We were as puzzled as Mike Bagwell when he first came to us with a tale of delighted surprise that then turned into disappointment and frustration. He was one of the last minute millions to make a complaint before the August 29 deadline this year (see also below for possible exemptions to this). PPI, one of the biggest scandals ever to hit the UK’s financial sector with over £36bn pounds paid so far in compensation, was designed to cover loan repayments when policyholders fell ill or lost their jobs. But banks and loan providers mis-sold millions of policies to people who did not need them or would not be covered. Mike’s claim was to his credit card provider and “I didn’t really think anything would come of it. I just thought I would give it a go,” he says.
++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on [email protected] ++;
Claimants have been able do it themselves for free and there has been a wealth of guidance available on how to do that, most notably from the Financial Ombudsman Service and consumer group Which?.
Mike however elected to go through a claims management third party that when successful take a commission fee for their work.
His choice Claim Hunters is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, giving customers extra protection should problems arise.
All went smoothly when he filed the details online last summer and in August there was the good news that he would get just over £1,000 back.
As in the standard process his cheque would be issued by his credit card provider, sent to Claim Hunters who would forward it.
But the only things that arrived were demands that Mike pay Claim Hunters its commission.
When he protested he was told the first recorded delivery letter had been refused by someone at his home and a second cheque would be sent.
But that didn’t turn up either. “My family and I have definitely not received anything. There is usually someone at home, we have had no notice of any delivery attempt. We aren’t trying not to pay what we owe and why on earth would we refuse a cheque?” insisted Mike who had been worried when he had asked for but not been given a tracking number.
We agreed none of this made sense. But with Claim Hunters just as adamant, not disputing his claim had been successful and then supplying Crusader with a Royal Mail tracking number, the matter looked like it was all heading for more prolonged investigations.
But then Mike recalled confusion over his address and a similarly named one that was actually some distance from his. We asked Claim Hunters to look again through his details and result!
An original mistype, easy enough online, by Mike of his house number was corrected in October but it was the first one that remained the main one on his file.
The second cheque is now being cancelled and a third on its way in the next couple of weeks.
Last resort options for PPI claims customers with good reasons
The deadline for complaining to a business about mis-sold PPI was 29 August 2019.
The Financial Ombudsman (FOS) advises that if your PPI policy was sold after 29 August 2017 or your complaint is about a claim being turned down by an insurer, you may also be able to submit a complaint to the business if you can clearly show exceptional circumstances as to why you missed the deadline.
If you made a complaint before the deadline, you still have six months from when you receive the business’ final decision to bring your complaint to FOS.
Some examples include:
A serious illness prevents a customer from complaining on time
A business error leads to a late complaint from a customer
A customer has a bereavement in the six-month time limit
A customer changes their mind about complaining to
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