Categories
Financial issues

Do Morethan just comparison websites for insurance quotes!

How do you take out your contents and building insurance? I hope you don’t just renew every year and that you look at comparison sites for switching insurance, energy etc. I do this but do do a little more. I also check the site that comes out the cheapest.

Comparison v direct
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Last year MoreThan came out cheaper on the Moneysupermarket comparison site. But this is when it got odd. I went through Moneysupermarket.com and got a reference number and password which did not work when I clicked to go through to the website. The quote included some cover which I did not wish to have. I looked to see if I could ‘phone to discuss the quote and noted that only an 0844 number was provided.

It is now illegal to only provide such numbers for customer helplines under the The Consumer Rights Directive 2013 but oddly it was provided at a later date but it wasn’t on the website!

Secondly I tried to use Topcashback* (excellent cashbacksite) and get a quote from MoreThan directly. This seemed to come to much MoreThan the Money supermarket.com quote! But it did not include the cover that I didn’t want! It also requested details on specific items which was not included on the Monesysupermarket.com site. The Moneysupermarket.com quote listed certain other items and not others. Basically, the comparisons between the two sites were ridiculous and one could not change them either.

Complaint

So off went the email to the CEO as I felt that something was seriously flawed with their systems. Why can’t you just get the same cover going through the comparison site as going direct? Why does it cost more direct for a different cover and you can’t use the cashback site when going through the comparison site for the cheaper quote. I stated that I wanted the price stated with moneysupermarket.com minus the cover I didn’t want and to include the cover I did.

I also expected to receive the £21.00 Topcashback  to which I felt entitled. I got a new quote about £100 more than other quotes in order to get everything I wanted, and a cheque for the difference between the new quote and the cheaper Moneysupermarket.com quote plus the £21 cashback.

I’m not sure that any Laws were broken here, although one wonders about misleading practices and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. I do think it’s poor practice and would advise anyone looking at their insurance to explore all possibilities and to look at the comparison sites and then look at the site directly for further comparison.

Make sure you have the cover you want and contact the company if you see anomalies. My guess is that this practice is quite widespread and that we need to make sure that we are not being ripped off as well as ensuring that we have the cover that we want and need.

Further help

Lots more information about comparison websites, approved sites etc All you need to know about comparison websites

How to save money on your car insurance lots of ideas here!

 

 

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Categories
ADR Ombudsman Business

Alternative Dispute Resolution: What it all means

Alternative Dispute Resolution

From the 9th July 2015 The EU ADR Directive was supposed to come into force. It was delayed until the 1st October. This compels the government to ensure that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes are in place.

ADR is a process that enables disputes between a consumer and a business to be settled via an independent mechanism outside the court system and can provide a quicker resolution. There are different forms of ADR:

Different ADR methods

Arbitration – an impartial and independent third party will decide how to resolve your dispute. In most cases, the arbitrator’s decision is binding and cannot be challenged in court. Costs vary and sometimes arbitration is free as with IDRS and ACAS services.

Adjudication – by ombudsmen (or ADR provider) and free to the consumer. Binding on the trader (they lose membership if don’t abide by the rules but this rare) but not on you should you not agree and want to take the matter to court.

Mediation/conciliation – remains confidential and cannot be used in a later court hearing. The cost varies: in some instances it’s free; in others, it can get expensive. By the very nature of the word “mediation” someone will work with you and the other party to reach a decision. If agreement is made and signed this is legally binding. You would only be to go to court to enforce it if necessary.

Negotiation – which is used most commonly in employment situations. You can choose to have a union rep or someone else present while you negotiate.

Generally, arbitration is binding on both parties to the dispute; mediation/conciliation and negotiation are non-binding; and adjudication and ombudsmen schemes do not bind the complainant, but will be binding on the other side.

Film on ADR recorded for Citizen’s Advice:

The Complaining Cow - when things go wrong

07/10/20 International Ombuds day – what’s it all about

Guest posts by Ombudsmen

Why use the Financial Ombudsman?

Furniture and dispute resolution guest post.

Energy ombudsman shows how to keep heat on your supplier

Myths about Ombudsmen

It is common to come across people who think that Ombudsmen see in favour of companies for example. However, this is just one myth. This post 5 Ombudsman myths busted explains more.

However there are some issues and these are in the oversight and approval and monitoring of ADR providers.

The ADR appears to have let the flood gates open and the potential for an omnishambles of ombudsmen is upon us.

Problems in the ADR/Ombudsman sector

Lots of people failings in alternative dispute resolution
How are authorities failing in their approval of ombudsmen and ADR providers? Many ways

 

20/10/16 Ombudsman chaos continues – Even on Conflict Resolution Day

06/06/17 The Retail Ombudsman is no more as title is lost

22/06/17 Ombudsman Omnishambles Serious unresolved issues affecting the operation of the ombudsman ADR system in the UK

 

 

 

21/07/17 Statement on The Retail Ombudsman by the Ombudsman Association

28/02/18 Government & regulators continue to fail consumers

28/02/18 More Ombudsman Omnishambles The UK ADR Landcsape 20 months on the report.

23/08/18 Landing in court with Ryanair the latest,  Which? and The Independent, reports included.

07/10/20 CAA launches consultation and tells no-one…

22/10/20 Ryanair tops the CAA refund complaints figures

16/12/21 CMA steps in where the CAA fears to tread

18/03/21 Civil Aviation Authority consults on dispute resolution

The above links also link to articles from Which?, Financial Times and The Independent that describe a number of problems which are not the fault of providers and provide  warnings about one provider, Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited run by Dean Dunham which runs RetailADR, UtitlitiesADR and AviationADR.

Ombudsman Omnishambles discussed on You and Yours Radio 4

How approval bodies are failing to properly approve and monitor Alternative Dispute Resolution -

 

Help with complaining effectively

 

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