually reviewing the effectiveness of the complaints management program including the processes in place which give effect to the program; and,

      • (vii) Establishing an adequate training program to ensure all relevant staff, agents, contractors and other representatives comply with this policy.

  • 7 The OVO Energy board

    • (a) Takes overall responsibility for the implementation of the complaints management program.

    • (b) Must ensure that quality improvements are made based on areas identified by genuine complaints.

  • 8 Recording complaints

    • (a) As soon as complaints are received they must be recorded on OVO Energy’ customer management system.

    • (b) Complaints will be recorded with all relevant information provided and a unique identifier.

    • (c) Each recording will include:

      • (i) The resolution requested by the complainant;

      • (ii) The date of the complaint;

      • (iii) A description of the complaint;

      • (iv) The expected date for a response or resolution; and

      • (v) The established priority of the complaint.

    • (d) More than one complaint can be made per customer/call. For example, if a customer makes a billing complaint and then makes a marketing complaint during the same call then two complaints will be recorded.

    • (e) Each individual customer contact that is a complaint should be recorded and categorised as a complaint, irrespective of the number of times the caller has made contact with OVO Energy on an issue.

    • (f) Complaints will be tracked, from the time that they are received through to the resolution.

    • (g) When tracking the resolution of complaints, OVO Energy will make sure that response deadlines are met.

    • (h) Throughout the process, the customer will be kept informed and updated on a regular basis.

  • 9 Monitoring and Improving

    • (a) Complaints will be tracked at an individual and group level.

    • (b) Any systemic issues identified will be brought to the attention of the Compliance Committee and Board during their monthly meetings.

    • (c) OVO Energy’s board will direct top-level management to address systemic issues identified during a “complaints process”.

  • 10 A customer's right to complain

    • (a) Customers have a right to lodge a complaint at any time.

    • (b) Once a complaint is received it will be dealt with in accordance with this Policy.

  • 11 Internal and external escalation

    • (a) At any time, a customer may request an internal escalation of their complaint and such a request will be granted.

    • (b) Complaints will also be escalated where they are complex, urgent, or sensitive.

    • (c) At the time that a complaint is received, the complainant will be immediately informed that they have the right to escalate if they are dissatisfied with the process being followed.

    • (d) Individual staff who manage complaints will be required to review the complexity, urgency and sensitivity of any complaint received and seek assistance from a supervisor or specialist where required.

    • (e) If a customer is not satisfied with OVO Energy’ response to their complaint or they wish to seek independent advice about a complaint they will be informed of their ability to contact the Energy Ombudsman in their State.

    • (f) OVO Energy will provide the contact details for Energy Ombudsman schemes and will assist any complainant in lodging a complaint with an Energy Ombudsman Scheme.

  • 12 Our commitment to customers

    • (a) In all instances we will:

      • (i) Treat customers with respect;

      • (ii) Take any complaints seriously;

      • (iii) Respect our customers' privacy;

      • (iv) Manage complaints with impartiality;

      • (v) Properly investigate and report on complaints;

      • (vi) Resolve complaints with proper consideration to the facts of each complaint and on the basis of the merits of each complaint;

      • (vii) Provide customers with the option of internal escalation or a referral to an energy ombudsman scheme where requested or appropriate; and

      • (viii) Ensure equitable access to our complaints management program and equitable resolutions.

  • 13 Contact us to lodge a complaint

    • Customers may contact us at any time to lodge a complaint using the following contact details:

    • OVO Energy
      L22, 120 Spencer Street
      Melbourne
      VIC
      3000

      e: support@ovoenergy.com.au
      t: 1300 937 686

      Interpreter: 131 450 - For help using an interpreter visit TIS
      NRS: 133 677 - For help using this service visit NRS
  • 14 Contact details for the Energy Ombudsman Schemes

    • If a customer is not satisfied with our response or investigation into a complaint they may contact the Energy Ombudsman in their state. Customers must be provided with the contact details of their Energy Ombudsman.

    • We have an easily accessible complaints process in place should something go wrong. Please note that, if you are not happy with our handling of a complaint or you wish to seek independent advice about it, you always have the option to contact the Ombudsman for your state, and their contact details are listed below:

    • Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON)

      By Post: PO Box 1343, Haymarket NSW 1240.
      Freepost: Reply Paid 86550, Sydney South NSW 1234.
      Free call: 1800 246 545
      Free fax: 1800 812 291
      Email: complaints@ewon.com.au

      Interpreter: 131 450 - For help using an interpreter visit TIS

      National Relay Service: 133 677 - For help using this service visit NRS

    • Energy and Water Ombudsman of Queensland (EWOQ)

      In person: Level 16/53 Albert Street, Brisbane City QLD 4000
      Freecall: 1800 662 837
      Fax: (07) 3006 2670
      Online: www.ewoq.com.au/submit-a-complaint
      Email: complaints@ewoq.com.au or info@ewoq.com.au

      Interpreter: 131 450 - For help using an interpreter visit TIS

      National Relay Service: 133 677 - For help using this service visit NRS