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Insurance Complaints / Ombudsman



JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
Does anyone have any experience of raising an official complaint / Ombudsman complaint against an insurance company?

I have made a complaint verbally on the phone, their complaints procedure says the following:

Where we are unable to resolve your complaint by the end of the third business day after receipt, you can expect the
following from us:
-Acknowledgement of your complaint in writing within 5 business days after receipt. This will state who is handling the
complaint.


Now today was the end of the third business day after the complaint and the issue is still not resolved, I'm not confident that I will receive the written acknowledgment by Wednesday, so if this doesn't happen and they are in direct breach of their own complaints procedure do I raise this with them or can I bypass the rest of their procedure and go directly to the Ombudsman early. I know they have guidelines to solve the issue to, but if they cannot handle their own complaints policy surely this is grounds to go over their heads?
 

Oggy172

ClioSport Club Member
  RB182, 987, Lupo Gti
Id imagine you'd have to allow their escalation/full t&c's to play out before an ombudsman would care
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
Id imagine you'd have to allow their escalation/full t&c's to play out before an ombudsman would care
That's what I was thinking, but if they cannot even comply with their own procedures then I was hoping this would be along the lines of 'gross misconduct' kind of thing and I'd be allowed to speak to the ombud people.
 

MatthewR

ClioSport Club Member
Out of interest what are you expecting / wanting from the ombudsman?

Edit: And what is the complaint?

Only interested as I have to deal with this at work so may be able to either assist in setting expectations or provide advice where possible.
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
I dont think missing the first stage is "gross" I'm afraid.
Surely missing any stage is serious, as they make their rules up themselves so if they can't abide by that how can they be 'trusted' to sort the rest of it out?
 
No you can't.

And 5 days is a bit keen for a complaint anyway. It's normally 10 working days for acknowledgement and I think they have 8 weeks to resolve. Something like that.

End of the next working day is what's called early resolution. Anything after that is a reportable complaint (which means FoS needs to be told 'there was a complaint'). If you're not happy with the resolution after the 8 weeks (or there hasn't been one) then you can go to FoS, it's rare you'll ever need to do that.

Once you're past the phone team and speaking to the complaints team they're generally highly trained and effective individuals and will be fair. Most customers take the piss though "No I had to wait 30 minutes on the phone, so give me £100 compensation". It's in their best interest to offer a fair amount first - not to end up haggling.
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
Out of interest what are you expecting / wanting from the ombudsman?
I believe that the company involved has broken FCA guidelines with me, and also breached what might turn out to be some other quite serious things (still digging into what specific rules they may have broken). They basically are causing me a s**t load of grief for something that isn't anything to do with me and not sorting it out.

The only thing I want is to get the whole problem sorted out as at the minute I have a potentially tarnished insurance file that might affect 3 different policies for years to come and cost me money. I'm not after compo etc if that's what you mean?!
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
No you can't.

And 5 days is a bit keen for a complaint anyway. It's normally 10 working days for acknowledgement and I think they have 8 weeks to resolve. Something like that.

End of the next working day is what's called early resolution. Anything after that is a reportable complaint (which means FoS needs to be told 'there was a complaint'). If you're not happy with the resolution after the 8 weeks (or there hasn't been one) then you can go to FoS, it's rare you'll ever need to do that.

Once you're past the phone team and speaking to the complaints team they're generally highly trained and effective individuals and will be fair. Most customers take the piss though "No I had to wait 30 minutes on the phone, so give me £100 compensation". It's in their best interest to offer a fair amount first - not to end up haggling.
Thanks bud.
Yeah they have 8 weeks to resolve but I was hoping I could accelerate this if they haven't fulfilled their obligation. 5 days may be keen, but that's what their rules are so they need to keep to them?

I don't think I've been put through to a specific complaints team even after asking, I spoke to the 'Customer Service Manager' today apparently, but he was the first person to answer the phone so I'm assuming that he isn't actually part of the 'management' and it's just a title they get to make people feel happy?

As above I don't want any money from them, I just want the problem sorted and then I won't ever have to speak to them again!
 
I believe that the company involved has broken FCA guidelines with me, and also breached what might turn out to be some other quite serious things (still digging into what specific rules they may have broken). They basically are causing me a s**t load of grief for something that isn't anything to do with me and not sorting it out.

The only thing I want is to get the whole problem sorted out as at the minute I have a potentially tarnished insurance file that might affect 3 different policies for years to come and cost me money. I'm not after compo etc if that's what you mean?!
If I heard a customer talking like that it'd bend me right out of shape (but then I was never very good at talking to customers).

If they've fucked up then complain, and don't do it on the phone being one of those bellends that gets all shirty with people. Put it in writing and be factual, it'll get sorted out much quicker (if we're counting minutes of people's time).

Don't go quoting "FCA Guidelines" because the FCA do not write law, most of the time their policies are open to interpretation and an insurance company is likely to have had someone smarter than you (when it comes to insurance) analysing it. At the end of the day you just need to apply a bit of common sense. Have they done something wrong or made life difficult for you when they didn't need to? If yes then write a sensible complaint email and it'll get sorted out in a matter of weeks normally.
 
Thanks bud.
Yeah they have 8 weeks to resolve but I was hoping I could accelerate this if they haven't fulfilled their obligation. 5 days may be keen, but that's what their rules are so they need to keep to them?

I don't think I've been put through to a specific complaints team even after asking, I spoke to the 'Customer Service Manager' today apparently, but he was the first person to answer the phone so I'm assuming that he isn't actually part of the 'management' and it's just a title they get to make people feel happy?

As above I don't want any money from them, I just want the problem sorted and then I won't ever have to speak to them again!
If they're genuinely incompetent (I've only dealt with one insurance company like this and that was MCE for the bike), then your best bet is to send your complaint in writing - let them ignore it and then go to FoS.

Rather than getting yourself worked up by calling them all the time, believe me it's not worth it. Just thank your lucky stars we live in the UK and financial services companies are held to account.
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
Good luck.

Insurance companies are c***s!!!
Don't we all know it!

If I heard a customer talking like that it'd bend me right out of shape (but then I was never very good at talking to customers).

If they've fucked up then complain, and don't do it on the phone being one of those bellends that gets all shirty with people. Put it in writing and be factual, it'll get sorted out much quicker (if we're counting minutes of people's time).

Don't go quoting "FCA Guidelines" because the FCA do not write law, most of the time their policies are open to interpretation and an insurance company is likely to have had someone smarter than you (when it comes to insurance) analysing it. At the end of the day you just need to apply a bit of common sense. Have they done something wrong or made life difficult for you when they didn't need to? If yes then write a sensible complaint email and it'll get sorted out in a matter of weeks normally.
Don't get me wrong I'm not kicking off, keeping calm and collected and questioning why it hasn't been resolved yet. In a slightly stroke of luck, with my M2 being hit I've been talking to a very clued up person today and he has told me what they haven't done correctly and why they are in breach, so it's on decent authority that I've been asking questions.
You're correct the FCA do not write law, but a breach of an FCA guidline I'm told is a pretty serious thing - my cousin is a Senior Analyst for a huge insurance company in London, so again I'm getting information and opinions from people involved in this business.

If they're genuinely incompetent (I've only dealt with one insurance company like this and that was MCE for the bike), then your best bet is to send your complaint - let them ignore it and then go to FoS.

Rather than getting yourself worked up by calling them all the time, believe me it's not worth it. Just thank your lucky stars we live in the UK and financial services companies are held to account.
I'm trying to play the game with them using their rules, and also I'm not going to do their job for them by writing the issues down and making them have a ticklist for resolving the issues, their procedure clearly states a written or verbal complaint counts for the same thing so there's no advantage to writing a letter over a phone call.

Your point about letting them ignore it, at what point would you say it has been ignored, after 8 weeks? As they have already breached their procedure by leaving it more than 5 days so why wait another 7 weeks for no real reason; this was really my initial query....

I'm not going to list the details on here whilst it's on going, if I did then it might be a bit clearer what I'm trying to achieve overall for the complaint.
 

MatthewR

ClioSport Club Member
I couldn't have put any of this better than @Jeff simply has.

Essentially with out being rude I see it all the time where people quote FCA or threaten with the FoS purely in a bid to get compensated.

You're clearly not happy with the situation you've been put in and therefore if you follow the guidelines and advice yourself the complaint will be resolved for you.

Unfortunately insurance companies have never and will never be efficient businesses to deal with.
 
Don't worry, it's probably best you're not posting detail as I want to go to sleep anyway.

You're right, a verbal complaint is as good as a written complaint as far as a company regulated by FCA and FoS is concerned. However, audit trail for phone calls is a bit one sided since the insurance company will record calls, but getting hold of that recording may be a bit more difficult.

I would always recommend dealing by email, because:

a/ Call centres are being squeezed to the point they pop, this means you'll normally be in a queue for a while, yes you can claim back the cost of calls (within reason) but who can be fucked with that?
b/ You have a clear record of what was sent and where
c/ You can read what you've written before sending so you can ensure your points are clear
d/ You have time to consider responses, rather than you agreeing with a resolution on the phone and then later deciding it's not enough (it's a bit harder to go back at that point).
e/ It's also a lot less stress.

Loads of reasons basically.
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
I couldn't have put any of this better than @Jeff simply has.

Essentially with out being rude I see it all the time where people quote FCA or threaten with the FoS purely in a bid to get compensated.

You're clearly not happy with the situation you've been put in and therefore if you follow the guidelines and advice yourself the complaint will be resolved for you.

Unfortunately insurance companies have never and will never be efficient businesses to deal with.
I agree mate, and as said I don't want compo I want what is a simple problem resolved, I've done all for the work for them but they haven't sorted it. As said before it would make more sense if I listed the full details, but I'm not prepared to do it. However in my case they have 100% breached the FCA Guidlines, backed up by 2 completely unconnected people who work daily in the insurance market, so I'm confident I'm not in the wrong.

The original thing I wanted to know was can I go over their heads at this stage, looks like I can't so have to stick with it.

Don't worry, it's probably best you're not posting detail as I want to go to sleep anyway.

You're right, a verbal complaint is as good as a written complaint as far as a company regulated by FCA and FoS is concerned. However, audit trail for phone calls is a bit one sided since the insurance company will record calls, but getting hold of that recording may be a bit more difficult.

I would always recommend dealing by email, because:

a/ Call centres are being squeezed to the point they pop, this means you'll normally be in a queue for a while, yes you can claim back the cost of calls (within reason) but who can be fucked with that?
b/ You have a clear record of what was sent and where
c/ You can read what you've written before sending so you can ensure your points are clear
d/ You have time to consider responses, rather than you agreeing with a resolution on the phone and then later deciding it's not enough (it's a bit harder to go back at that point).
e/ It's also a lot less stress.

Loads of reasons basically.
If I typed it all it might help you sleep, not the most riveting subject!

I agree your point, but essentially I almost want to help them tie themselves up in knots, which they have started doing via phonecalls, so that's fine. In comment to your points:

a. That's fine I can sit on hold whilst working so I'm not losing much time.
b. I have a document stating call time, who I spoke to and a write up of what has been said between each party which should it ever be needed will back up the recorded calls they will have, so I have a clear record - I type it as I'm talking.
c. The points I'm making are pretty straight forward and clear so no confusion, plus the above.
d. I'm calm enough to not panic and agree something without knowing it is what is right, as it happens I don;t really need to agree to what they say with regards to the issue.
e. true, but the stress will be there either way.

I feel this has got a bit carried away, I'm a clever-ish bloke and I'm not complaining for the sake of it, give me the benefit of the doubt that they are actually in the wrong!
 

gally

ClioSport Club Member
Joe, contact the ombudsman after the 5 days period they mention. They will usually be fined £500 for any complaints filed against them also.

The ombudsman is there to protect you and stop them from doing this sort of thing and avoid court etc.

They will help even from an advice pov.
 
  Mk2 TT
If today was the end of the third working day, they don't need to send an acknowledgement until the end of the 5th working day (according to their own complaints procedure) and if they correspond by post you might not see that acknowledgement for a few more days after that. That acknowledgement will most likely be automated and very brief. When it comes to complaints, as long as they have issued their final response within 56 days/8 weeks, they are complying with the FCA guidelines. You can go to the FOS whenever you like, but if you go to them before the 56 days is up, they will simply forward your complaint to the insurance company to give them an opportunity to respond. Unfortunately, you're probably just going to have to wait.
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
If today was the end of the third working day, they don't need to send an acknowledgement until the end of the 5th working day (according to their own complaints procedure) and if they correspond by post you might not see that acknowledgement for a few more days after that. That acknowledgement will most likely be automated and very brief. When it comes to complaints, as long as they have issued their final response within 56 days/8 weeks, they are complying with the FCA guidelines. You can go to the FOS whenever you like, but if you go to them before the 56 days is up, they will simply forward your complaint to the insurance company to give them an opportunity to respond. Unfortunately, you're probably just going to have to wait.
Yes I'm a little ahead of myself but just planning, the end of the 5th day after is wednesday, so they have until then. The company in question do not send out mail, I get a PDF letter sent to me via email on every dealing I've had with them in the last 4/5 years of consecutive policies, so there shouldn't be an issue of waiting for Royal Fail.

Waiting is fine, I want to do this complaint properly and cause a bit of an upset because of it so I'm not in any rush, just trying to get informed to help myself out - thanks for the reply.
 
  Mk2 TT
Yes I'm a little ahead of myself but just planning, the end of the 5th day after is wednesday, so they have until then. The company in question do not send out mail, I get a PDF letter sent to me via email on every dealing I've had with them in the last 4/5 years of consecutive policies, so there shouldn't be an issue of waiting for Royal Fail.

Waiting is fine, I want to do this complaint properly and cause a bit of an upset because of it so I'm not in any rush, just trying to get informed to help myself out - thanks for the reply.
The best thing you can probably do to ensure your complaint is dealt with by the best people they have and taken most seriously is send a written complaint addressed to the company's Chief Executive. Many large companies have a 'Chief Exec' complaint team that will deal with these on the exec's behalf, and they tend to be treated with a little more care.
 

JoePeps

ClioSport Club Member
  M2,XJS,S1000RR
The best thing you can probably do to ensure your complaint is dealt with by the best people they have and taken most seriously is send a written complaint addressed to the company's Chief Executive. Many large companies have a 'Chief Exec' complaint team that will deal with these on the exec's behalf, and they tend to be treated with a little more care.
The thing is for badness I'm letting them trip themselves up telling me incorrect information which if anything will help my overall complaint, I want to kick up a reasonable sized stink so at the minute they are helping my evidence!
 


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