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Highland pensioner fighting with Ovo since January to get cheaper electricity meter

David Magee of Balintore who has been trying since January to get an engineer to change his electricity meter. Picture by Sandy McCook/DC Thomson
David Magee of Balintore who has been trying since January to get an engineer to change his electricity meter. Picture by Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

A Highland former merchant seaman has come to the end of his fuse with his electricity provider after waiting since January for a new meter.

Pensioner David Magee, 77, said he and his wife, who live in Balintore near Tain, have never missed a payment on their prepayment meter and now want a change to save money.

Mr Magee says getting credit on his key card means a trip on the bus and as they get older they want to make things a little easier.

But, in spite of asking since January 7 – they have still not had any joy in getting the new meter fitted.

Mr Magee said the couple were on a high tariff card meter with Ovo, formerly SSE – and as costs go up – they want to move over to a so-called “dry meter”.

‘We want to change to save money’

He said: “We have had a prepayment meter for 30 years since we moved into our house.

“But we need to shift onto another meter to save money now. We first phoned for a change on January 7, and we have still not heard back.

David Magee. Picture by Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

“There is no need to treat old-age pensioners like this. We have given everything to this country and we are now being ripped off by the electricity companies.

“If they had been kind, at all, they would have moved the meter over without us having to ask. We have never been in debt. We buy £30 every Thursday and we always have the same amount of credit in our meter.

“We keep it that way because we fear going into debt.

He continued: “We need to take easier, and what if we can not get out to get the electricity. We want to have a normal meter and to set up a direct debit.

“After they failed to come out, and failed to get back in touch with me – I phoned them and they said to email them.

Top priority protecting customers

“I was very frustrated about the way they were  ignoring us, and the way they spoke to my wife so I phoned them up and told them just to scrub it. I’ll get my meter somewhere else, or we will just stop being good customers.

“We need someone to put pressure on them to help us.”

Customers with prepayment meters can face higher electricity charges

An Ofgem spokesman said: “Our top priority is protecting customers.

“Suppliers must have customer service systems and processes that are adequate and fit for purpose and energy suppliers are responsible for ensuring appropriate metering arrangements are in place for their customers.

“We speak to suppliers regularly and if they fall short of any of their obligations, we take robust action where appropriate.”

Ovo has been contacted to comment.

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