Consumer Finance Customers: Complaint Handling
A customer, who has made a purchase under a regulated finance agreement, can raise a complaint face to face, over the telephone, by email or in writing. It is important that all people within the business understand the importance of recognising a complaint for what it is and deal with it appropriately.
- When a complaint is raised you should make a record of the Contract number, date, value and the nature of the Complaint.
- Within 5 days you must contact the customer acknowledging their complaint, advise that you are investigating and that you will respond further within 10 working days.
- Within 10 working days you must issue a response the customer detailing how you propose to resolve the complaint. If you have been unable to come to a final conclusion regarding the complaint within this 10 working day period you must send a holding letter advising that you will send a final response within 4 weeks.
- The regulation allow you an 8 week period in which to send the “Final” response however it is clearly advisable to resolve these matters as soon as possible not only in the interest of good customer service but also to avoid the likelihood of escalation to the FOS and the costs associated with that escalation.
- When sending your “Final” response you should with that letter advise the customer that they are not happy with your response they can complain to the FOS and within that letter you should provided contact details for the FOS.
The Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
You must also enclose a copy of the FOS leaflet “your complaint and the Ombudsman”. These can be obtained at www.financialombudsman.org.uk/publications/index.htm
- Your “Final” response should always include the following.
- A summary of the complaint setting out the outcome of your investigation and your final view on the issue;
- Say whether you acknowledge there has been any fault on the part of your business
- Give details of any afar you are making to settle the complaint
- Enclose the FOS leaflet
- Advise the consumer about their right to refer the dispute to the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months if they are unhappy with you response
- If, for any reason at the end of 8 weeks you want more time to investigate the complaint and the consumer agrees to this the FOS will not automatically get involved but you must still advise them of their right to take their complaint to the FOS |